Economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic left many households without the income necessary to meet basic needs. We describe an innovative, community-based partnership between a financial services company, philanthropic funders, and employers to provide financial assistance to hotel workers in New Orleans who lost jobs and income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Results from a survey of 1,056 hotel workers show that workers experienced lower food insecurity and difficulty paying bills in the month after receiving assistance, while transaction data from the VISA gift cards used to disburse assistance showed that workers mostly used assistance on necessities. We discuss implications for employers who want to offer emergency assistance fund programs and for public policy changes to better support low-wage workers, especially those with children.
Mathieu Despard, Selina Miller, Katie Kristensen & Amanda Utevsky (2022) Timely and well-targeted financial help during COVID-19: an employer-community partnership for hotel workers in New Orleans, Community, Work & Family, DOI: 10.1080/13668803.2022.2081066