The Hamilton County Job and Family Services (HCJFS) PRC team is expanding again. Just a few short months ago the PRC team consisted of three staff members which grew to five and will expand to seven staff during February.
Additional funds have become available and policy has been changed to provide for greater flexibility. The volume and variety of PRC applications continues to grow. These dollars can support school and employment-related needs such as:
- Transportation (gas cards or bus cards)
- Needed car repairs
- Work/school tools, boots, and uniforms (must be required for work or school)
- School fees and supplies (textbooks only)
Or, short-term emergency need such as:
- Infant safety products
- Utility assistance
- Furniture for recently homeless families
This is the kind of flexible money that can be used for car repairs, so someone can make it to work and not lose their job. Or, pay for a work uniform needed to start a job. Or, someone with a one-time emergency expense, that might otherwise threaten their job or housing stability.
Hamilton County families with a minor child in the home and income under 200% of the federal poverty level may be eligible for PRC. The assistance, if approved, must serve one of three goals:
- Allow the family to avoid or escape dependence on public assistance
- Help the applicant to get and keep a job
- Help the family manage a one-time and unexpected expense
HCJFS is partnering with community organizations to identify people who need this service. Our agenda is to use PRC funds to leverage the good work done by community partners in fields ranging from homelessness and children services to vocational training and employment.
PRC will be one small part of the fuller “LIFT” project starting in 2019. Project LIFT is a $5 million, public/private effort to remove barriers to self-sufficiency and help families thrive. The effort is led by the Child Poverty Collaborative and aims to help 1,000 families (3,000 individuals) in its first year.