Cash Assistance Program - We Got Our Block
Published on June 1, 2021 by Coral Rogers
Admin

Hello everyone!  I hope you have all been fully supported by our community during the past year and have found ways to thrive despite the challenges we have faced.

I know it has been awhile since we've updated but, rest assured, the work of the Athens Mutual Aid Network continues.  As you may be aware, AMAN has distributed over $50,000 in economic aid to our neighbors since our formation last year (over $30,000 of it through the Open Collective). The bulk of these funds were distributed to hotline callers and those who approached neighborhood leaders regarding their needs. Because the majority of our neighbors in need have limited access to the internet and/or bank and Paypal accounts, most of this money has been distributed as cash payments. Our fiscal sponsor, Open Collective, is changing some of the documentation required to continue dispersing cash aid.  In the spirit of transparency, we are clarifying aspects of our cash assistance program so that we may continue to redistribute the wealth in our communities to those who have been disadvantaged by the way the system currently works.

Name of the cash assistance program:  We Got Our Block
The intended impact: To uplift our neighbors by redistributing the wealth of our community to those in need. Cash assistance is used to prevent utility shut-offs and evictions, improve accessibility for disabled people, assist people escaping domestic violence, decrease food insecurity, purchase medication or pay for healthcare, and assist unhoused people in meeting their basic needs, among other purposes.
The intended Recipients: Low income and working class individuals in Athens-Clarke County, Georgia with a focus on historically oppressed groups such as BIPOC, LGBTQ+ folks, and disabled and homeless people.
The criteria or method of selecting Recipients and determining amounts to disburse: Anyone calling into our hotline (844-423-6886) and/or who contacts their neighborhood leader who demonstrates a need for economic aid will be eligible as funds allow. AMAN allows up to $100 per person per month. If a neighbor requests more than $100, then it must be approved by a majority of the AMAN hotline volunteers. 
Why cash assistance is necessary: Cash assistance will only be given to those individuals without internet access or who lack a bank or Paypal account.  Those requesting economic assistance who do have internet access and a bank or Paypal account will need to submit their expense directly to Open Collective using this link:  https://opencollective.com/athensmutualaidnetwork/expenses/newThose requesting assistance will need to create an account in Open Collective.
The anticipated amounts to be disbursed, per Recipient or payment, and overall for the program in total: AMAN allows $100 per person per month, with some exceptions for extraordinary circumstances. We anticipate to distribute approximately $35,000 total per year in economic aid.
The timeline for the cash assistance program (start and end dates, or indefinite): We Got Our Block will continue indefinitely as long as we continue to receive the funds needed to support it.