According to a city initiative, thousands of Philadelphia residents who live at or below the poverty line need help to access hundreds of millions of dollars in federal and state aid to which they are entitled.
Michael Banks, executive director of The Promise, said Philadelphia residents are missing at least $100 million in tax credits.
“The Promise took a $23 million bite out of that number,” Banks said. “There is still work to be done, but we are proud to have reduced the number of traditionally unclaimed dollars by almost 25% of those eligible.
“During this first year, The Promise has worked hard to deepen relationships and collaboration among community organizations in Philadelphia, helping to tap directly into underserved communities,” Banks said. “With our partners, we have helped families navigate complex systems to access the benefits they deserve. In addition to stabilizing incomes and employment for those served, we are planting the seeds that will ultimately help Philadelphia have a stronger workforce, safer communities, and fewer people in crisis.
The Promise, an initiative developed by United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, aims to help residents by increasing access to public benefits and tax credits while connecting residents to benefits and support services. emergency. Its goal is to lift 100,000 Philadelphians out of poverty.
The Promise released its one-year report on Thursday, detailing what it was able to accomplish after investing $5.9 million in four coalitions of 30 community organizations, also known as the Family Stability Challenge.
Coalitions include: the Collaborative to Advance Stability, the Latino Economic Development Collective, No One Left Behind and the South Broad Partnership.
• More than 53,000 Philadelphia households had access to resources and assistance, representing 13.5% of families living in poverty in the city.
• Families accessed over $51.2 million in benefits and tax credits, including an estimated $23.2 million in tax credits; $2.5 million in free tax preparation; and $26.6 million in cash equivalent benefits.
• More than 16,000 Philadelphia households accessed emergency relief benefits and services, protecting them from another crisis.
• 13,000 people received free help with filing their taxes, including helping 4,107 families access the expanded child tax credit, bringing $12 million in tax credits to Philadelphia families.
“The pledge showcases the strength of collaboration and what can be achieved when we work together,” said Bill Golderer, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey. “In just one year, The Promise and its partners have helped tens of thousands of Philadelphia families access the benefits and credits they are owed, putting money back in their pockets and in their homes.”
Specifically, The Promise has helped people access benefits they may not have known they were eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EIC) and the Child Tax Credit ( CTC).
“Over 90% of Philadelphia families with children are eligible to receive the expanded child tax credit – all they need to do is claim it,” said Alicia Atkinson, managing director, Financial Empowerment at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern. New Jersey. “Our partners were ready to ensure that everyone eligible for this expanded credit had access to free, high-quality tax services. Just by ensuring access to this credit, we can lift 75,000 people in Philadelphia out of income-based poverty. This includes over 46,000 children.
The Promise, a public-private partnership, is funded in part by the City of Philadelphia, United Way and companies such as Comcast NBCUniversal and Wells Fargo.
“Through The Promise, we are committed to equipping families with the resources, tools and opportunities to break down barriers to economic mobility,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, Chairman of The Promise Board of Directors and Vice -Executive Chairman and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation. and Chairman of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. “We’re proud to invest in The Promise and support efforts to build cross-industry collaboration — all to create a more equitable Philadelphia.”