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Food Insecurity Among Undocumented Immigrants in California and Exclusion from Nutrition Assistance Programs

April 29, 2022

California is home to the largest economy in the United States–and our nation's highest rate of poverty. That experience of deep hardship in the face of great prosperity holds true for many California immigrants. An estimated 11 million immigrants–including approximately 2.3 million undocumented immigrants–contribute to the rich diversity of the Golden State.The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hardship and driven inequitable outcomes for immigrants across California. But hardships such as poverty and food insecurity persisted well before this public health emergency. Exclusionary policies continue to perpetuate poverty and food insecurity, inflicting harm on California's immigrant communities and the state at large.This brief draws on quantitative data and community voices to provide a novel, state-specific analysis of food insecurity and poverty among undocumented immigrants in California. These findings are essential to advance evidence-based policies that can make California a more equitable, inclusive place for all who call it home.

A Poor People’s Pandemic Report: Mapping the Intersections of Poverty, Race and COVID-19

April 6, 2022

This project aims to explore the disproportionate effects of COVID-19 on poor communities in the US by connecting data about COVID-19 deaths at the county level with other demographic characteristics. In doing so, it offers an initial analysis of the deadly community-level consequences of poverty, economic insecurity, and systemic racism. Although data gaps obscure a more detailed analysis of person-level outcomes, combined with other research, these results highlight the characteristics of some of the communities that were most impacted by the pandemic. 

Ending Street Homelessness in Vanguard Cities Across the Globe: An International Comparative Study

April 5, 2022

Street homelessness is one of the most extreme, and visible, manifestations of profound injustice on the planet, but often struggles to achieve priority attention at international level. The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH's) A Place to Call Home initiative, launched in 2017, represented a concerted effort to support cities across the globe to eradicate street homelessness. A first cohort of 13 'Vanguard Cities' committed to a specific target on ending or reducing street homelessness by December 2020. Our independent evaluation of this initiative found that:Two Vanguard Cities – Glasgow and Sydney – fully met their self-defined target reductions for end 2020. In addition, Greater Manchester, while it did not meet its exceptionally ambitious goal of 'ending all rough sleeping', recorded an impressive 52% reduction against baseline.Overall, there was evidence of reductions in targeted aspects of street homelessness in over half of the Vanguard Cities. In most of the remaining cities data limitations, sometimes as a result of COVID, meant that it was not possible to determine trends. In only one Vanguard City – Edmonton – was there an evidenced increase in street homelessness over baseline levels.Key enablers of progress in reducing street homelessness included the presence of a lead coordinating agency, and coordinated entry to homelessness services, alongside investment in specialized and evidence-based interventions, such as assertive street outreach services, individual case management and Housing First.Key barriers to progress included heavy reliance on undignified and sometimes unsafe communal shelters, a preoccupation with meeting immediate physiological needs, and sometimes perceived spiritual needs, rather than structural and system change, and a lack of emphasis on prevention. Aggressive enforcement interventions by police and city authorities, and documentary and identification barriers, were also counter-productive to attempts to reduce street homelessness.A key contextual variable between the Vanguard Cities was political will, with success in driving down street homelessness associated with high-level political commitments. An absolute lack of funds was a major challenge in all of the Global South cities, but also in resource-poor settings in the Global North. Almost all Vanguard Cities cited pressures on the affordable housing stock as a key barrier to progress, but local lettings and other policies could make a real difference.The impact of the COVID-19 crisis differed markedly across the Vanguard Cities, with people at risk of street homelessness most effectively protected in the UK and Australian cities. Responses were less inclusive and ambitious in the North American and Global South cities, with more continued use of 'shared air' shelters, albeit that in some of these contexts the pandemic prompted better coordination of local efforts to address street homelessness.IGH involvement was viewed as instrumental in enhancing the local profile, momentum and level of ambition attached to reducing street homelessness in the Vanguard Cities. IGH's added value to future cohorts of cities could be maximised via a focus on more tailored forms of support specific to the needs of each city, and also to different types of stakeholders, particularly frontline workers.

The Living Standards Outlook 2022

March 8, 2022

This is our fourth Living Standards Outlook, exploring how household incomes and inequalities may change over the next five years, based on the latest economic forecasts and Government policy. We explore how Covid-19 has buffeted incomes over the last two years; what exceptionally high inflation, the conflict in Ukraine and policy changes will mean for UK living standards this year; and the longer-term prospects for recovery. Our projections use Bank of England and Office for Budget Responsibility forecasts for prices, wages, employment and more, but our modelling looks beyond averages to show what these aggregate forecasts could mean for real living standards across society.

Pathways to Financial Resilience: 36-Month Impacts of the Grameen America Program

March 2, 2022

This report summarizes 36-month findings from the evaluation of the Grameen America program, a microfinance institution that provides loans to women with low incomes in the United States who are seeking to start or expand a small business. Its objective is to reduce poverty through the provision of small loans, financial training, and peer support.The Grameen America evaluation used a randomized controlled trial design to explore the mechanisms of program operations and whether the model leads to improved outcomes for borrowers. The evaluation includes an implementation analysis, which examines how the program operates and the experiences of borrowers and program staff, and an impact analysis, which assesses the program's effects on participants' outcomes, including the study's two primary outcomes: overall net income and types of material hardship. Other outcomes include wage-based work and self-employment, wage-based and self-employment earnings and other income, credit scores, savings, assets and remittances, social support, and financial well-being. The implementation analysis includes outcomes from program-tracking data, as well as findings from interviews with borrowers and Grameen America staff, focus groups, and researchers' observations of the program. The impact findings in this report are based on study participants' responses to a 36-month survey and credit report data from a major credit reporting agency. The Grameen America evaluation was funded by the Robin Hood Foundation.

