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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: Allard, Scott
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2008

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

    Program accessibility and stability are critical components of any effort to cultivate greater capacity among faith-based and community-based social service organizations. Working poor populations are more likely to benefit from programs if they are nearby, easily accessible, and operate with consistency. Yet, we know very little about where faith-based service organizations (FBOs) and secular nonprofits are located, or whether certain types of providers exhibit more stability than others. Drawing on unique survey data on nonprofit service providers, this paper compares the characteristics of FBOs and secular organizations in several urban and rural communities. FBOs that integrate faith into service delivery and secular nonprofit organizations are more accessible to poor populations than FBOs that do not integrate religious elements into service provision. At the same time, I find that large percentages of FBOs and secular nonprofits experience funding volatility and program instability each year. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Allard, Scott W.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2007

    Several research questions emerge as we consider the challenges of administering social service programs to poor populations. Where do our communities provide assistance to poor and near-poor households? Do gaps or mismatches in access to social services exist in our communities? How do providers finance services for low-income populations and do these revenue streams shift frequently? How often do cuts in funding lead to instabilities or inconsistencies in service delivery?

    To begin to answer these questions, this chapter examines data from the Multi-City Survey of Social Service Providers (MSSSP) and the Rural Survey of Social Service Providers (RSSSP), which I conducted with social service providers helping low-income populations in three metropolitan areas and four multi-county rural sites respectively between November 2004 and June 2006. Working from a detailed database of service providers in each site, trained interviewers conducted over 2,200 telephone interviews with program managers and executive directors. Each survey contains detailed geographically-sensitive...

    Several research questions emerge as we consider the challenges of administering social service programs to poor populations. Where do our communities provide assistance to poor and near-poor households? Do gaps or mismatches in access to social services exist in our communities? How do providers finance services for low-income populations and do these revenue streams shift frequently? How often do cuts in funding lead to instabilities or inconsistencies in service delivery?

    To begin to answer these questions, this chapter examines data from the Multi-City Survey of Social Service Providers (MSSSP) and the Rural Survey of Social Service Providers (RSSSP), which I conducted with social service providers helping low-income populations in three metropolitan areas and four multi-county rural sites respectively between November 2004 and June 2006. Working from a detailed database of service providers in each site, trained interviewers conducted over 2,200 telephone interviews with program managers and executive directors. Each survey contains detailed geographically-sensitive information on services provided, clients served, funding, and organizational characteristics from a range of governmental, nonprofit, and faith-based social service providers.  

    This chapter will proceed as follows. First, I briefly present a history of the American safety net that explains how social service programs have become central components within our local safety nets. Next, I explain how the current service-based safety net is more sensitive to the spatial location of service agencies than is typically understood.  In addition, I discuss how funding for social service programs is less counter-cyclical and more volatile than aggregate federal expenditure data would suggest. Drawing upon data from the MSSSP and RSSSP, I explore social service provision within several different rural and urban settings.  In particular, I focus upon mismatches and instabilities within the provision of social service programs. Finally, I conclude by discussing the implications of a patchworked and volatile service-based safety net for future social welfare policymaking. (author introduction)

  • Individual Author: Morris, Pamela; Jones, Stephanie; Smith, Jared
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2002

    This paper begins to fill the information gap by capitalizing on the unique opportunity provided by the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment status. Using data on nearly 1,500 children of public housing residents collected before the implementation of Jobs-Plus, the paper examines the well-being of children living in public housing developments and explores whether characteristics of their parents and the communities are associated with differences in the children’s outcomes.

    Key Findings

    On some, but not all, measures of school and behavioral outcomes, a substantial proportion of children living in public housing exhibited negative outcomes. As expected, older children and boys were at greater risk than younger children and girls.

    When compared with data on other children receiving welfare in selected states, children in the Jobs-Plus developments were shown to be at...

