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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: Culhane, Dennis P.; Koblinsky, Sally A.; Wilson, Cynthia P.; Weinreb, Jenni
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1996

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families...

    While certain issues affect all homeless people, several are of particular relevance to homeless families. From the myriad of pressing issues surrounding the problem of homelessness, this report focuses on the following four points:

    1. In terms of the causes of homelessness, most families do not find themselves homeless as the result of a single financial mistake or stroke of bad luck; rather it is common for families to become homeless after a series of changes in their lives. These are likely to involve a combination of factors ranging from economic hardship due to a layoff or lack of training to a mental health issue or recurring substance abuse habit.
    2. The effects of homelessness, like the causes, are not isolated and specific. Furthermore, the problems that lead a family to homelessness often multiply and worsen for a period of time before the individuals and the family as a whole are able to alleviate them and regain self-sufficiency.
    3. To recover from homelessness and achieve self-sufficiency, housing assistance alone is not enough for most families. Most require assistance and opportunities in areas at least as comprehensive as the issues that caused their homelessness in the first place. Areas of need include financial planning, substance abuse counseling, further education, parenting classes, mental health counseling, and treatment for chronic illnesses (including HIV/AIDS), among a host of others.
    4. For homeless families to improve their circumstances, their children must be able to remain in school and receive services necessary to address the developmental challenges that are likely to arise as a result of their homelessness. Without addressing the specific needs of homeless children, particularly those needs related to their homelessness, the long-term prospects for a family’s well-being may be greatly compromised. (author introduction)
  • Individual Author: Short, Kathleen; Shea, Martina; Eller, T. J.
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1996

    This paper examines various methods of accounting for work related expenses (including child care expenses) in a new measure of poverty. We include a discussion of the treatment of these expenses in defining poverty. We begin with the imputation method as proposed by the Committee on National Statistics’ panel on poverty. In the report released in May of 1995, they recommend a measure of family resources that contains income that is available to buy goods and services minus expenses that cannot be used to buy goods and services. This measure subtracts work related expenditures from income before determining poverty status, along with medical out of pocket expenditures, taxes paid and so on.

    We begin with this measure and examine various alternatives using the Current Population Survey. We then use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to update the imputations. We reestimate the imputed expenses using the CPS. We then move on to examine the effect of using reported data in the SIPP, and compare resulting distributions of work-related expenses. In all...

    This paper examines various methods of accounting for work related expenses (including child care expenses) in a new measure of poverty. We include a discussion of the treatment of these expenses in defining poverty. We begin with the imputation method as proposed by the Committee on National Statistics’ panel on poverty. In the report released in May of 1995, they recommend a measure of family resources that contains income that is available to buy goods and services minus expenses that cannot be used to buy goods and services. This measure subtracts work related expenditures from income before determining poverty status, along with medical out of pocket expenditures, taxes paid and so on.

    We begin with this measure and examine various alternatives using the Current Population Survey. We then use data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation to update the imputations. We reestimate the imputed expenses using the CPS. We then move on to examine the effect of using reported data in the SIPP, and compare resulting distributions of work-related expenses. In all cases we recompute poverty estimates to examine the effect on poverty rates of using these various methods. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Haskins, Ron; Bevan, Carol Statuto
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1997

    As part of its 1996 welfare reform bill, Congress enacted a $50 million per year program to fund abstinence education. This chapter provides an examination of the legislative history of the program; a discussion of the characteristics of the program, especially the definition of abstinence education; and an account of how the program will be implemented by the federal government and the states. (author abstract)

    As part of its 1996 welfare reform bill, Congress enacted a $50 million per year program to fund abstinence education. This chapter provides an examination of the legislative history of the program; a discussion of the characteristics of the program, especially the definition of abstinence education; and an account of how the program will be implemented by the federal government and the states. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Johnson, David; Shipp, Stephanie; Garner, Thesia
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1997

    A recent study by researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of the Census, replicated the Panel’s work, estimated experimental thresholds using CE data and revised the resource measure. The study found that changes in the Panel’s proposed thresholds and their experimental thresholds (based on various definitions of a minimum expenditure bundle) appear to be similar over the time period covered. The study also found that poverty rates based on these thresholds followed trends over time that are similar to trends in the current official poverty measure. The study also found, however, that the poverty rates based on these alternative thresholds and resource measures were always higher, both over time and across thresholds and subgroups, than were rates based on the official measure.

