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New Project: Cash for Coloradans


“Cash for Coloradans” is a program to provide direct cash support to people participating in nonprofit career-readiness programs. Funded by the Urban Institute’s WorkRise initiative, the cash support will flow through designated nonprofit organizations that serve low income individuals and underrepresented groups, including people of color and people returning to the community following incarceration.

“Modest stipends, incentives, and wage subsidies can alleviate some of the financial stress low income people face, improving their ability to focus on school,” said Perla Bustillos, COO and Program Director for Colorado Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative, the Cash for Coloradans project manager. With first-hand experience growing up in an immigrant family, Bustillos stressed how just a little bit of extra cash can make a world of difference.

The Colorado Lab will conduct a rigorous evaluation of each nonprofit’s approach to measure how cash supports—in addition to a proven career readiness program (e.g., Per Scholas)—influence employment and earnings outcomes, and whether

Perla Bustillos

stabilizing financial supports can deter “benefit cliffs” that undermine financial stability. The cash assistance comes in the form of no-interest loans or stipends, and in some cases is paired with financial coaching.

For more information, contact Dr. Elysia Clemens.