The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

My son ran into some furniture at daycare and hit his head. I was notified that he was bleeding and that an ambulance was transporting him to the hospital. I was so worried as I rushed to meet them at the hospital. Once he was bandaged and feeling better, I started calculating the hospital bills that I would have to pay out of pocket. I am still fighting a $400 ambulance bill to this day. Again, I am “over income” for medical assistance for my son, but I struggle to pay for medications and co-payments.  

Micro-lending

Many of the women of Witnesses are entrepreneurs who run informal businesses (i.e. hair/makeup business, catering, childcare) to make ends meet.  With so few job opportunities available, turning this informal work into legitimate businesses is an important strategy for families trying to escape economic insecurity.  Though the idea of offering micro-loans to help low-income women start income-generating business started in the developing world, its popularity has grown in the U.S.

Current Issue

While several organizations in Philadelphia offer micro-loans to middle and lower-income entrepreneurs, those living in deep poverty - as TANF recipients are - often get left out of these business financing opportunities.  Philadelphia could offer micro-loans and discounted business licenses to low-income individuals who want to join the formal economy.

 

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