The United Stated (U.S.) addresses poverty through a mix of public and private
programs. These public and private programs encompass government run programs, the
implementation of government funded programs through private organizations, and programs
created and administered by the private sector. Currently programs targeting low-income
individuals and families take two different approaches: direct assistance and indirect assistance.
While direct assistance programs involve the transfer of tangible resources, such as income,
food, or childcare to low-income families and individuals, indirect assistance programs,
including asset-based programs, focus on promoting financial capability by providing education
and opportunities to develop financial knowledge and financial resources for future use. It is
important for policymakers deciding how to best support poor and low-income individuals and
families to understand the benefits of both direct assistance and indirect assistance programs, so
they can consider which approach may be the most effective and how the two approaches work
Mapping the Landscape of Direct Assistance and Asset-Based Programs for Poor and Low-income Individuals and Families.
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