80 years of Funding Change: Woods Fund Chicago, 2017-2021

December 14, 2021

Woods Fund Chicago seeks to support and promote community organizing and public policy advocacy that advances racial equity and economic justice. We firmly believe that the people most impacted by structural racism and economic injustice should lead the process of defining problems and developing solutions for their communities in the Chicago metropolitan area. Woods Fund has identified racial equity as a priority for the foundation, and works to continually hone an approach to grantmaking that reflects that commitment.

Comments on New Federal Strategic Plan to End Homelessness

November 30, 2021

These comments were provided in response to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness' request for feedback on the revised Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness. In crafting our response, staff from Heartland Alliance's Impact Division gathered input from 17 staff members across the Alliance's companies, including staff with lived experience of homelessness, staff working directly with adults and youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness, and staff working on policy and systems-level solutions to prevent and end homelessness.

Subsidized Jobs Program Spotlight: Goodwill of North Georgia

October 29, 2021

Across the country, Goodwill rapidly engages economically marginalized jobseekers with employment, using subsidized jobs programs and other workforce development strategies. Based in Atlanta and the surrounding metro area, Goodwill of North Georgia's subsidized jobs program, operating since 1925, connects jobseekers to immediate, wage-paid employment, paired with a contextualized learning environment and individualized supportive services. This program spotlight discusses Goodwill of North Georgia's subsidized jobs model and its impact and calls for federal investments in subsidized jobs to support jobseekers facing structural barriers to employment. Goodwill of North Georgia's headquarters is located in the 4th Congressional district of Georgia. The representative for this district is Henry C. "Hank" Johnson Jr. (D). The Senators for Georgia are Senators Raphael Warnock (D) and Senator Jon Ossoff (D).   

Deploying Distributed Renewable Energy to Reduce the Impacts of Extreme Heat on the Urban Poor

October 20, 2021

This paper explores the potential for distributed renewable energy (DRE) to play an increased role in mitigating heat risk in large urban and peri-urban settlements via its integration into passive and active cooling solutions. 

Waking the Sleeping Giant: Poor and Low-Income Voters in the 2020 Elections

October 15, 2021

The 2020 presidential elections saw the highest voter turnout in U.S. election history, including among poor and low-income voters (LIV) . Of the 168 million voters who cast a ballot in the general election, 58 million—or 35% of the voting electorate—were LIV. This cuts against common misperceptions that poor and low-income people are apathetic about politics or inconsequential to electoral outcomes.To tap into the potential impact of these voters in the 2020 elections, the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival (PPC:NCMR) launched a non-partisan voter outreach drive across 16 states. The drive targeted urban and rural areas and reached over 2.1 million voters, the vast majority of whom were eligible LIV. The drive had a statistically significant impact in drawing eligible LIV into the active voting electorate, showing that intentional efforts to engage these voters—around an agenda that includes living wages, health care, strong anti-poverty programs, voting rights and policies that fully address injustices of systemic racism, poverty, ecological devastation and the war economy—can be effective across state borders and racial lines.

Subsidized Jobs Program Spotlight: Growing Home

October 7, 2021

Growing Home is an urban farm that has run a subsidized jobs program in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood since 2005. The program serves individuals who face structural barriers to employment and engages them in immediate, wage-paid employment on the farm. This program spotlight discusses Growing Home's subsidized jobs model and its impact and calls for federal investments in subsidized jobs to support jobseekers facing structural barriers to employment. Growing Home is located in the 1st Congressional district of Illinois. The representative for this district is Bobby L. Rush (D). 

Global Multidimensional Poverty Index 2021: Unmasking disparities by ethnicity, caste and gender

October 7, 2021

This report provides a comprehensive picture of acute multidimensional poverty to inform the work of countries and communities building a more just future for the global poor. Part I focuses on where we are now. It examines the levels and composition of multidimensional poverty across 109 countries covering 5.9 billion people. It also discusses trends among more than 5 billion people in 80 countries, 70 of which showed a statistically significant reduction in Multidimensional Poverty Index value during at least one of the time periods presented. While the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on developed countries is already an active area of research, this report offers a multidimensional poverty perspective on the experience of developing countries. It explores how the pandemic has affected three key development indicators (social protection, livelihoods and school attendance), in association with multidimensional poverty, with a focus predominantly on Sub-Saharan Africa. Part II profiles disparities in multidimensional poverty with new research that scrutinizes estimates disaggregated by ethnicity or race and by caste to identify who and how people are being left behind. It also explores the proportion of multidimensionally poor people who live in a household in which no female member has completed at least six years of schooling and presents disparities in multidimensional poverty by gender of the household head. Finally, it probes interconnections between the incidence of multidimensional poverty and intimate partner violence against women and girls.