For the staff pick of October, WISCAP chooses ‘Show Me The Cash: Engaging Families To Help Very Poor Children Succeed’ by George Gerharz.

To get rid of poverty, why not just give the parents in very poor families with children $500 a month to spend any way they want? Parents would volunteer for the program. They would have to meet conditions to continue to receive the money, conditions that would contribute to the development and self-sufficiency of their children. These are the basic ideas set forth in this book. After looking at the many poverties that exist in America, the book hones in on the status and living situation of the poorest: those with incomes less than 50% of the poverty level, who have been poor for long time, and who live in areas where many others are poor. The book then sets forth a long term strategy that involves providing child development supplements very low income families, a supplement that families can continue to receive if they consistently work with home visitors and assure their children attend school. Such a strategy is expensive, some $25.4 billion a year, a significant cost but not extreme when seen in the light of other costs to assist low income and other families. The strategy, if successful with only 20% of those assisted, will pay for itself. Implementation will not require a new bureaucracy but will work through existing systems, operating at the local level through local health departments. Resting on solid evidence and combining already successful program elements this new approach can both reduce the number of persons in poverty and develop the human potential of children who are needed for the US economy.

You can order your own copy and benefit WISCAP through Amazon Smiles!

All you have to do is click here, search for ‘Show Me The Cash: Engaging Families To Help Very Poor Children Succeed’, and part of your purchase will be donated to us!


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