Poverty

Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

South Florida’s Working Poor: The Struggle for Basic Needs

The Miami Marlins 1,000 Thanksgiving meal distribution is underway at Marlins Park. Big shout out to Pincho Factory for donating the cranberry sauce and stuffing, and to Publix for helping with the turkeys.
www.facebook.com/FeedingSFL

11/25/14 - Today’s Topical Currents examines studies of South Florida’s “working poor.”  Having a job doesn’t preclude a lack of sustenance. Only 1% of those who get food assistance are unemployed.  Seniors often face a choice of paying utilities and rent . . . or going hungry. We’ll learn more about the efforts with guests: United Way of Miami-Dade Sr. Dir.

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Wages
2:28 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

In Florida, Labor Not Doing Well This Labor Day

Credit Flickr / elycefeliz

Labor Day was created to celebrate the country’s labor movement and its social and economic achievements, but a new study from FIU’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy (RISEP) may dampen some of this year’s celebration.

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Food Banks
12:18 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Local Food Distrubutor Gets Funding Increase

Homestead-based Farm Share received an extra $500,000 this year to go towards food transportation.
Credit Creative Commons

A Homestead-based food-assistance program called Farm Share received a $1.5 million check last week. State Rep. Kionne McGhee delivered the money, which was allocated in this year’s state budget. This is a $500,000 increase from last year’s state contribution.

Farm Share uses inmate and volunteer labor to sort, package and deliver food to churches, soup kitchens or other organizations across the state that use and distribute food to those in need. It provides the food for free, unlike many other food distribution organizations.

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Living
11:41 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Florida Gets Big Food Stamp Bonus

Florida will get a big bonus for accurately administering it's food assistance program.
Credit Creative Commons / Flickr user Clementine Gallot

Florida is getting a big bonus this year. The Federal Department of Agriculture is rewarding the state $7 million for being efficient and accurate when it comes to giving out food stamps to families.

At 0.81 percent error rate, the state ranks the second most accurate in the country. That means families don’t get more, or less, help than they qualify for.

The bonus won’t mean more money in the pockets of families, but it will help streamline the process for future need.

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Services
5:09 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Should Lawyers Pay More Dues To Help The Poor Get Legal Aid?

The question of how the state funds legal services for the poor is coming to a head as one loose coalition asks for lawyers to pitch in more.
Credit Creative Commons

If you walk into Legal Services of Greater Miami on any given weekday morning, there are rows of plastic chairs filled with people looking for help with legal issues. Over the past couple of years, though, it’s been the various legal service and aid providers themselves that have needed help -- financial help.

To make up for significant loss of funding in recent years, Florida Legal Services, the umbrella organization, is floating an idea to get more money. Through the Florida Supreme Court, it will ask the Florida Bar to up its dues -- to have lawyers pitch in more.

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Housing
4:39 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

New West Grove Development Offers Affordable Housing To Elderly

Gibson Plaza broke ground Monday with a big celebration.
Credit Wilson Sayre

Surrounded by a backhoe and excavators, more than 250 people celebrated the groundbreaking of a new housing development project in Miami’s West Grove neighborhood Monday morning.

Gibson Plaza is designed to be a mixed-use, mixed-income housing development offering affordable housing to the elderly. This development is the first project of its kind in over 50 years.

The project is a product of a public-private partnership between Miami-Dade County, two development groups, a private foundation, and Miami-Dade College.

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Sea-Level Rise
10:40 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Why Sea-Level Rise Might Hurt Poor Neighborhoods More Than Coastal Areas

Some lower-income neighborhoods may be more vulnerable to the impacts of rising seas than coastal areas.
Credit Keren Bolter

Keren Bolter is a doctoral student of geosciences at Florida Atlantic University researching what areas in South Florida are particularly threatened by rising seas. She says all methods of analysis for the risks of sea-level rise only focus on financial vulnerability -- ranking Fort Lauderdale Beach and Miami Beach as high-risk -- but to her, that's not the whole story.

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Urban Planning
8:35 am
Tue April 1, 2014

West Grove Trolley Garage Unearths Vulnerabilities Of Low-Income Neighborhoods

West Grove resident Dorothy Henry's house backs up against the trolley garage property.
Arianna ProtheroWLRN

Miami’s West Grove residents, unhappy a trolley garage servicing Coral Gables was built in their neighborhood, may soon be able to claim a small victory. After a series of legal battles including a civil-rights investigation, Coral Gables and the garage's developer are now looking to pull out of the West Grove.

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Building Code
4:45 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

North Miami Bands Together For Housing Sweeps

North Miami is hoping its new team's "building inspection sweeps" will streamline code enforcement.
Credit City of North Miami

The North Miami Police Department, code enforcement teams and even parks and recreation are joining forces in what are being called “building inspection sweeps.” The city says going in together as a team helps streamline code enforcement.

Three months ago, the roof of an apartment building in North Miami collapsed, displacing over 250 people from their homes. Though that was not the impetus for creating this coalition, city representatives said they learned from the accident.

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Living
3:45 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Miami's Poor Not So Segregated

Miami turns out to be one of the least segregated metro areas in the country.
Credit Illustration: Wilson Sayre, Photo: Flickr user Quinn Dombrowski

Out of 51 large metro areas examined by The Atlantic Cities, Miami ranks 46th most segregated  by poverty. In other words, the city made the study's "least segregated" list.

The Atlantic Cities looked at 2010 Census data to determine if the poor were concentrated in pockets or sprinkled around a city. The study mentioned Miami's abundance of service-industry jobs as a possible explanation for the level of segregation of the poor.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Eliminating Chronic Homelessness in Miami by 2015?

Phillip Pessar/Flickr

02/27/14 - Thursday's Topical Currents begins with an update on the plight of the homeless in Miami–Dade.  The federal Department of Health and Urban Development (HUD) have mandated that funded agencies eliminate chronic homelessness in 2015.  Is it possible?  We’ll speak with two board members of the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.  And more . . .

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StateImpact Florida
7:48 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Core Questions: How Does Common Core Address Poverty?

Experts say they've seen a positive effect in school using Common Core standards. But critics believe the standards are a distraction from the real issues with schools.

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 11:27 am

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How Much Is Enough?
12:50 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Here's What It Takes To Make Ends Meet In South Florida

Should the contents of this, or similar, grocery carts be used to determine the poverty line?
Credit Wilson Sayre

According to the federal government, "enough" is a simple, five-figure amount: $23,850. That's the poverty line. It marks a distinction between who is poor and who is not, who doesn’t have enough money to make ends meet and who does.

But over the past month, I've asked you to tell me what you think it really takes to live in South Florida. Your answers averaged about $47,600 a year -- almost exactly twice the federal poverty level.

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Farm Bill
7:09 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Food Stamp Cuts Won't Hurt South Florida Too Badly

One of the first U.S. food stamps.
Credit Library of Congress

The U.S. House of Representative voted Wednesday to approve a new farm bill after a two-year standoff. It cuts $8 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, but the brunt of those cuts won’t be felt in South Florida.

The food stamp program accounts for almost 80 percent of the current farm bill. With pressure to reduce spending, it was inevitable that the program would be scaled back.

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How Much Is Enough?
8:24 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Pay For Pretty Peppers -- Farmers Will Donate The Ugly Ones

For lower-income families, fresh produce can be prohibitively expensive.
Credit Wilson Sayre

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in seven South Floridians can't afford the food they need to stay healthy.

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