Examining the Complex Social Safety Net for Low-Income Working Families

On Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the Price Center for Social Innovation and Imagine LA hosted a webinar to discuss key findings from the recent report, Examining the Complex Society Safety Net for Low-Income Working Families: How Benefit Resources Respond to Increases in Wages.

This report is a result of detailed research into all the social benefits (federal, state and local) available to low-income families and how the benefits react to increases in wages. The study examined the total resources families have available and identified the threshold points where the safety net may actually become a barrier towards increased economic mobility. The report shows how most families receiving social benefits will experience lengthy resource plateaus, where an increase in earned income is met with the equivalent loss of some benefit. In addition, the ecosystem of social benefits is extremely challenging to navigate and protects mainly families with extremely low incomes by providing childcare and housing benefits. Policymakers must take immediate steps to simplify and streamline the benefits infrastructure to promote economic mobility, create transparency and encourage greater use and awareness of benefits among the public, and specifically improve access to housing benefits as they are proven to be the most effective in aiding families in poverty.

This webinar included a research presentation on the report, as well as commentary and a panel discussion about ways to improve access to the social safety net for low-income working families in the Los Angeles region.


Welcome Remarks

Holly J. Mitchell
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Second Supervisorial District


Soledad de Gregorio
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
USC Price Center for Social Innovation

Gary Painter
USC Price Center for Social Innovation,
Homelessness Policy Research Institute

Jill Bauman
CEO & President
Imagine LA


Antonia Jiménez
Department of Public Services (DPSS) County of Los Angeles


  • Jacqueline Chun, Chief Program & Operations Officer, Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
  • Wendy Garen, President & Chief Executive Officer, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation
  • Brit Moore Gilmore, Social Impact Consultant, USC MSSE, co-founder Social Benefit Calculator
  • Abigail Marquez, General Manager, Community Investment for Families Department, City of Los Angeles
  • Lisa Salazar, Workforce Expert, Executive Director Youth Development Department, City of Los Angeles
  • Jon Vein, Entrepreneur (YPO) and Major Contributor to Project RoomKey, Data Systems Expert
  • Leilani Reed, SEIU and Lived Experience
  • Kelvin Driscoll, Senior Deputy, Human Services & Child Welfare, Office of Supervisor Holly Mitchell


  • Gary Painter, Director, USC Price Center for Social Innovation, Homelessness Policy Research Institute
  • Jill Bauman, CEO & President, Imagine LA


Watch event highlights:                                                                                                    Watch full event:

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