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Connective collaboration in Phoenix distributes $12M in Family Assistance Resource funds

A view of the hitorick landmark once used as City Hall in the city of Phoenix, which now serves as a reminder of unique architecture once a staple just a stone’s throw from City Council chambers downtown. (Photo: Arianna Grainey/
The Connective reports FAR dollars delivered to 1,000 Phoenix families
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

The Connective, Greater Phoenix’s regional smart city consortium, and municipal leaders of Phoenix have successfully concluded the Family Assistance Resource program, which officials there say is an emergency financial assistance program created for families disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The program, according to a press release, was funded through the American Rescue Plan Act. Under the FAR program, 1,000 families were selected through a lottery to receive a $1,000 monthly stipend for 12 months to support household expenses, the release states.

“We as a city are proud of the life-changing work we did with COVID-19 relief funding,” said Phoenix City Manager Jeffrey Barton in a prepared statement.

“The Family Assistance Resource Program impacted 1,000 families with children in Phoenix, allowing many to steadily provide for their families and make transformative decisions in their daily lives. The feedback we received was overwhelmingly positive and showed how important this program was to keeping families safe during the pandemic.”

Phoenix City Hall officials say the program had a profound impact on the participating families as many in need used the assistance to cover much-needed household expenses such as groceries, school supplies, and transportation costs.

More than 7,000 low-income households in Phoenix were eligible for the random lottery.

The finalists were 1,000 families with children, with over 60% having an annual household income of less than $20,000. Over 80% of participants were female, 40% of participants were Black or African American, and 31% of participants were Hispanic or Latino.

“These stipends helped local families in significant and meaningful ways, including reducing the stress and strain brought on by COVID-19,” said Ben Williams, program manager at The Connective. “We’re proud of the impact this program had on individuals and families, and excited about the possibilities for expanding this technology in innovative ways throughout the region.”

For the FAR program, The Connective and the city provided participants reloadable debit cards, administrative support, and customer services in English and Spanish. Funds were loaded onto the debit cards each month in 2022. The Connective has a membership with City Possible, giving them access to resources like the Usio/FiCentive MasterCards, and hosted in-person debit card distribution with municipal staff and informational events to connect directly with families in the program.

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