Poverty

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Most people in Florida who get food stamps are required to work in order to keep them.

A bill (HB 23) that’s slated to be heard by the full state House of Representatives would increase the penalties if people fail to meet those requirements. A now-competing bill in the state Senate would strike these penalties.

Advocates for the poor say the budget plan the Trump administration rolled out on Thursday would be a kick in the shins for low-income Americans.

Sheryl Braxton, who relies on public housing, explained at a hearing in New York City this week that her community needs reinvestment, not less funding.

For several years, Oxfam International has released an annual report on global wealth inequity. The numbers were startling: In the 2016 report, Oxfam said the world's richest 62 people owned as much wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion.

Diario El Mundo/flickr

 

Florida is among the worst states for women living in poverty. A report out this month by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) and the Florida Women’s Funding Alliance finds 41.5 percent of single women with children are in poverty in our state.

 

Institute for Women's Policy Research

Rural north Florida counties and parts of south Florida are home to the highest rates of women living in poverty according to a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

The group found that more than twenty-five percent of women live in poverty in Gilchrist, DeSoto, Hamilton, Alachua, and Hardee counties and that the rate is also high for women in Miami-Dade county.

In the quest to help the poor, it's difficult to know whose needs are the greatest. Without clear data, it's tough to know who to help first.

The traditional way to look for the poorest of the poor is with household surveys. That's the primary source of data for policy decisions, but it has drawbacks.

Twenty years ago, welfare as Americans knew it ended.

President Bill Clinton signed a welfare overhaul bill that limited benefits and encouraged poor people to find jobs.

"We're going to make it all new again, and see if we can't create a system of incentives which reinforce work and family and independence," Clinton said at a White House bill signing ceremony.

The goals were admirable: help poor families get into the workforce so they'd no longer need government aid. They'd get job training and support, such as help with child care.

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How much can Florida’s minimum wage actually buy? Well, not a whole lot, apparently. And making that wage will not carry a person out of poverty, according to new study from the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University.

The study modeled what families have to pay for when parents work—child care, transportation, taxes—and compared those expenses to increases in earnings as parents work more hours.

According to a new report, children's health in Florida has improved overall, but is still lagging behind when compared to other states.

According the latest Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Florida has slipped three places in overall child well-being, to 40th place from 37th last year.

  

For many students in Florida, summer vacation means finally getting out of the classroom and away from tests and homework.  But for some, the Summer also means figuring out where the next meal will come from. Now there are efforts underway to address hunger in North Florida—especially at times when a major food program—the school—is no longer in session. 

FIU Metropolitan Center

  Poverty is up in Miami-Dade County and wages are about the same as they were back in 2010 when adjusted for inflation.

Those are just a few of the findings of a new comprehensive study of prosperity in the county coming out Wednesday from the Florida International University Metropolitan Center that paints a picture of the region that in many ways looks worse than during the height of the last recession.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

For the past year, Lucy Perry and her longtime boyfriend William Royal have lived beneath a traffic sign on the sidewalk along Southwest Second Street under I-95. With about four dozen other homeless people, they wait for a church group to come by and hand out styrofoam containers of food.

 

Perry, Royal and many others out on the street are among the 350,000 people who lost their food stamps this year because of new state rules that adults without children who can work must work in order to get the monthly assistance.

 

Florida Keys Outreach Coalition

  This year, 78 people will be memorialized at two services marking Homeless Persons' Memorial Day in the Florida Keys.

That's up from 54 last year. Stephanie Kaple, chief operating officer of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, said many factors contribute to the increase.

"I think that what this shows is probably our economic recovery is not as strong as we think it is," she said.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The debate over raising the minimum wage is not a fight being waged so much on the federal level. It's a series of battles being waged in cities and states all across the country. 

In Florida the current minimum wage is $8.05 per hour. But there's a movement, led by Democrats, trying to change that to something they believe is more livable. They believe it should be $15 an hour. 

Nadege Green / WLRN

Residents of the Little Farm trailer park filed into El Portal Village Hall for a meeting Monday on how to find affordable housing options and other resources to move out.

The trailer park was sold earlier this year to Wealthy Delight’s LLC, a Coral Gables-based company. The new landowner gave residents a February deadline to leave the property.

Yolande Dorce, a 30-year resident of the trailer park, said she pays $450 a month to lease the land. She owns her trailer outright, but it can’t be moved and will likely be demolished.

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