WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — The District officially launched its Career Mobility Action Plan (Career MAP) pilot Monday. The program is intended to give more families in the city an opportunity to move into the middle class.

The launch coincided with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a modernized Taylor Street Service Center in Ward 4. The center just went through a multi-million-dollar renovation.

The Career MAP pilot will provide support and resources to hundreds of families that are transitioning out of homelessness. 

“We know that with time and support, we can empower families to reach their goals and their highest potential,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “With the Career MAP program we are sending families a simple message: we continue to believe in you and we’ve got your back.”

Federal funding in the amount of $11.7 million over the course of three years will support the initial version of the pilot. The initial version was designed to serve 300 families, and 300 families already signed up for it.

Bowser said Monday that an additional $13.1 in funding will allow 300 other families to enroll in the pilot in 2023. Through Career MAP, the District will provide up to $10,000 in assistance to families, enabling parents to advance their careers without worrying about the “benefits cliff.” That’s when a person loses benefits due to earning a higher income.

The Career MAP is meant to help families become drivers of their own success. Through the pilot, families who have experienced homelessness, are committed to pursuing a career, facing the “benefits cliff,” and at risk of losing money, food, health care, childcare, and housing benefits more quickly than their income can cover them, will get assistance for as long as five years.

“For many District residents working hard to achieve their career, economic and family goals, the sudden and often unexpected shift in public benefits can adversely impact their households,” said Laura Green Zeilinger, Director of the DC Department of Human Services. “Through the Career MAP program the District will remove barriers to economic mobility and support families to achieve their career goals.”

Each person who participates in Career MAP will be paired with a program navigator that will provide intensive coaching and connection to key supports that help residents meet their unique career and family goals. The program will provide income supports and additional rent discounts to people as they work to increase their income and advance their careers.

For more information on the DC Career MAP pilot program, click here.