Overview

This is an evaluation of New York City’s Personal Roads to Individual Development and Employment (PRIDE) program, a large-scale welfare-to-work program for recipients with work-limiting medical or mental health conditions. 

The program’s employment services were similar to those in New York’s regular welfare-to-work program — emphasizing unpaid work experience, education, and job placement assistance — but, in PRIDE, staff tried to ensure that participants were assigned to activities that took account of their medical conditions. PRIDE operated from 1999 to 2004, serving more than 30,000 people.

Findings

  • The PRIDE group was substantially more likely than the control group to participate in work experience and job search activities.

  • PRIDE generated increases in employment – 34 percent of the PRIDE group worked in a job covered by unemployment insurance within two years after entering the study, compared with 27 percent of the control group

  • PRIDE significantly reduced welfare payments – the PRIDE group received $818 less (about 7 percent less) in cash assistance than the control group over the two years. The reduction was driven partly by the employment gains and partly by the high rate of sanctioning.