21,000 Detroiters losing welfare benefits

Roughly 1 in 10 children in parts of Detroit and Flint will lose welfare benefits Saturday, when cash benefits for families who’ve been on welfare 48 months or longer are cut off. Sept. 30, 2011 — The Detroit News

DHS To Implement Asset Test For Food Assistance Applicants

The Department of Human Services announced they’ll be implementing an asset review for those on food assistance that considers more than an applicant’s income.

The Michigan League for Human Services thinks this will only hurt the economy more. DHS officials say this new policy is needed. Sept. 19, 2011 — WLNS.com

New food asset test bucks the trend

Contact: Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436
Sept. 28, 2011
New policy puts seniors, kids, tax dollars at risk

A coalition of policy groups today called for Gov. Rick Snyder to reverse a new $5,000 limit on assets for the Food Assistance Program. The asset test is set to take effect Saturday.

The groups sent a letter, signed by 115 organizations – including emergency food providers, statewide policy groups and others – protesting the asset test that puts seniors, kids, families and state tax dollars at risk. The $5,000 includes cash, some savings, and the total value of vehicles with the first $15,000 exempted. (more…)

Michigan does well on child health insurance

Grim news out recently from Kids Count finds that of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Detroit has the largest share of children living in poverty or in low-income families. Four out of every five children in Detroit live in households earning less than 200 percent of the poverty level. That’s the amount most studies show is needed to cover basic needs.

Other recent census data do show some good news for children in the state. (more…)

How 15,000 lost a lottery they didn’t even play

Did one man’s luck turn into a financial catastrophe for Michigan’s poor? Sept. 27, 2011 — Bridge

Poverty in Michigan

A lot of people are worried about what’s been going on in the stock market. I guess I should be, too.  To the extent I have any retirement savings, they are tied up in stock-heavy mutual funds. Sept. 23, 2011 — Michigan Radio

Michigan’s poverty rate rises to 16.8%

More Michigan residents are living in poverty as the state works to free itself from the lingering effects of the nation’s recession, according to new census data released Thursday. Sept. 23, 2011 — Lansing State Journal

Plank-walking the poor

I have spent the last few days immersed in the reality that many of our Michigan families are going to be hurt by the pending cash assistance cutoffs. It feels like they are being walked down a plank blind-folded.

While in the Metro Detroit area, I attended a meeting with human service agencies that are being slammed with this onslaught of changes that Michigan’s governor and policymakers are implementing with flagrant disregard for the harm this will cause our children. There seems to be a disconnect with what’s on paper and the actuality families are facing. (more…)

Poverty rate jumps 20% since 2007

Sept. 22, 2011
Contact Judy Putnam at (517) 487-5436

One in four kids in poverty in Michigan, census shows
New data points to need for a balanced approach

Nearly 2 million people in Michigan lived in poverty in 2010, with the poverty rate jumping 20 percent since the country slid into the Great Recession, new census data released today shows.

Overall, 16.8 percent in Michigan lived in poverty last year, up from 14 percent in 2007 before the latest recession. African Americans in Michigan experienced double the poverty rate with 33.9 percent living in poverty last year. (more…)

More in Michigan fall into poverty

Just as the nation was declaring the recession officially over last year, the landscape in Michigan was far from rosy: The poverty rate in 2010 was its highest in at least four decades, and incomes continued to fall as the economic shift away from manufacturing continued, new census data released this morning shows. Sept. 22, 2011 — The Detroit News

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