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2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services
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2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services

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Presented by Sharon McDonald …

Presented by Sharon McDonald

2.4: Growing Resources: Connecting Families to Benefits and Services

The process of accessing public benefits and services can be a challenge for both caseworkers and families. Presenters in this workshop will discuss ways to better advocate for families experiencing homelessness, including ways to implement the SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery Initiative (SOAR), leverage TANF benefits, and more.

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Transcript

  • 1. Connecting Families with Benefits: Temporary Assistance to Needy Families Sharon McDonald February 10, 2011
  • 2. Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
    • Block grant program – created 1996, funding has declined in value due to inflation
    • Purposes:
      • Provide assistance to needy families so children can be cared for in own home
      • Help families achieve self-sufficiency
      • Promote marriage
      • Prevent out of wedlock births
  • 3. How is TANF used?
    • Cash Assistance to low-income families
    • Work supports (child care/transportation)
    • Employment Activities
      • Subsidized employment, transitional jobs, job training, vocational rehabilitation
    • Emergency Assistance
      • Eviction prevention, rapid re-housing
      • Motel vouchers, support to shelters
    • Housing assistance (rental assistance)
    • Case management
  • 4. Cash Assistance
    • Less than 40 percent of income eligible families receive TANF cash assistance
    • HUD data indicates that less than 20 percent of families entering/exiting transitional housing have TANF benefits – a higher number report no income
  • 5. Barriers to Accessing/Maintaining TANF Cash Assistance
    • Application hurdles (upfront requirements before enrollment)
    • Taxing requirements to maintain benefits (work participation requirements)
    • Sanctions
    • Time limits
    • Stigma
    • Low benefit levels
    • Macro-level: Pressure/incentive on states to reduce caseloads not enroll eligible families
  • 6. Overcoming Barriers to Cash Assistance
    • Outreach and engagement strategies
      • Food stamp rolls
      • Shelter applications
    • Streamlining applications for assistance
      • Cincinnati
    • In depth assessments (looking for “red flags”)
      • Minnesota
    • Sanction reconciliation efforts
      • Pennsylvania
    • Exemptions to time limits
  • 7. Improving Emergency Assistance Programs
    • Explore/evaluate what your local welfare agency currently offers
      • Outdated program restrictions?
      • Inefficient use of resources?
      • Uneven access to program resources (requires “lucking” into informed caseworker)
    • Solve their problems/Increase efficiency
      • Alameda – homeless programs distribute funds
      • Mercer – evaluated spending, proposed alternatives
      • Salt Lake City – propose pilots
  • 8. Employment Assistance
    • Become informed re: the innovations in the field to help low income parents find employment
      • Subsidized and transitional jobs
      • Job development activities
      • Partnering at “front door”
      • Marrying education/community college
    • Assess whether your community is supporting innovative practices and whether your clients are receiving them.
  • 9. Advocacy Efforts Required
    • Develop relationships with key TANF officials
    • EDUCATE!!!!!
    • Collect and regularly report data to state and local officials that demonstrate the overlap (or lack thereof) between homeless families and TANF-eligible/current recipients to facilitate buy-in
    • Option A: Promote barrier reducing activities for families receiving assistance from homelessness programs
    • Option B: Promote barrier reducing activities for ALL eligible families
    • Partner with state/local welfare advocacy organizations
    • Become engaged in federal welfare advocacy efforts
  • 10. Questions?
    • Sharon McDonald
    • National Alliance to End Homelessness
    • (202) 942-8253
    • [email_address]

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