We are neighbors who understand that the financial inequalities in our community are unjust. We also know that direct cash assistance is a simple, respectful, and effective way to help people.
We all need- and deserve- a comfortable place to live, decent clothing, nourishment, and meaningful work. But we all know that for some emergencies, cash might be the only solution. We also know that sometimes, a little cash can goa long way to help avoid a financial catastrophe. A growing body of research suggests that cash assistance is one of the most effective tools for helping people escape poverty. The money we provide has no strings attached; we trust neighbors will use the funds in ways that are best for them.
How does this work?
We will never have enough money to meet everyone’s needs; the best we can do is to respect everyone involved by making the process simple and transparent.
Who gets It?
We provide funds on a “first come, first served” basis and do not require documentation, justification, or explanation. Neighbors in need let us know they have a financial emergency that cash assistance can solve.
How is it funded?
Our ability to provide funds depends completely on the neighbors who choose to donate. We are not a 501(c)3 organization and are therefore almost never eligible for grants. This is about neighbors helping neighbors, not an institution seeking funding.
100% of the money we raise goes to neighbors in need
100% of the work is volunteered
How does the cash get to the neighbors in need ?
We have a system of neighbors providing cash or using Venmo, CashApp etc. to direct funds to neighbors in need, and then getting reimbursed. We make the system as simple as possible while still using best practices for managing cash transactions.
How does the Cash Assistance Program relate to to Ward Four Mutual Aid’s other work ?
Ward 4 Mutual Aid has three areas of focus:
1) getting food and essential items to neighbors in need
2) supporting our neighbors experiencing homelessness
3) cash assistance (also called direct aid)
Ten percent of the W4MA organization’s budget goes to cash assistance, and the rest goes to the other wonderful programs.
How are things going?
Early in the pandemic we were able to provide hundreds of neighbors $250 each, but since then our fundraising has drastically declined. In addition, our waiting list got so long we had to close it; we still have 20 neighbors in dire need of cash assistance who are waiting for funds.
We are in the process of revamping the program and will announce our new policies and procedures, along with all our financial information, in late April 2023. We expect we will be providing a smaller amount so we can reach more people.
SUPPORT THE EFFORT
Apoya el esfuerzo
Ward 4 Mutual Aid is 100% volunteer-led and volunteer run. Help protect every member of our community in one of these ways: