To help individuals successfully reenter society after time in jail, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) awarded $10 million in grants to 20 local workforce development boards (LWDBs) in June 2015 for the Linking to Employment Activities PreRelease (LEAP) initiative. Central to the LEAP initiative was creating jail-based American Job Centers (AJCs) with direct linkages to community-based AJCs.
Poverty levels in the Springfield/Greene County/Ozarks area have risen despite substantial increases in allocated funds for resources and programs aimed at addressing the challenges families in poverty encounter. A qualitative study was conducted to identify social service providers’ subjective perceptions of poverty, clients, organizations, and policies. Major themes included stagnation; God and poverty; poverty as mental, psychological, and social disease; and poverty as mind-set.
A half century ago, Massachusetts was one of the country’s most egalitarian states. Today it has one of the most unequal income distributions. As income inequality has grown, so too has the degree of income segregation in regions across the state.
In 2006, the Community Affairs Offices of the Federal Reserve System partnered with the Brookings Institution to examine the issue of concentrated poverty. The resulting report, The Enduring Challenge of Concentrated Poverty in America: Case Studies from Communities Across the U.S., profiles 16 high-poverty communities from across the country, including immigrant gateway, Native American, urban, and rural communities.
An unusual multisector collaboration is focused on providing job training and employment for the unemployed and underemployed in Springfield, Massachusetts. In the fall of 2013, the Wellspring Upholstery Cooperative (WUC) opened in Springfield, Massachusetts. It was the first of a planned network of worker-owned companies developed by the Wellspring Collaborative to provide entry-level jobs for some of the hardest-to-employ residents in the area.
Parents’ Fair Share (PFS) research on child support enforcement has several goals. First, it seeks to provide insights into the interaction between local child support enforcement systems and noncustodial parents whose children are on welfare. The approach taken in this report is to analyze what happened when the seven sites in the PFS Demonstration sought to identify low-income, unemployed noncustodial parents appropriate for PFS and refer them to the program. The report carries this story up to the point of referral of appropriate noncustodial parents to the program.
Fathers provide important financial and emotional support to their children. Yet low-income noncustodial fathers, with low wages and high rates of joblessness, often do not fulfill their parenting roles. The child support system has not traditionally helped these men to do so, since its focus has been on securing financial support from fathers who can afford to pay. Meanwhile, fathers who cannot pay child support accumulate debts that can lead them to evade the system and its penalties altogether - and further limit their contact with their children.