    This paper begins to fill the information gap by capitalizing on the unique opportunity provided by the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families, an ambitious research demonstration project that aims to improve residents’ employment status. Using data on nearly 1,500 children of public housing residents collected before the implementation of Jobs-Plus, the paper examines the well-being of children living in public housing developments and explores whether characteristics of their parents and the communities are associated with differences in the children’s outcomes.

    Key Findings

    On some, but not all, measures of school and behavioral outcomes, a substantial proportion of children living in public housing exhibited negative outcomes. As expected, older children and boys were at greater risk than younger children and girls.

    When compared with data on other children receiving welfare in selected states, children in the Jobs-Plus developments were shown to be at only slightly greater risk of experiencing negative school and behavioral outcomes.

    Few associations were found between measures of the Jobs-Plus children’s well-being and their parents’ employment or welfare status.

    Parents’ mental health and experience with domestic abuse were associated with negative aspects of children’s schooling and behavior. However, contextual factors of the housing developments, such as the proportion of parents who had jobs, were not related to children’s outcomes.

    The data reported here provide a first look at the children in the Jobs-Plus demonstration communities. Further examination of the effects of the Jobs-Plus demonstration on child and adolescent development is planned as part of the evaluation project. This work will provide crucial information to our understanding of how neighborhood change, in combination with changes occurring within individual families, may affect the well-being of children in public housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Briggs, Xavier de Souza ; Goering, John M.; Popkin, Susan J.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 2010

    Moving to Opportunity tackles one of America's most enduring dilemmas: the great, unresolved question of how to overcome persistent ghetto poverty. Launched in 1994, the MTO program took a largely untested approach: helping families move from high-poverty, inner-city public housing to low-poverty neighborhoods, some in the suburbs. The book's innovative methodology emphasizes the voices and choices of the program's participants but also rigorously analyzes the changing structures of regional opportunity and constraint that shaped the fortunes of those who "signed up." It shines a light on the hopes, surprises, achievements, and limitations of a major social experiment. As the authors make clear, for all its ambition, MTO is a uniquely American experiment, and this book brings home its powerful lessons for policymakers and advocates, scholars, students, journalists, and all who share a deep concern for opportunity and inequality in our country. (author abstract)

    Moving to Opportunity tackles one of America's most enduring dilemmas: the great, unresolved question of how to overcome persistent ghetto poverty. Launched in 1994, the MTO program took a largely untested approach: helping families move from high-poverty, inner-city public housing to low-poverty neighborhoods, some in the suburbs. The book's innovative methodology emphasizes the voices and choices of the program's participants but also rigorously analyzes the changing structures of regional opportunity and constraint that shaped the fortunes of those who "signed up." It shines a light on the hopes, surprises, achievements, and limitations of a major social experiment. As the authors make clear, for all its ambition, MTO is a uniquely American experiment, and this book brings home its powerful lessons for policymakers and advocates, scholars, students, journalists, and all who share a deep concern for opportunity and inequality in our country. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Lake Research Partners; Ascend at the Aspen Institute; American Viewpoint
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2011

    A critical aspect of Ascend's work is listening to, learning from, and lifting up the voices of the most vulnerable families in the United States today. Ascend commissioned this bipartisan series of focus groups to examine the experiences, perspectives, and needs of low-income families. By listening to the perspectives of families across demographics - race, gender, and family structure - Ascend aims to elevate their voices and use these findings to inform programmatic and policy work, in particular two-generation strategies to improve educational and economic outcomes for both parents and children. (author introduction)

    A critical aspect of Ascend's work is listening to, learning from, and lifting up the voices of the most vulnerable families in the United States today. Ascend commissioned this bipartisan series of focus groups to examine the experiences, perspectives, and needs of low-income families. By listening to the perspectives of families across demographics - race, gender, and family structure - Ascend aims to elevate their voices and use these findings to inform programmatic and policy work, in particular two-generation strategies to improve educational and economic outcomes for both parents and children. (author introduction)

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