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Poverty, Income, & Health Insurance Update: Illinois and Chicago Region (2022)

September 15, 2023

Poverty among children more than doubled from 2021 to 2022 (from 5.2% in 2021 to 12.4% in 2022), according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM)1 released by the U.S. Census Bureau. This the largest year-over-year poverty rate increase on record among individuals aged 17 years and younger. Children were hardest hit due, in large part, to the lapse of the Child Tax Credit; however, across all ages gains made from COVID-related assistance in 2021 were lost in 2022. In Illinois, there are over 4 million Illinoisans experiencing poverty, with over 760,000 Illinoisans living in extreme poverty. In 2022 census results, poverty rates for children and communities of color - similar to national trends - remain dramatically higerh than the overall rate. 

The Why, the What, the How: Disney, the Population Council, and the Pre-Production of "Family Planning"

September 6, 2023

Family Planning, a short, animated film made by Walt Disney Productions in 1968, is a touchstone for historians of global population. Since Matthew Connelly's Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population (2008) re-energized the field, the film has become a fixture in histories of population control; an irresistible opportunity to namecheck Donald Duck and inject some levity into otherwise sober accounts. Analysis has concentrated on salient features of the film: its construction of an ethnically generic "everyman," its consumerist message, and its coyness about contraception. It typically figures as one of the most significant products of a sustained effort to mobilize mass media in the service of international family planning.Our research mobilizes previously neglected lines of evidence, especially unpublished documents held by the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), to shed new light on hidden negotiations and contestations. In drawing from the materials at the RAC — and beyond — we aim to contribute to an increasingly concerted effort to embed questions about media and communication more centrally in histories of reproductive politics.

Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK: Literature Review

June 30, 2023

In 2020, it was reported that a fifth of destitute households were migrants (JRF 2020). In many of these cases, the destitution arose primarily from the households' immigration status, specifically the No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) condition, which restricts access to the welfare safety net (including most mainstream benefits such as Universal Credit). Attempts to tackle destitution in the UK, therefore, must consider the characteristics of the NRPF condition, its impacts and the characteristics of the parallel welfare safety net which is in place for (some) migrants and delivered by local authorities.This literature review is part of COMPAS' Understanding Migrant Destitution in the UK research project, a UK-wide study (2022-2023) focusing on local authority practice and provision for vulnerable people with no recourse to public funds (NRPF) facing destitution. Building on COMPAS' (2015) research on Safeguarding Children From Destitution: Local Authority Responses To Families With 'No Recourse To Public Funds' (NRPF), we will be using a mixed methods approach exploring the following core research questions across all four nations of the UK:How has the cohort of people with NRPF and at risk of destitution changed since 2015?How has social care provision for people with NRPF at risk of destitution changed, including in relation to decisions made on who is eligible for services?How have outcomes for destitute people with NRPF changed since 2015?

The COVID-19 Aftermath: What the Unwinding of Federal Pandemic Emergency Declarations Can Mean for Illinoisans

June 27, 2023

On May 11, 2023, the Biden Administration ended the COVID-19 national emergency, marking a turning point for many extended and newly developed public benefits that occurred during, and in response to, the pandemic. Programs such as Medicaid, health insurance coverage for low-income individuals and families, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), were modified and/or expanded available benefits to meet the growing needs of the nation, particularly individuals living on the verge of poverty.In the midst of the pandemic, Heartland Alliance released a signature report on the domino effect caused by COVID-19, outlining how losing one support can cause others to crumble away for those already living on the edge when disaster strikes. While the pandemic-driven domino effect continues, we examine the additional repercussions caused by changes to public programs that were optimized during the pandemic, and that millions have become reliant upon.This report will explore the pandemic aftermath, with a specific focus on public benefit programs for individuals who are living in poverty or on the verge of poverty. We will examine how communities of color in Illinois have been particularly affected by the pandemic regarding health and economic well-being, and what implications changes to COVID-19 era benefits, specifically as it pertains to healthcare and food assistance, mean for Illinoisans.Findings from this report will expand on an overarching theme. Inequities, as it pertains to people of color, are pervasive, have worsened, and will likely continue to significantly increase post-pandemic.

ALICE in the Crosscurrents: COVID and Financial Hardship in Louisiana

May 25, 2023

This ALICE Report provides the first look at the extent of financial hardship in Louisiana using ALICE metrics since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The pandemic has disrupted longstanding patterns in how and where people live, work, study, save, and spend their time. And the story of ALICE and the pandemic is still unfolding as this Report is being written, amid an ongoing health crisis and an economic and public policy landscape that continues to shift. In a time of change, United For ALICE remains committed to providing the most up-to-date local data possible on financial hardship in Louisiana and across the U.S.

Food Hardship & Opportunities for Change: Key Findings from Statewide Research Conducted in Fall 2022

March 28, 2023

On March 22, 2023, Nourish California shared key findings from a series of focus groups and recent statewide surveys that asked Californians about their experiences accessing the food they need and want. This research was conducted in partnership with Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3).

