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New Hope Project (Milwaukee)

The Milwaukee New Hope Project was conceived in the late 1980s and conducted between 1994 and 1998 by a coalition of community activists and business leaders in two inner-city areas of Milwaukee, the largest city in the state of Wisconsin. The primary objective of the Milwaukee New Hope Project was to respond proactively to the socioeconomic challenges faced by a large population of working-poor people who had fallen into chronic welfare dependency throughout the 1990s. The project was not a welfare program but a social contract for Milwaukee’s poor.

The project’s 1,357 participants were divided into two groups—the treatment and the control groups—and satisfied the following criteria: They were 18 years old or older, their incomes were at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty ...

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