Scholar Project Database

One-Time Cash Payments to Alleviate Pandemic Hardships: A Tailored Intervention

Project Location/Site: Morgan Park Church, Chicago, Illinois
Key Outcomes:
Only one variable showed a statistically significant change between the pre and post survey. The question item asking, “Over the past 7 days, how difficult was it to pay off old debts?” showed a statistically significant difference in responses from the pre survey compared to responses from the post survey. Before the cash payments were distributed, 56% found it “very difficult” or “difficult” to pay off old debts, and 40% found it “very easy” or “easy.” On the post survey, completed after respondents had received the $100 payments, only 36% of respondents found it “very difficult” or “difficult” to pay off old debts, and 64% found it “easy” or “very easy.” Results may suggest that a one-time payment of $100 is insufficient to alleviate COVID19-related hardships in a broad or significant way. There may be a need for an increased amount or an increased frequency of funding. The hardship variable that showed improvement focused on pre-existing debt. This may indicate that participants used the one-time payment to “catch up” on pre-existing debt, rather than apply it to current financial needs. This may suggest that study subjects were living at a sort of sustained financial deficit such that they determined that a one-time payment would not be best applied to their most current obligations.