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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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  • Individual Author: Kato, Linda Yuriko
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Is it feasible to engage large numbers of public housing residents when employment services are offered right in their own housing developments? This is one of the many questions that the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (“Jobs-Plus” for short) is trying to answer. Since 1998, Jobs-Plus has been under way in six cities in an attempt to raise the employment and earnings of residents of “low-work, high-welfare” public housing developments. Jobs-Plus offers residents employment-related services, rent reforms and other financial work incentives that help to “make work pay,” and community support to strengthen work-sustaining activities among residents. Operating on-site at the developments and offering service referrals to off-site partner agencies, Jobs-Plus seeks to inform all working-age residents about its services and to accommodate all who come forward for help.

     Key Findings

    • Implementation challenges. Program operators had to overcome residents’ entrenched...

    Is it feasible to engage large numbers of public housing residents when employment services are offered right in their own housing developments? This is one of the many questions that the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (“Jobs-Plus” for short) is trying to answer. Since 1998, Jobs-Plus has been under way in six cities in an attempt to raise the employment and earnings of residents of “low-work, high-welfare” public housing developments. Jobs-Plus offers residents employment-related services, rent reforms and other financial work incentives that help to “make work pay,” and community support to strengthen work-sustaining activities among residents. Operating on-site at the developments and offering service referrals to off-site partner agencies, Jobs-Plus seeks to inform all working-age residents about its services and to accommodate all who come forward for help.

     Key Findings

    • Implementation challenges. Program operators had to overcome residents’ entrenched skepticism; contend with crime and safety problems; and address wide variations in residents’ employment histories, cultural backgrounds, and service needs. Efforts to address these problems diverted staff energies away from the program’s immediate employment goals.
    • Saturation. The sites achieved widespread awareness of Jobs-Plus among the target group of residents, enlisting some of them as outreach workers to play a key role in enhancing the program’s profile and credibility among their neighbors.
    • Residents’ engagement. Initial delays in implementing some features of Jobs-Plus added to the challenge of getting residents to embrace the program. However, as of June 2001, over half the targeted working-age residents across the sites had officially attached themselves to Jobs-Plus either as individual enrollees or as members of a household that received rent incentives. As additional Jobs-Plus services and program components became available over time, attachment rates increased among the targeted populations. Jobs-Plus’s place-based approach also permitted the site staff to assist residents in a variety of informal ways that proved critical to the program’s appeal.
    • Contrasting site experiences. Variations in residents’ participation from site to site were influenced primarily by organizational factors, including differences in the sites’ ability to achieve stable program leadership, adequate professional staffing, and continuous support of the local housing authority. At the Dayton and St. Paul sites, an impressive 69 percent and 78 percent of targeted residents, respectively, became attached to Jobs-Plus; by contrast, at the Chattanooga site and at one of the two sites in Los Angeles, only 48 percent and 33 percent of residents were attached to the program.

    This report presents recommendations for how housing authorities and their partner agencies can implement Jobs-Plus’s offer of on-site employment assistance. It describes practical steps that can be taken to promote employment as an expectation that comes with tenancy among working-age residents and to mobilize community resources to address residents’ employment needs. The lessons of this report are also applicable to other place-based employment initiatives that strive to be more accessible and more responsive to residents by locating in low-income communities outside of public housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Roman, Caterina G. ; Link, Nathan
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2015

    Former prisoners are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with legal and criminal justice obligations in the U.S., yet little research has pursued how— theoretically or empirically—the burden of debt might affect key outcomes in prisoner reentry. To address the limited research, we examine the impact that having legal child support (CS) obligations has on employment and recidivism using data from the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). In this report we describe the characteristics of adult male returning prisoners with child support orders and debt, and examine whether participation in SVORI was associated with greater services receipt than those in the comparison groups (for relevant services such as child-support services, employment preparation, and financial and legal assistance).

    We also examine the lagged impacts that child support obligations, legal employment and rearrest have on each other. Results from the crossed lagged panel model using GSEM in STATA indicate that while having child support debt...

    Former prisoners are increasingly facing the burden of financial debt associated with legal and criminal justice obligations in the U.S., yet little research has pursued how— theoretically or empirically—the burden of debt might affect key outcomes in prisoner reentry. To address the limited research, we examine the impact that having legal child support (CS) obligations has on employment and recidivism using data from the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI). In this report we describe the characteristics of adult male returning prisoners with child support orders and debt, and examine whether participation in SVORI was associated with greater services receipt than those in the comparison groups (for relevant services such as child-support services, employment preparation, and financial and legal assistance).

    We also examine the lagged impacts that child support obligations, legal employment and rearrest have on each other. Results from the crossed lagged panel model using GSEM in STATA indicate that while having child support debt does not appear to influence employment significantly, it does show a marginally significant protective effect—former prisoners who have child support obligations are less likely to be arrested after release from prison than those who do not have obligations. We discuss the findings within the framework of past and emerging theoretical work on desistance from crime. We also discuss the implications for prisoner reentry policy and practice. (Author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Anderson, Theresa; Dodkowitz, Alan; Braga, Breno; Damron, Neil; Derrick-Mills, Teresa; Lipman, Micaela; Martin-Caughey, Ananda; Peters, H. Elizabeth; Pratt, Eleanor; Winkler, Mary K.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2017

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

    The Opportunity Works intervention replicates and scales up the Back on Track framework to help opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 not in school and not meaningfully employed—progress along educational pathways. Managed by Jobs for the Future and funded by the Social Innovation Fund, Opportunity Works operates in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, and South King County. This report contains final implementation findings from the Urban Institute. It shares lessons on design, partnerships, data, staffing, and the Back on Track framework that may be useful to communities and policymakers considering similar programs for opportunity youth. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Kleit, Rachel Garshick
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2004

    This article evaluates an experimental public housing self-sufficiency program that encourages home ownership among low-income families. A quasi-experimental design, in combination with focus groups, records review, and key informant interviews, provides data to focus on four questions: (a) Do these programs simply accelerate move-outs for those who would have left without intervention? (b) Are program elements replicable given the importance of the local context in public housing move-outs? (c) How do housing authorities resolve tensions that arise between housing management and social service delivery? (d) What should housing authority response be to those who fail? (author abstract)

    This article evaluates an experimental public housing self-sufficiency program that encourages home ownership among low-income families. A quasi-experimental design, in combination with focus groups, records review, and key informant interviews, provides data to focus on four questions: (a) Do these programs simply accelerate move-outs for those who would have left without intervention? (b) Are program elements replicable given the importance of the local context in public housing move-outs? (c) How do housing authorities resolve tensions that arise between housing management and social service delivery? (d) What should housing authority response be to those who fail? (author abstract)

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