Government safety net programs aim to protect families during tough times—before they fall into poverty. But rising unemployment, foreclosures, and economic distress are putting pressure on a system already in need of updates and repairs.
Urban Institute experts, building on decades of welfare reform research, evaluated public safety nets and proposed new initiatives to bolster work supports and help families gain a stable financial footing. Read more.
April is the most important month of the year for individuals who owe federal and state income taxes and for governments that rely on income taxes as a major source of revenue. Because personal income tax receipts account for about 45 percent of federal government receipts and more than 33 percent of state tax revenue, what happens in April has a major impact on these governments’ fiscal positions and their ability to provide services through the end of the year. While the final payments are always a surprise, the past two Aprils produced even larger surprises than usual. A confluence of events in 2012 compounded the normal uncertainty in 2013 and 2014. This brief examines how timing of events like the fiscal cliff affects state budget outlooks and how state economists grapple with uncertain federal policy affecting income tax revenue.
In this testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Greg Mills presents research findings on participant churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) including the rates, causes and costs of participant churn in SNAP, which occurs when households receiving SNAP exit the program and then re-enter within several months. Findings include that churn rates across the six states that were studied range from 17 to 28 percent for FY 2011 and that the causes of churn are due primarily to procedural difficulties experienced by participants rather than fluctuations in the earnings of SNAP recipients.
Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.
Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This report summarizes Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.