Payday Lending: A Short-Term Solution with Long-Term Problems
During the last five years, approximately 5.5 percent of adults have used a payday loan. These loans are often a short-term solution to cover recurring expenses but the resulting interest is exorbitant and leaves many individuals and families in long-term debt. Payday loan usage is most common among certain demographics such as renters, those earning less than $40,000 annually, African-Americans, and/or those with some college education or less. To read more, click here.
Metropolitan Poverty and Income Inequality Still Rising
Metropolitan poverty continues to increase but studies show that it is increasing at a lower rate each year with a 1.1 percent climb in 2011 compared to a 1.4 percent climb in 2010. Unfortunately, even with net job growth in these areas, unemployment remains high. Not only has poverty continued to increase, but income inequality continues to expanded as well. To read more, click here.
Rents Keep Rising While Homeownership is Still Not an Option for Many
New census data reveals that 20 million rental households spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Rental households have grown in size due to more families renting and the need for roommates to help with rental costs. Although many families would prefer to own homes, barriers—such as inability to qualify for a mortgage— currently prevent them from doing so. To read more, click here.
Disconnected Youth Will Face More Hardship in the Future
5.8 million Young people in the U.S. fit under the category of “disconnected youth” which refers to individuals aged 16 to 24 that neither work nor attend school. Rates of disconnected youth vary across race with African-American and Latino youth having the highest rates. Due to their current disconnection, these youth have less opportunities - particularly those of employment - available to them as they get older. To read more, click here.
Delaware Strengthens Resources to Fight Child Abuse
New legislation in Delaware aims to bolster resources to crack down on child abuse. Many instances of child abuse fall through cracks in the system especially in cases where the abuse occurs outside of the family. The new law requires that every case of child abuse reported to the state’s 24-hour abuse and neglected hotline be investigated. A new coordinator position was created to manage this expanded tracking effort. To read more, click here.
Addressing Child Welfare and Homeless Families
Homeless families make up more than one-third of overall homelessness in the U.S. These families face the dual problem of child welfare and poverty, which a new federal program hopes to address. This program, currently in the pilot stage, intends to reduce the number of children entering foster care in various parts of the country by providing free housing and caseworkers to homeless families. To read more, click here.
US Census Bureau Releases Report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Status in the US
Real household income declined for the second consecutive year, finds a new report from the US Census Bureau. However, both the percentage and number of people with health insurance increase between 2010 and 2011. View the entire report here.
Juvenile Recidivism a Growing Problem in Georgia
According to a study conducted by the Pew Center on the States, children and teens detained for breaking the law in Georgia are six percent more likely to re-offend now than they were in 2003. The commission that requested this report will review it and submit a proposal to the Georgia legislature at the end of the year with recommendations for substantial improvement in the state's juvenile justice system. To read more, click here.
Nearly 40 Percent Of Young Adults Identify As Lower-Class: Survey
Nearly 40 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 self-identify as lower class, a 14 percentage point boost since 2008, according to a new Pew survey. According to that self-definition, young adults became lower class at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the country over the past four years. Also, a great number of young people self identifying as lower class is disproportionately swelling the ranks of those who consider themselves poor. (Read More)
Earned Income Tax Credit: A Means to Reduce Poverty in the U.S.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the benefits of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income families have been substantial. Evidence shows that the EITC helps reduce poverty, encourage work, and provide a temporary safety net for families in need. There is also an important link between a family receiving the EITC and improvement of their children’s achievement in school. To read the full report, click here.
The Jobs Exist but Still not Enough Skilled Workers
With over 100,000 jobs remaining open due to a low supply of skilled workers, Ohio is placing more emphasis on workforce development. Various educational institutions in Ohio are collaborating with the governor’s office to create more programs that will offer career training for those who are unemployed and underemployed. City officials hope that focusing on workforce development will not only have an impact in the short term but also attract businesses to the state in the long term. To read more, click here.
Affordable Rental Housing Remains a Major Concern
The availability of affordable rental housing decreased substantially over the past 12 years. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and the MacArthur Foundation published a study examining this growing issue. They explain that even though there has been increased federal assistance in the form of tax credits and housing vouchers, it’s not enough. Since the 2009 recession hit, higher rental costs coupled with declining incomes and higher energy costs have made housing affordability an even greater problem for an even greater number of people. To view the full report, click here.
New Maryland Initiative to Support Foster Care Youth
The Maryland Department of Human Resources is taking new steps to support young people as they transition from the foster care system into adulthood. As they get closer to “aging out” of foster care, these youth often receive very little guidance about how to manage their future and some even end up homeless within 18 months of leaving the system. Maryland hopes that by providing more resources like human support, job training, and financial literacy courses, it will better prepare foster youth for this difficult transition. To read more, click here.
International Competitiveness: A Comparison of Competitiveness and Wealth
The United States, which has dropped in the rankings for four years in a row, is now seventh. (
Support is Lacking for Youth Leaving the Foster Care System
The situation of youth exiting the foster care system is dire. There are still significant numbers who fail to complete high school, do not find employment by age 21, and/or have chronic medical problems after "aging out" of the system. In many cases, more support is needed both while youth are in the foster care system and after they leave to guide them into adulthood. More information can be found here.