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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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The SSRC Library collection is constantly growing and new research is added regularly. We welcome our users to submit a library item to help us grow our collection in response to your needs.


  • Individual Author: Rynell, Amy; Tuttle, Samantha; Buitrago, Katie
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes forgetting the solutions right could not be higher. Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty. Furthermore, trauma can result from both violence and poverty. Unaddressed trauma worsens quality of life, makes it hard to rise out of poverty by posing barriers to success at school and work, and raises the likelihood of...

    Chicago is currently facing a devastating surge in lethal violence in addition to staggering rates of poverty across Illinois. Policymakers and community leaders are struggling with finding short- and long-term solutions to stem the violence and allow neighborhoods to heal. In the meantime, communities are fearing for their own safety and grieving over lost parents, children, friends, and leaders every day. The stakes forgetting the solutions right could not be higher. Poverty and violence often intersect, feed one another, and share root causes. Neighborhoods with high levels of violence are also characterized by high levels of poverty, lack of adequate public services and educational opportunity, poorer health outcomes, asset and income inequality, and more. The underlying socioeconomic conditions in these neighborhoods perpetuate both violence and poverty. Furthermore, trauma can result from both violence and poverty. Unaddressed trauma worsens quality of life, makes it hard to rise out of poverty by posing barriers to success at school and work, and raises the likelihood of aggressive behavior. In this way, untreated trauma—coupled with easy gun availability and other factors—feeds the cycle of poverty and violence. (Author desription)

  • Individual Author: Moffitt, Robert A.; Ribar, David C.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2016

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across...

    A long literature in economics concerns itself with differential allocations of resources to different children within the family unit. In a study of approximately 1,500 very disadvantaged families with children in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio from 1999 to 2005, significant differences in levels of food allocation, as measured by an indicator of food “insecurity,” are found across children of different ages and genders. Using answers to unique survey questions for a specific child in the family, food insecurity levels are found to be much higher among older boys and girls than among younger ones, and to be sometimes higher among older boys than among older girls. Differential allocations are strongly correlated with the dietary and nutritional needs of the child. However, the differences in allocation appear only in the poorest families with the lowest levels of money income and family resources in general, and most differences disappear in significance or are greatly reduced in magnitude when resources rise to only modest levels. Differences in food insecurity across different types of children therefore appear to be a problem primarily only among the worst-off families. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roth, Benjamin J.; Gonzales, Roberto G.; Lesniewski, Jacob
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2015

    Just as more poor people in America now live in suburbs than in primary cities, immigrants are more likely to live in suburbs than in the urban core. This study examines the nonprofit safety net in select Chicago suburban municipalities to assess the capacity and accessibility of these service providers relative to the location and need of low-income immigrants. We identify differences between immigrant service providers and mainstream organizations, particularly their willingness and ability to reach out to and serve immigrants and to analyze their role as mediating institutions. (Author abstract)

    Just as more poor people in America now live in suburbs than in primary cities, immigrants are more likely to live in suburbs than in the urban core. This study examines the nonprofit safety net in select Chicago suburban municipalities to assess the capacity and accessibility of these service providers relative to the location and need of low-income immigrants. We identify differences between immigrant service providers and mainstream organizations, particularly their willingness and ability to reach out to and serve immigrants and to analyze their role as mediating institutions. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Gennetian, Lisa A.; Ludwig, Jens; McDade, Thomas; Sanbonmatsu, Lisa
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2013

    In 1987 sociologist William Julius Wilson published his influential book The Truly Disadvantaged, which argued that the growing geographic concentration of poor minority families in urban areas contributed to high rates of crime, out-of-wedlock births, female-headed families, and welfare dependency. The exodus of black working- and middle-class families during the 1960s and 1970s from inner-city areas had adverse effects on the poor families left behind in high-poverty areas, Wilson suggested, by eliminating a “social buffer” that helped “keep alive the perception that education is meaningful, that steady employment is a viable alternative to welfare, and that family stability is the norm, not the exception” (p. 49). Our research on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized mobility experiment raises questions about whether Wilson was right about the effects of concentrated poverty on the earnings, welfare receipt, or schooling outcomes of low-income families living in such areas. But MTO suggests concentrated poverty does...

    In 1987 sociologist William Julius Wilson published his influential book The Truly Disadvantaged, which argued that the growing geographic concentration of poor minority families in urban areas contributed to high rates of crime, out-of-wedlock births, female-headed families, and welfare dependency. The exodus of black working- and middle-class families during the 1960s and 1970s from inner-city areas had adverse effects on the poor families left behind in high-poverty areas, Wilson suggested, by eliminating a “social buffer” that helped “keep alive the perception that education is meaningful, that steady employment is a viable alternative to welfare, and that family stability is the norm, not the exception” (p. 49). Our research on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Moving to Opportunity (MTO) randomized mobility experiment raises questions about whether Wilson was right about the effects of concentrated poverty on the earnings, welfare receipt, or schooling outcomes of low-income families living in such areas. But MTO suggests concentrated poverty does have extremely important impacts on outcomes not emphasized so much by Wilson – such as physical and mental health. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Jacobs, Erin
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2012

    More than 1.6 million people are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, and around 700,000 are released from prison each year. Those released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they seek to reintegrate into their communities, and rates of recidivism are high. Many experts believe that stable employment is critical to a successful transition from prison to the community.

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, tested employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC led the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focused on transitional jobs programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had...

    More than 1.6 million people are incarcerated in prisons in the United States, and around 700,000 are released from prison each year. Those released from prison often face daunting obstacles as they seek to reintegrate into their communities, and rates of recidivism are high. Many experts believe that stable employment is critical to a successful transition from prison to the community.

    The Joyce Foundation’s Transitional Jobs Reentry Demonstration (TJRD), also funded by the JEHT Foundation and the U.S. Department of Labor, tested employment programs for former prisoners in Chicago, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul, using a rigorous random assignment design. MDRC led the evaluation, along with the Urban Institute and the University of Michigan. The project focused on transitional jobs programs that provide temporary subsidized jobs, support services, and job placement help. Transitional jobs are seen as a promising model for former prisoners and for other disadvantaged groups.

    In 2007-2008, more than 1,800 men who had recently been released from prison were assigned, at random, to a transitional jobs program or to a program providing basic job search assistance but no subsidized jobs. The research team tracked both groups using state data on employment and recidivism. Because of the random assignment design, one can be confident that significant differences that emerged between the groups are attributable to the services each group received.

    This is the final report in the TJRD project. It assesses how the transitional jobs programs affected employment and recidivism during the two years after people entered the study. (author abstract)

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