What is this report about ?
From June to October of 2021, Allegheny County Department of Human Services (DHS) provided a cash assistance program for transition-aged youth called Older Youth Pandemic Relief (OYPR). This report describes the methodology and results of a series of surveys that evaluated the impact of the cash assistance program.
What are the takeaways?
- 76% (n = 1,901) of the people who were eligible to receive the Older Youth Pandemic Relief (OYPR) payment applied for and received the money.
- The money went to young adults with a high level of need. 85% of recipients were enrolled in Medicaid, and 49% received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
- Young adults planned to spend the money on meeting basic needs; top categories were bills, housing, car, food and clothing.
- The program re-engaged young adults with services. 587 of the people who applied for (and received) the OYPR payment qualified for other services available to transition-aged youth but were not using them.
- By filling out the OYPR application, they provided updated contact information and information about the types of assistance they need.
- The percentage of recipients who reported having enough money to meet their basic needs increased from 25% at baseline to 34% after receiving the money. This increase was larger for Black and female demographic groups, which reported lower ability to meet their basic needs at baseline.
How is this report being used?
Findings from this program and report are being used internally at DHS to advocate for new income assistance programs. These include both direct cash cash transfers and other forms of income support, such as subsidized transit.