Welfare-to-work loans

Poor communities often have many people on welfare. Connecting people to jobs requires finding businesses that are willing to hire entry-level employees and provide them with training. Some CDFIs have financed new companies whose first priority is providing employment to people with little or no job experience. In other cases, CDFIs have made hiring welfare recipients or other disadvantaged people a requirement for businesses receiving loans. In every case, the jobs created with welfare to work loans must provide a living wage and at least some benefits.

"We usually take people off welfare and give them a good, decent job with some benefits. The majority are like, "I'm sick of it. I don't want welfare anymore. I want to do something better for me and my kids. I want to live a better life." Those are the ones where we're, "Okay, we'll help you," and we'll take them in our hands and help them to reach the goal that they want to reach for themselves."

Terrell Cannon, Home Care Associates

Real stories

Home Care Associates is a worker-owned company that hires and trains former welfare recipients to be home health aides.

Soleras is a manufacturing company in Maine that hired low-income people, including former welfare recipients, under an employment and training agreement when it got a venture capital investment from Coastal Enterprises.