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2, 1998 3:07 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Children's Defense Fund
Sarah Howe of Children's Defense Fund, 202-662-3609
|CDF and National Coalition for Homeless: After Welfare, Many Families Are Worse|
- December 2 -
The Children's Defense Fund and the National Coalition for the Homeless today
released a joint report showing that despite drops in welfare caseloads across
the country, up to half of the families leaving welfare rolls don't have
Among recipients who do find jobs, 71 percent earn less than $250 per week, less
than the poverty level for a family of three.
The report, Welfare to What: Early Findings on Family Hardship and Well-Being, is a compilation of over 30 state and local studies, plus recent local findings, and a new analysis of the latest national Census Bureau data. It is the most comprehensive look to date at the well-being of the over 3.8 million parents and children leaving welfare since the signing of the 1996 welfare law.
"We must face the fact that families with extremely low wages do not earn enough to raise their children out of poverty. Without help like child care, transportation, training, and wage supplements, families are one crisis away from joblessness or hunger," said CDF Family Income Division Director Deborah Weinstein.
According to Mary Ann Gleason, Executive Director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, "Families moving from welfare to unstable and inadequately paid jobs need far more support if they are to succeed. States also must stop driving families off the rolls when there are no jobs available for them.
These measures will become all the more urgent when federal time limits and the next economic recession take hold." Gleason added, "In many cities, easily one in 10 families in homeless shelters say they are there because of welfare cuts."
The report finds that
However, the report finds that some states and communities have created innovative and supportive programs to help families find stable above-poverty employment. These include:
"Why can't other states replicate these programs? They work,"said CDF's Weinstein.
The report outlines a series of federal, state and community recommendations, including:
The mission of the Children's Defense Fund is to Leave No Child Behind and to ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families and communities.
The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national advocacy network of homeless people, activists, service providers, and others committed to ending homelessness.
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