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California's First Lady Helping People Connect With Money

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First Lady Maria Shriver has launched an online program aimed at helping "put more money in Californians' pockets," cbs2.com reports. The WE Connect campaign is described as "a pioneering public/private partnership designed to help California’s working families become more financially secure by connecting them to important programs and resources." There are many programs that have funding that is going unused because many people don't know how to properly tap into them--programs like WIC, food stamps, Lifeline phone service, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Currently, more people are receiving aid in LA County than any other county in the nation, and those numbers are expected to grow.

Information about services is being made more readily available via the internet, where Shriver has launched WeConnect.net. The site "serves as a one-stop-shop connecting Californians to programs and services for which they may be eligible. The website is just one facet of the program:

Using all available channels, this campaign will reach out to the 600,000 families eligible in California who currently do not file for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and connect them with other key programs and services. The campaign is partnering with community organizations, statewide programs and major corporations to reach working families where they shop, eat, work, live and learn.

WE Connect will also host community events aimed at giving residents hands-on help in getting assistance, continue to reach out to people through their places of worship, as well as where they work. Shriver hopes the program will help Californians "take full advantage of these valuable resources, empowering them to live their dreams."