Fighting against inequality
Step Up Durham is a nonprofit organization that aims to help formerly incarcerated individuals get back to their lives. A partnership with the City of Durham allows Step Up Durham to raise money to provide 115 former offenders with guaranteed income. A $500 check will be provided every month starting December 2021 through January 2023.
"I'm just excited. I think this pandemic has shown us that we need to be more innovative around poverty, around systems that are rooted in inequity," - said Syretta Hill, the executive director of Step Up Durham
Changing lives through offering stability
Many people who come home from incarceration do not have stable income the first few years, or they earn on average less than $10,000/year. $500/month might not be a lot of money, but it could be life-changing for some individuals. It allows people to support their families and household. If they are in transitional housing, it allows them to make those payments.
There are concerns that receiving $500/month might not create a work ethic for these individuals. However, Mark Anthony Middleton, who helped to bring the project to Durham, argued that:
“This is not social engineering. We are not looking for a particular outcome. This is predicated on the simple proposition that more economically stable people make better choices."
The candidates will be selected on a lottery system, they must be at least 18 years old, live in the City of Durham, and have been incarcerated in the past 5 years. There is no requirement to work.
Read Pulliam’s full article here: bit.ly/stepupdurham
If you would like to apply or support fundraising for this program, go to www.stepupdurham.org.