“If I Wasn’t Poor, I Wouldn’t Be Unfit”: The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System

November 17, 2022

'If I Wasn't Poor, I Wouldn't Be Unfit': The Family Separation Crisis in the US Child Welfare System, an ACLU research report produced in collaboration with Human Rights Watch, documents the child welfare system's disproportionate impact on Black and Indigenous families and people living in poverty. Based on comprehensive research, including interviews with caregivers, staff, and experts; policy analysis; and new analysis of government data, this report details how conditions of poverty, such as a family's struggle to pay rent or maintain housing, are misconstrued as neglect, and interpreted as evidence of an inability and lack of fitness to parent. The research found that child welfare systems too often charge parents of neglect and take away their children instead of providing support to keep families together. In addition to socioeconomic disparities, the report documents racial and ethnic disparities in child welfare system involvement. Black and Indigenous families disproportionately face intrusive child welfare interventions, including investigations and unjust removal of their children. This research not only provides a national perspective, but also includes select data points for each state and a deep dive into California, New York, Oklahoma, and West Virginia. The report concludes with concrete recommendations for federal, state, and local policymakers and stakeholders to take immediate measures to reduce the harmful impact of child welfare interventions, and to strengthen and support families and communities to prevent child maltreatment, without subjecting them to surveillance and regulation.

Boosting Upward Mobility: A Planning Guide for Local Action

November 16, 2022

Are you a member of local government who wants to increase upward mobility in your community? If so, this guide can help you better understand impediments to upward mobility and build a cross-sector team that can plan, advocate for, and implement a set of systems changes focused on bringing all members of your community out of poverty and creating more equitable results.We developed this guide with you—the user—in mind. It provides practical advice for people driven to boost mobility from poverty and asking, "Where do I start?" More specifically, this guide is intended for city and county government leaders who can plan, advocate for, and implement a set of policy and program changes—informed by the Mobility Metrics (explained in the next section)—that are focused on boosting mobility from poverty.

ALICE in Focus: Financial Hardship Among Veterans: Louisiana

November 11, 2022

In 2019, there were 224,516 military veterans in Louisiana. Overall, a majority of them have fared better economically than nonveterans, in line with a belief that our nation must meet veterans' basic needs given their service and sacrifice. Yet in 2019, a substantial 80,928 of those who served our country struggled to make ends meet in Louisiana. The reality is that more than one-third (36%) of all veterans in Louisiana lived in a household with income below the ALICE Threshold of Financial Survival in 2019, the highest rate of all U.S. states. This includes households in poverty as well as those who were ALICE: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households don't earn enough to afford housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a smartphone plan, and taxes — the basics needed to live and work in the modern economy (see Key Terms, pg. 2). This ALICE in Focus Research Brief shows that there are veterans below the ALICE Threshold of all ages, races/ethnicities, and educational levels, in a variety of living arrangements and employment situations. The share of veterans below the ALICE Threshold in Louisiana in 2019 ranged from 14% across Acadia and Vermilion parishes to 54% across Livingston and St. Helena parishes.

Slower and More Expensive: Internet Pricing Disparities Report

October 14, 2022

Over the last two years, in California and across the country, billions of public dollars have been allocated to end the digital divide. The Digital Equity LA coalition, supported by the California Community Foundation (CCF) Digital Equity Initiative, has mobilized to ensure these investments are directed to the communities that need them most - those that have been historically marginalized and are disproportionately disconnected - and deployed in support of the most effective long-term solutions.Low-income households, people of color, and immigrants are significantly more likely to be stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide than people living in wealthy, white neighborhoods. The most common reason disconnected people report for not having a fast and reliable connection is affordability; the price is too high, or the service they can afford isn't fast or reliable enough to justify the expense.Digital Equity LA and the CCF Digital Equity Initiative set out in this report to document what people are being asked to pay for home internet in diverse neighborhoods across Los Angeles County. The findings of this report are sobering, raising significant red flags about the higher prices many poorer communities are being charged for the same or inferior service, and the implications of those pricing disparities on the effectiveness of current interventions to close the digital divide.This report is action-driven research intended to lift up the experience of those most affected by inequitable access to broadband. It represents a snapshot documenting the prices on offer to residents of diverse neighborhoods across LA County.

Illinois and Chicago Region 2021: Poverty, Income and Health Insurance (Fact Sheet)

September 15, 2022

Poverty rates increased and household incomes were stagnant inIllinois from 2019 to 2021. This data reflects 2021, when COVID-19 pandemic-related government assistance provided some relief, suggesting that the financial picture is likely much worse today.

Reducing poverty without community displacement: Indicators of inclusive prosperity in U.S. neighborhoods

September 13, 2022

If you live in a U.S. city, you are probably only a few miles away from a neighborhood with concentrated poverty—and there's a good chance that you are even closer.Neighborhoods with concentrated poverty are defined as census tracts where at least 30% of residents live in poor households. They are found in every medium and large metropolitan area in the United States. It does not matter what region a city is in, nor does it matter if local and state leaders are Democrats or Republicans. The presence of these residential areas is universal.Around one in 15 people in the United States lives in a neighborhood with concentrated poverty—equal to over 20 million people in total. This includes nearly one in five Black people and one in eight Latino or Hispanic people.Previous research has shown that places with high rates of poverty are deeply harmful. People who grow up in neighborhoods with concentrated poverty earn less money in early adulthood and are incarcerated far more often. Children born in these areas are projected to die 5.7 years earlier than those in other neighborhoods.Leaders need better solutions to assist these areas. Fortunately, in recent years, new data and advanced analytical tools have emerged that can offer new insights about these places. This report takes advantage of these opportunities to share three findings demonstrating that positive change is possible.