Lessons from COVID Relief: Spoiler Alert – One Time Cash Disbursements are NOT enough

Open to all.

By now we are all too familiar with the sobering statistic that almost 40% of American adults are not able to cover a $400 emergency with cash or savings. As the economic impacts of COVID 19 ravaged the economy, individuals working in the hardest-hit industries, primarily BIPOC, were left with few options, especially those left out of any federal relief. While community-based organizations rallied to provide direct cash assistance, many already understood that a one-time cash payment would not be enough to restore the economic security of lower-income families. How can we learn from this moment? How might we reimagine a system that provides sufficient and inclusive support to all members of society?

Join us as we hear from leading community-based providers and key thought leaders on the front lines who have been involved with providing direct cash assistance for years. Panelists will share outcomes from their COVID relief efforts and longer-term guaranteed income initiatives as well as discuss the opportunity for bold and inclusive policies and innovations such as expanding the safety net, guaranteed basic income, and others. This is an opportunity for funders who are considering new yet tested approaches to address income inequality and economic security in a new world.


Raquel Hatter Ed. D., Kresge Foundation, (Moderator)
Amy Castro Baker PhD, University of Pennsylvania
Jesus Gerena, Family Independence Initiative (FII)
Jose Quinonez, Mission Asset Fund (MAF)