Keeping Dreams Alive: The Lane-Changer Costs of Financial Disruptions

This brief examines how families navigate potentially lane-changing life events like unemployment, and looks at the race and class implications of the unequal costs from such events. It explores how a family’s ability to limit the consequences of such an event is mitigated by its own access to resources. These resources include personal wealth, extended family wealth, and institutional resources such as unemployment insurance and food stamps. Since financial potholes are common key policy interventions are needed to build family
resiliency, strengthen institutional supports, and keep opportunities alive in the face of life events.

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