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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 includes resources which may be available only via journal subscription. The SSRC may be able to provide users without subscription access to a particular journal with a single use copy of the full text.  Please email the SSRC with your request.

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: Stacy, Christina; Craigie, Terry-Ann; Meixell, Brady; MacDonald, Graham; Zheng, Sihan Vivian; Davis, Christopher; Baird, Christina; Chartoff, Ben; Hinson, David; Lei, Serena
    Reference Type: Dataset
    Year: 2019

    In many cities, low-income residents live far from available jobs, and employers can’t find people to fill open positions. Economists call this “spatial mismatch”—a mismatch between where jobs are located and where job seekers live, which can cause high unemployment rates and lead to longer spells of joblessness. Data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs, show us that this is true for job seekers who use their platform. Snag data capture a large number of low-wage job seekers in each metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Looking at 2017, the most recent year of data, we analyzed the distance between every job seeker and the jobs they applied for, allowing us to map out spatial mismatch. And we talked to local government and workforce officials in two regions to learn what they’re doing to overcome this problem. (Author introduction modified)

    In many cities, low-income residents live far from available jobs, and employers can’t find people to fill open positions. Economists call this “spatial mismatch”—a mismatch between where jobs are located and where job seekers live, which can cause high unemployment rates and lead to longer spells of joblessness. Data from Snag, the largest online marketplace for hourly jobs, show us that this is true for job seekers who use their platform. Snag data capture a large number of low-wage job seekers in each metropolitan statistical area (MSA). Looking at 2017, the most recent year of data, we analyzed the distance between every job seeker and the jobs they applied for, allowing us to map out spatial mismatch. And we talked to local government and workforce officials in two regions to learn what they’re doing to overcome this problem. (Author introduction modified)

  • Individual Author: McCay, Jonathan; France, Marcia; Lujan, Loretta; Maestas, Vicki; Whittaker, Alix
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time. Called “Mobile Coaching,” their intervention took case management “on the road” by providing rides for TANF participants to and from service providers in the community, and using the time in transit to discuss the participant’s goals.

    The La Plata County team used research methods from the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) framework to generate formative insights about their creative new strategy. Through this collaborative process, staff gained new perspectives about working with their participants and were able to help some families take...

    Access to reliable transportation is a common challenge in rural communities across the country, especially for low-income families who may have few public transit options, if any. Human services providers, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs, regularly encounter this issue with the families they serve. The La Plata County (Colorado) Department of Human Services designed an innovative strategy to address this challenge and coach parents on planning and achieving their goals at the same time. Called “Mobile Coaching,” their intervention took case management “on the road” by providing rides for TANF participants to and from service providers in the community, and using the time in transit to discuss the participant’s goals.

    The La Plata County team used research methods from the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) framework to generate formative insights about their creative new strategy. Through this collaborative process, staff gained new perspectives about working with their participants and were able to help some families take considerable steps forward with their goals. (Edited author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Yan, Xiang; Zhao, Xilei; Han, Yuan; Van Hentenryck, Pascal; Dillahunt, Tawanna
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2019

    Emerging transportation technologies, such as ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles, are disrupting the transportation sector and transforming public transit. Some transit observers envision future public transit to be integrated transit systems with fixed-route services running along major corridors and on-demand ridesharing services covering lower-density areas. A switch from conventional fixed-route service model to this kind of integrated mobility-on-demand transit system, however, may elicit varied responses from local residents. This paper evaluates traveler preferences for a proposed integrated mobility-on-demand transit system versus the existing fixed-route system, with a particular focus on disadvantaged travelers. We conducted a survey in two low-resource communities in the United States, namely, Detroit and Ypsilanti, Michigan. A majority of survey respondents preferred a mobility-on-demand transit system over a fixed-route one. Based on ordered logic model outputs, we found a stronger preference for mobility-on-demand transit among males, college graduates,...

