Welcome to UpTogether!
(Previously Family Independence Initiative)
Poverty is a Policy Choice
At UpTogether, we believe every person is an expert in their own life.
But too many systems in our society have been set up to prevent hardworking people from getting ahead.
That’s because in the U.S., there is a broadly held stereotype that if you’re experiencing poverty or financial hardship, it’s solely your fault. After all, others have “pulled themselves up by their bootstraps” and you can too.
We know that’s not true. Poverty is a policy choice. That’s why starting in 2023, we renewed our focus on our bold goal of changing systems and policies so everyone can thrive.
Our Strategy to Support Systems Change
We have a three-pronged strategy for systems change. Together, with our members,* partners, community organizations and other supporters, we:
- Invest in families and individuals with limited incomes by providing them with cash they can use however they wish, no strings attached
- Amplify stories to change the narrative and tell the true lived experiences of people facing financial hardship and financially under-resourced communities
- Rally for state and local policies and practices that support and accelerate socioeconomic mobility
*Members are those who have created an account on the UpTogether Community to receive a cash investment and/or to connect with like-minded people to help each other accomplish their goals.
We can’t do this work alone.
We need your help.
What People Are Saying
“Being low income, certain people and certain agencies and entities in society look and frown upon us being low income. And they have this mentality and this stigma that we wake up and say, ‘Okay, I want to be low income. This is just what I want to do with my life.’ But that’s not the case. For [UpTogether]…to give us this opportunity, it lets me know that I am thought about, that I do matter, and that I’m worth something.”
“The City of Austin and the Equity Office are grateful for our partnership with UpTogether on guaranteed income and the opportunity to invest directly in Austinites facing housing insecurity. UpTogether’s model of seeing people for their strengths, not their deficits, sets the organization apart. We strongly believe this approach is disrupting the status quo and is helping create a more equitable city.”
Interim Chief Equity Officer, City of Austin