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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Culhane, Dennis P.; Koblinsky, Sally A.; Wilson, Cynthia P.; Weinreb, Jenni
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1996

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families...

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families. Most require assistance and opportunities in areas at least as comprehensive as the issues that caused their homelessness in the first place. Areas of need include financial planning, substance abuse counseling, further education, parenting classes, mental health counseling, and treatment for chronic illnesses (including HIV/AIDS), among a host of others.
    4. For homeless families to improve their circumstances, their children must be able to remain in school and receive services necessary to address the developmental challenges that are likely to arise as a result of their homelessness. Without addressing the specific needs of homeless children, particularly those needs related to their homelessness, the long-term prospects for a family’s well-being may be greatly compromised. (author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Freedman, Stephen; Friedlander, Daniel; Lin, Winston; Schweder, Amanda
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    The paper summarizes the latest finding on the effectiveness of California’s Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Program, a statewide initiative aimed at increasing the employment and self-sufficiency of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the nation's major case welfare program. GAIN’s effects are estimated for a sample of 33,000 persons from six counties — including single parents (AFDC-FGs) and unemployed heads of two-parent households (AFDC-Us) — who entered the program between early 1988 and mid-1990. Each sample member was then assigned at random to either an experimental group, who were required to participate in GAIN, or to a control group who were precluded from the program but could seek other services in their community. The paper compares average earnings and AFDC payments for each group over a five-year follow-up, beginning with the first quarter after random assignment (i.e., from quarters 2 through 21). Differences in average earnings and AFDC payments for each group represent the effects, or impacts, of GAIN.

    The paper and...

    The paper summarizes the latest finding on the effectiveness of California’s Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) Program, a statewide initiative aimed at increasing the employment and self-sufficiency of recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the nation's major case welfare program. GAIN’s effects are estimated for a sample of 33,000 persons from six counties — including single parents (AFDC-FGs) and unemployed heads of two-parent households (AFDC-Us) — who entered the program between early 1988 and mid-1990. Each sample member was then assigned at random to either an experimental group, who were required to participate in GAIN, or to a control group who were precluded from the program but could seek other services in their community. The paper compares average earnings and AFDC payments for each group over a five-year follow-up, beginning with the first quarter after random assignment (i.e., from quarters 2 through 21). Differences in average earnings and AFDC payments for each group represent the effects, or impacts, of GAIN.

    The paper and attached tables and graphs add two years of follow-up to the impact results in Riccio, Friedlander, and Freedman (1994). Among the most noteworthy findings of this paper is that earning gains continued through year five for both assistance groups. GAIN also continued to produce savings in AFDC payments, but only for AFDC-FGs. Such persistence in program effects is unusual for a welfare-to-work initiative and represents a significant achievement for the GAIN program. On the other hand, only about 4 in 10 experimental group members in either assistance group worked for pay during the final year of follow-up; and a relatively large percentage (nearly 40 percent of AFDC-FGs and close to half of AFDC-Us) were receiving AFDC payment at the end of year five. These results indicate that future improvements in the program effectiveness will depend in part on success in helping these long-term AFDC recipients find stable employment. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Mason, Patrick L.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

    This literature review gathers evidence on the relationship between African American male economic potential in the formal sector of the economy and transitions in African American family structure and marital stability. This review also provides insight into the crime, unemployment, family structure, and race debate. Competing theoretical explanations of transitions in family structure and marital stability are examined. Specifically, we compare the "African American structural model" with the "new household economics" and the sociological tradition that alleges that African American family life is pathological. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Herr, Toby; Wagner, Suzanne L. ; Halpern, Robert
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 1996

    Combining research, theory, and best practice, this monograph provides a blueprint for a flexible welfare-to-work system that benefits all types of welfare recipients—from those who are working to those who need to develop the most basic skills and behaviors to succeed on the job. The authors take TANF's work requirements and time limit into account in their discussion. (author abstract)

    Combining research, theory, and best practice, this monograph provides a blueprint for a flexible welfare-to-work system that benefits all types of welfare recipients—from those who are working to those who need to develop the most basic skills and behaviors to succeed on the job. The authors take TANF's work requirements and time limit into account in their discussion. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Grubb, W. Norton
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1996

    Over the past three decades, job training programs have proliferated in response to mounting problems of unemployment, poverty, and expanding welfare rolls. These programs and the institutions that administer them have grown to a number and complexity that make it increasingly difficult for policymakers to interpret their effectiveness. Learning to Work offers a comprehensive assessment of efforts to move individuals into the workforce, and explains why their success has been limited.

    Learning to Work offers a complete history of job training in the United States, beginning with the Department of Labor's manpower development programs in the 1960s and detailing the expansion of services through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act in the 1970s and the Job Training Partnership Act in the 1980s. Other programs have sprung from the welfare system or were designed to meet the needs of various state and corporate development initiatives. The result is a complex mosaic of welfare-to-work, second-chance training, and experimental programs, all with their own goals,...

    Over the past three decades, job training programs have proliferated in response to mounting problems of unemployment, poverty, and expanding welfare rolls. These programs and the institutions that administer them have grown to a number and complexity that make it increasingly difficult for policymakers to interpret their effectiveness. Learning to Work offers a comprehensive assessment of efforts to move individuals into the workforce, and explains why their success has been limited.

    Learning to Work offers a complete history of job training in the United States, beginning with the Department of Labor's manpower development programs in the 1960s and detailing the expansion of services through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act in the 1970s and the Job Training Partnership Act in the 1980s. Other programs have sprung from the welfare system or were designed to meet the needs of various state and corporate development initiatives. The result is a complex mosaic of welfare-to-work, second-chance training, and experimental programs, all with their own goals, methodology, institutional administration, and funding.

    Learning to Work examines the findings of the most recent and sophisticated job training evaluations and what they reveal for each type of program. Which agendas prove most effective? Do their effects last over time? How well do programs benefit various populations, from welfare recipients to youths to displaced employees in need of retraining? The results are not encouraging. Many programs increase employment and reduce welfare dependence, but by meager increments, and the results are often temporary. On average most programs boosted earnings by only $200 to $500 per year, and even these small effects tended to decay after four or five years. Overall, job training programs moved very few individuals permanently off welfare, and provided no entry into a middle-class occupation or income.

    Learning to Work provides possible explanations for these poor results, citing the limited scope of individual programs, their lack of linkages to other programs or job-related opportunities, the absence of academic content or solid instructional methods, and their vulnerability to local political interference. Author Norton Grubb traces the root of these problems to the inherent separation of job training programs from the more successful educational system. He proposes consolidating the two domains into a clearly defined hierarchy of programs that combine school- and work-based instruction and employ proven methods of student-centered, project-based teaching. By linking programs tailored to every level of need and replacing short-term job training with long-term education, a system could be created to enable individuals to achieve increasing levels of economic success.

    The problems that job training programs address are too serious too ignore. Learning to Work tells us what's wrong with job training today, and offers a practical vision for reform. (author abstract)

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