    Emerging transportation technologies, such as ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles, are disrupting the transportation sector and transforming public transit. Some transit observers envision future public transit to be integrated transit systems with fixed-route services running along major corridors and on-demand ridesharing services covering lower-density areas. A switch from conventional fixed-route service model to this kind of integrated mobility-on-demand transit system, however, may elicit varied responses from local residents. This paper evaluates traveler preferences for a proposed integrated mobility-on-demand transit system versus the existing fixed-route system, with a particular focus on disadvantaged travelers. We conducted a survey in two low-resource communities in the United States, namely, Detroit and Ypsilanti, Michigan. A majority of survey respondents preferred a mobility-on-demand transit system over a fixed-route one. Based on ordered logic model outputs, we found a stronger preference for mobility-on-demand transit among males, college graduates, individuals who have never heard of or used ride-hailing before, and individuals who currently receive inferior transit services. By contrast, preferences varied little by age, income, race, or disability status. The most important benefit of a mobility-on-demand transit system perceived by the survey respondents is enhanced transit accessibility to different destinations, whereas their major concerns include the need to actively request rides, possible transit-fare increases, and potential technological failures. Addressing the concerns of female riders, and accommodating the needs to less technology-proficient individuals should be major priorities for transit agencies that are considering mobility-on-demand initiatives. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Turetsky, Vicki
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2019

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds...

    Two decades of research present a stark message to Maryland policymakers: Unrealistic child support policies and practices entangle low-income black families in poverty and have become a destabilizing force in the Baltimore community. Child support orders set beyond the ability of noncustodial parents to comply push them out of low-wage jobs, drown them in debt, hound them into the underground economy, and chase them out of their children’s lives. Of Maryland parents who paid all of their current support, they were expected to pay 18 percent of their earnings toward child support. Parents who paid the least amount were expected to pay more than 70 percent of their income. Parents who struggle to pay some or all of their child support often have low incomes – earning below $20,000 per year. This disparity is unfair and unsustainable. In our latest report, Reforming Child Support to Improve Outcomes for Children and Families, author Vicki Turetsky, who served as the commissioner for the U.S. office of child support enforcement for nearly eight years, examines the data and finds that it is time for Maryland to reform its child support system. Not only are orders for many low-income parents set unrealistically high, but policies around enforcement and collection are unnecessarily punitive. For example, people who fail to pay child support can have their license suspended. But the research shows that this strategy further interferes with low-income parents’ ability to pay by affecting their ability to find and maintain employment and does not yield more money for the state. The report focuses on 15 policy recommendations that Maryland should implement to increase the effectiveness of our child support system. Three key evidence-based strategies underlie the policy recommendations in the report:

    1. Set child support orders that reflect parents’ actual ability to pay.
    2. Reduce uncollectible child support debt.
    3. Ensure that children, not the state, receive the money when their parents pay child support.

    By focusing on these three evidence-based strategies—and the specific policy recommendations in this report—we hope to offer promising alternatives that better meet the needs of low-income children and families. (Author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Blagg, Kristin; Chingos, Matthew; Corcoran, Sean P.; Cordes, Sarah A.; Cowen, Joshua; Denice, Patrick ; Gross, Betheny; Lincove, Jane Arnold ; Sattin-Bajaj, Carolyn; Schwartz, Amy Ellen; Valant, Jon
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools....

    How to get to school is an important issue for families who want to send their children to schools outside their neighborhood and for education policymakers seeking to implement school choice policies that mitigate educational inequality. We analyze travel times between the homes and schools of nearly 190,000 students across five large US cities that offer a significant amount of educational choice:  Denver, Detroit, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, DC. We find: 

    • Despite wide variation across cities in student transportation policy, there are similar student transportation patterns across our cities. Most students live within a 20-minute drive from home to their school. Older students travel farther to school than younger students, and black students travel farther than white or Hispanic students. Students who are not low income tend to travel farther than their low-income peers.
    • Particularly among older students, those enrolled in traditional public schools tend to travel as far, or in some cases farther, than those attending charter schools.
    • Access to “high quality” high schools varies across cities, race and ethnicity, and on the quality measure used. However, ninth-grade students, on average, tend to live about a 10-minute drive from a “high quality” high school.
    • Access to a car can significantly increase the number of schools available to a family. Typical travel times to school by public transit are significantly greater than by car, especially in cities with less efficient transit networks.

    Just as there are inequalities and differences in students’ academic performance across these cities, we see parallel inequalities and differences in the distances that students travel and in the availability of nearby school options. Experiments in targeted policy interventions, such as implementing transportation vouchers for low-income parents of very young students, using yellow buses on circulating routes, or changing the way that school siting decisions are made, might yield pragmatic solutions that further level the playing field for a city’s most disadvantaged students. (Author abstract) 

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