Project Lift is a unique public/private partnership designed to support Hamilton County families on a journey to self-sufficiency. The goal is to reduce poverty and increase economic mobility. Project Lift, which has helped 455 Hamilton County families since launching in April 2019, operates under the following guiding principles:
- Family-driven solutions
- Lean administrative costs
- Funds to families, not administration
- Maximize federal/state and local public dollars
Hamilton County Job and Family Services coordinates Project Lift on behalf of the Child Poverty Collaborative. Project Lift targets families living at or below 200% of the federal poverty line and has five key strategies — community outreach and engagement, workforce development, flexible service coordination, wraparound funding and transportation solutions.
In its first year, Project Lift helped more than 450 families and 1,000 county residents. The families partner with a diverse group of 20 sponsor agencies, such as the Baptist Ministers Conference, Cincinnati Works, Easter Seals, Freestore Foodbank and many more. These partner agencies help families access an array of support, services and funding to overcome barriers that pause or prevent them from completing their journey out of poverty. Project Lift’s target outcome is to increase income by 20% and remove two significant barriers.
The families drive the work and determine what is needed to lift them out of poverty, rather than being restricted to one single program. To qualify, families must:
- Live in Hamilton County, Ohio
- Have responsibility for a child (physical, legal, or financial)
- Are working or on a viable path to employment
- Agree to work with a sponsor agency/case manager/coach
- Agree to share income, employment, and barrier data for at least one year
- Have a household earned income below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line (approximately $51,500 annually for a family size of four)