New Hope Project

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Adults, Families
Community-Based, Work Site
Employment, Life Stress
Target Audience 

This program was for individuals and families in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with low income.


The New Hope Project, a community- and work-site based program, was developed to help individuals and families elevate themselves above the monetary poverty line and attain a better quality of life by providing employment opportunities, child care, and insurance services and benefits to individuals and their families.


A large-scale, randomized controlled trial evaluating the program revealed that compared to members of a control group, New Hope participants experienced gains in employment, income, and child care utilization that were maintained at least 2 years after the program started.  In addition, boys whose parents were participating in the program were reported by teachers to have greater academic achievement and fewer behavioral problems than boys whose parents were in the control group.  However, girls whose parents were participating in the program were reported by teachers to have more behavioral problems than girls whose parents were in the control group. This negative finding concerning girls behavioral problems should be interpreted cautiously, as the comparability of treatment and control group girls could not be established since baseline behavioral information was not collected.


The New Hope Project provided assistance to individuals and their families through four primary components:

  • Earnings Supplement:  Raised the income above the poverty line for full-time workers.
  • Subsidized Health Insurance:  Offered insurance to adults who worked a minimum of 30 hours a week.
  • Child Care Subsidy:  Provided child-care subsidy to participants with children under the age of 13.  Licensed child-care centers were selected, and participants were required to pay a small co-pay.
  • Community Service Jobs:  Assisted participants, who were not employed within 2 months of starting the program or who were planning to leave a job, by helping them obtain full-time employment.

Each participant was appointed a project representative who provided guidance and served as a resource.  To qualify for the benefits, participants were required to work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Previous Use 

This program was used in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from 1994 to 1998.


Because the New Hope Project was a demonstration project and was not distributed for wide dissemination, no training was available. In previous implementations, the staff were trained social workers, professionals, or volunteers who had experience in the human services field.


Though this program is no longer available, considerations for implementing a program like the New Hope Project could include obtaining funds to cover program implementation costs, retaining participants, and coordinating multiple services.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


If you are interested in implementing a program similar to the New Hope Project, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!  Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


In the demonstration project, all services were available to participants for 3 years.


The estimated annual cost of implementing the New Hope Project was approximately $5,200 to $7,300 per family.

Evaluation Plan 

To move the New Hope Project to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence, at least one external evaluation must be conducted that demonstrates sustained, positive outcomes. This study must be conducted independently of the program developer.

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email:

You may also contact the MDRC for more information on the project’s evaluation by phone 1-212-532-3200, fax 1-212-684-0832, email, or visit

No longer available

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.