As we enter the final months of the S.T.E.P program, participants have offered to share and highlight some of their experiences and growth that have taken place over the last 17 months. Their stories have helped in our ability to asses the impact of our pilot program and have allowed us to draw some important conclusions about the effectiveness of guaranteed income for our participants.
For Shataura the initial months in the S.T.E.P program served as an opportunity for reflection and the acknowledgement that the program could provide an important platform for her family. “I contemplated on how I could use the cash best for my family’s needs,” Shataura said, “Month to month bills were my biggest obstacles, so I chose to concentrate on the improvement of my family’s everyday life.”
With this renewed sense of purpose as the program went on, Shataura has begun to focus on providing lifelong memories and experiences for her family. “I chose to plan our very first family vacation by saving as much as I could and repairing my credit.” Furthermore, through the S.T.E.P program, she has felt the emotional impact that guaranteed income can have on families.
“Working to care for my kids can be tiresome, so I can say with this support I have felt emotionally happier and less burdened than before.” Shataura continues, “My kids continue to thrive, and are happy…I feel extremely blessed to be a participant in this program, which my family has benefited from beyond my expectations.”
As the program begins to wind down, Shataura, like many others, has begun to look forward at the opportunities that are in front of her, both in the short and long term. “For so long I found it hard to make ends meet, but the S.T.E.P program was a great chance for me to get on top of my financial matters and get ahead,” she said. “The support from the staff at USES and the Family Mobility Team has been instrumental in the growth of my family. As a parent, I am so thankful for the abundance of great people and the support they provide.”