    Since the initial BLS/Census study was conducted, two additional government and nongovernment groups have identified areas requiring further research. Those areas related to the construction of poverty thresholds are:

    • Setting the initial poverty thresholds. Should the...

    A recent study by researchers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of the Census, replicated the Panel’s work, estimated experimental thresholds using CE data and revised the resource measure. The study found that changes in the Panel’s proposed thresholds and their experimental thresholds (based on various definitions of a minimum expenditure bundle) appear to be similar over the time period covered. The study also found that poverty rates based on these thresholds followed trends over time that are similar to trends in the current official poverty measure. The study also found, however, that the poverty rates based on these alternative thresholds and resource measures were always higher, both over time and across thresholds and subgroups, than were rates based on the official measure.

    Since the initial BLS/Census study was conducted, two additional government and nongovernment groups have identified areas requiring further research. Those areas related to the construction of poverty thresholds are:

    • Setting the initial poverty thresholds. Should the initial poverty threshold remain unchanged?
    • The treatment of housing. Should out-of-pocket housing expenditures be used or should such costs be estimated using a flow of services from home ownership, e.g., reported rental equivalence or imputed rent?
    • Updating the thresholds over time. Should the thresholds be updated based on the change in median expenditures for a basic bundle of goods and services or by a price index?
    • Determining the geographical index. How should the thresholds be adjusted for differences in prices across geographical areas?
    • Choosing an equivalence scale. How should the thresholds be adjusted for differences in household sizes and types?

    In this paper, we examine each of these five issues, focusing on the data and methodological issues related to the estimation of thresholds using CE data. We find that alternative definitions of the reference threshold do not significantly change the thresholds, with the treatment of homeownership having the largest effect. Thresholds based on imputed rents for owners result in lower thresholds than when the thresholds are based on out-of-pocket shelter costs, while higher thresholds result when shelter costs for owners are defined as reported rental equivalence. We find that updating the threshold using the change in median expenditures (the Panel’s proposed method) rather than the change in the all-items Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) leads to a slightly larger increase in the thresholds between 1982 and 1995, but the change in median expenditures has a higher variance than the change in the CPI-U. We also find that the geographic adjustment recommended by the Panel (a cost-of-living housing index based on a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approach) yields similar results to those using BLS inter-area price indexes for 11 major expenditure categories. In addition, we find that the equivalence scale recommended by the Panel yields similar thresholds (using a two-adult, two-child reference household) to those resulting if other household types are chosen as the reference unit. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Nathan, Richard P.; Gentry, Paola; Lawrence, Catherine
    Reference Type: Conference Paper
    Year: 1998

    Although the 1996 federal welfare reform law exhorts states to reduce teen and out-of-wedlock births, preliminary field research has found few links between welfare reform and pregnancy prevention, and the ones that do exist are often tenuous, hard to describe, and difficult to assess. States have established new and stronger connections between welfare and employment services under welfare reform, but creating welfare programs that explicitly stress pregnancy prevention has been inhibited by several factors. There is little consensus on how to prevent teen and out-of-wedlock births, not just as a practical matter but also as an ethical and political issue. This divisiveness has led most states to devolve critical questions about the design of such programs down to local and community levels. Also, the health agencies that have traditionally administered pregnancy prevention programs have usually not worked closely with welfare agencies in the past. And the federal reforms provide few incentives for states to create strong linkages. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity here for...

    Although the 1996 federal welfare reform law exhorts states to reduce teen and out-of-wedlock births, preliminary field research has found few links between welfare reform and pregnancy prevention, and the ones that do exist are often tenuous, hard to describe, and difficult to assess. States have established new and stronger connections between welfare and employment services under welfare reform, but creating welfare programs that explicitly stress pregnancy prevention has been inhibited by several factors. There is little consensus on how to prevent teen and out-of-wedlock births, not just as a practical matter but also as an ethical and political issue. This divisiveness has led most states to devolve critical questions about the design of such programs down to local and community levels. Also, the health agencies that have traditionally administered pregnancy prevention programs have usually not worked closely with welfare agencies in the past. And the federal reforms provide few incentives for states to create strong linkages. Nonetheless, there is an opportunity here for leaders and groups committed to teen pregnancy prevention, regardless of the approach they favor, to forge creative linkages to welfare/employment bureaucracies. (author abstract)

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