Quarantine & Isolation Program
Working closely with the State of Connecticut, we developed the Quarantine & Isolation Program to provide financial assistance to low income individuals and families asked to Quarantine and Isolate due to COVID-19 infection or exposure. Our partners at Community Action Agencies across the state identified individuals who indicated that financial concerns may hinder them from being able to adhere to recommended quarantine procedures, and financial assistance via the 4-CT Card was provided in a tiered manner depending on the individual’s needs and ability to access unemployment insurance benefits.
- September 2020 - March 2021
- 330 cards and $215,800 distributed
- Over 2,000 people served in 78 zip codes
- An exit survey indicated that card recipients were successfully able to comply with 97.8% of quarantine days.
- Learn more: 4-CT Q+I Assistance (google.com)
The 4-CT Card
The 4-CT Cash Aid program provides direct cash assistance via prepaid cards to individuals and families facing financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.The program was designed and continues to operate based on the philosophy of incorporating the active voice of community based organizations (CBOs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) across the State who are in direct contact with these vulnerable populations. In addition, the program design was based on best practices and learnings from California’s Angelino Card program and the New York Immigrant Resilience Fund. The model was also carefully designed to minimize the workload on any given program partner, and be an extension of the CBO’s social mission. To that end, the CBOs and FQHCs are not paid any administrative fees, and 4-CT administrative fees are supported by contributions from the Board of Directors, resulting in every dollar raised going entirely to the card recipients.
Based on recommendations from an Advisory Board, we partner with select CBOs and FQHCs across the State who have deep expertise and knowledge of the target population. The CBOs select card recipients and refer them to a nearby FQHC where the cards are distributed. This program design is based on evidence that the organizations closest to the community have the greatest insight into what the most effective solutions might be. In addition to direct aid, the program also helps to connect marginalized communities with free and low cost healthcare services. At the time of card pick up, the health center case workers will inform the recipients of all the services that the health center can offer to individuals and families and offer to enroll them as patients. The current program targets different groups of recipients, identified jointly by our CBO partners across the State, State officials, and the 4-CT program team.
In 2021, our four target populations include (i) individuals and families regardless of their immigration status, facing an identified emergency caused by the pandemic (such as housing, food, utilities, medical) whose incomes are below the federal poverty level or whose earnings are less than 50% of the current ALICE threshold; (ii) small (women and minority owned) businesses in need of funding to modify operations in response to new pandemic restrictions, (iii) community college students (including those earning certificates and part timers) at risk of dropping out because of pandemic related loss of income/increased expenses, and (iv) low income immigrant volunteers who reside in HSVI -High Social Vulnerability Index-zip codes, participating in canvassing for vaccine equity efforts led by some of our partner CBOs.
How it works:
- Direct cash aid via the 4-CT Card gives each card recipient the autonomy to define their own recovery needs and solutions.
- Statewide network of partner organizations with strong roots in their communities run the programs and distribute cards directly where our recipients reside.
- A short and simple application form that collects a minimum of personal information and does not require supporting documentation reduces administrative burden.
- Card amounts are customizable, and can be activated and reloaded remotely.
- We’re able to track actual card spend data in the aggregate by store type to better understand the needs of the card recipients.
- Working closely with our partner organizations enables us to continually improve our programs as well as collect meaningful impact and outcome data.
The 4-CT Cash Aid program is not just one program, it’s a whole new approach to philanthropy. Learn more
Our prepaid debit cards empower the people and organizations that are closest to the community to help Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents relief to achieve a rapid and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The core philosophy that runs through each of our programs is a deep trust in our community partners and respect for the relationships they have with card recipients. The insights that they provide us about how best to serve unmet needs in our hardest hit and hardest to reach populations has been invaluable.
Undocumented Support Program
The Undocumented Support Program, our first and largest 4-CT Card Program was developed to address a glaring inequity that we identified in the existing map of COVID-19 relief efforts. An estimated 120,000 - 140,000 Connecticut residents are undocumented, often working in high risk frontline jobs providing essential services and contributing significantly to our state’s economy. This is a population whose lives were precarious even before the pandemic and were impacted disproportionately by COVID-19 and yet remained ineligible for massive state and federal relief efforts. The Undocumented Support Program was designed to mitigate both financial and medical impacts of COVID-19. We provided $300 of direct cash assistance to anyone excluded from federal pandemic relief funds due to their immigration status, and by distributing the cards are local Federally Qualified Health Centers, we aimed to connect underserved populations with healthcare resources in their community and accurate and up to date information about COVID-19.
- June 2020 - February 2021
- 4,857 cards and $1.4M distributed
- Over 14,000 people served in 138 zip codes
- Over 50% of card recipients without a current medical home were likely to return to the FQHC from which they received their card.
- Learn more: 4-CT Undocumented Assistance › Program Statistics (google.com)
This program evolved from prior needs 4-CT supported through the critical months of the pandemic. We designated emergency relief debit cards targeting the Undocumented Support, Quarantine and Isolation, Essential Worker Support, Emergency Assistance, Small Business Support and Vaccine Equity. Today, the 4-CT Card program will capture all needs under the Emergency Assistance Program. Learn more about it by clicking below:
Connecticut has been a nationwide leader in vaccinating its residents. However, that success has not been true for all residents. Black and Hispanic residents have been vaccinated at about half the rate of their white counterparts. We are working with our community based organizations and the State Department of Health to help bring equity to the vaccine landscape in Connecticut. Learn more by clicking below:Vaccine Equity Program
Emergency Assistance Program
The program is open to low-income Connecticut residents of any documentation status experiencing emergency situations in the areas of housing, utilities, healthcare and food insecurity. The goal of the program is to provide rapid, one-time financial assistance, which in conjunction with longer term support provided by our partner organizations, can stabilize families on the verge of falling into a long term, more significant crisis.
In response to feedback from our community partners, we are offering a higher card amount of $900 to respond to the ongoing housing crisis, and expanding our target population to encompass families who are above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) but are still struggling to make ends meet. United Way defines this as the ALICE population: Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed. Families in the lowest tiers of ALICE have been hit hard by the pandemic, yet find themselves slightly above the income eligibility levels for existing state aid programs. This is another example of our mission of providing aid to those who lack access to traditional existing relief programs.
- January 2021 - Ongoing
- 715 cards and $475,500 distributed
- Over 2,000 people served in 78 zip codes
- Learn more: 4-CT Emergency Assistance › Program Statistics (google.com)