Community Information

Despite countless efforts the most recent survey shows that the poverty rate of Comal county residents is still at 13%. STEPS was started to address the core causes that keep people in poverty. It also aims at helping those who find themselves in short term poverty not become addicted to the system intended to help. The welfare trap theory asserts that taxation and welfare systems can jointly contribute to keeping people on social welfare. The withdrawal of resources after entering low-paid work does not make enough of an impact (initially) to justify getting a job. An individual sees that the opportunity cost of returning to work is too great for too little a financial return, and this can create a perverse incentive to not work, and thus create a cycle.

 

THE NEED

In New Braunfels, we currently have over 800 families below the poverty level and dependent on welfare, over 350 homeless, as well as an unemployment rate of around 5%.  With financial struggles comes a downward spiral to try to make ends meet through various means. But the biggest need this program addresses is the the root of poverty instead of just treating the symptoms. Other well meaning programs only addict people to a system that punishes them (by removing benefits) for growing beyond their qualifiers. Lack of vision is the problem, and Life Coaches are the solution to giving people the tools they need to become prospering members of our community.