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How Coaches in an Employment Program Are Adapting to COVID-19

This blogpost illustrates the implementation of the A Better Life (ABL) program in Massachusetts–an economic mobility model for public housing residents that incorporates comprehensive case management, community partnerships with local service providers, an escrow savings account, and work requirements. The blogpost identifies how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of the coaching provided by the ABL program to help address ABL participants’ basic and mental health needs and how the pandemic has created opportunity for stronger relationships and trust between participants and coaches as these needs are met. Also discussed are shifts in the goal setting process among participants toward meeting immediate needs and how COVID-19 responses have pushed ABL to a “whole family” approach over centering on individual participants.
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