Latefa Harmon says… "First, let’s be clear. One size does not fit all for poverty; we need effective tiers of services to tackle the poverty issues of today. My name is Latefa Harmon, I am the founder of E1T1 Community Network, and I have over 13 years in direct social service programs, from welfare to work, foster care (current and aging out), formerly incarcerated, criminally involved, etc …. You want to move people off of welfare, then here is what you do (I will give the secret for free). Here are my TOP 5: (1) First and foremost, Human Capital management for HRA, DHS and their workers. Many city workers fall within the 200% of poverty level themselves…(2) Revamp your BACK TO WORK programs, and please structure workforce development where we don’t have a thousand of the same agencies sometimes in the same neighborhoods doing the same thing, yet we have a problem getting people to stay on a job for a year, or even gain employment…(3) Focus employment programs on Career Development – Not JOB placement…(4) Housing vouchers should have tiers, with an expectancy of the person being able to pay market rate rent on their own one day…(5) Have HRA create REALISTIC rental grants for middle income NYC’ers who have a consistent work history, which will help them with the market rate rents…"
WORKING TOWARD A SOLUTION
Issues in the Reauthorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
In testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, MDRC President Gordon Berlin describes recent trends in TANF, particularly during the economic downturn, and discusses what research and experience have to tell say about moving forward with the reauthorization of the federal welfare program.
This policy brief, developed by the Urban Institute for the federal Administration for Children and Families, describes how strategies have helped welfare recipients enter employment and increase their earnings. However, more remains to be learned about how best to substantially increase their self-sufficiency and financial well-being.
A Synthesis of Research
Most welfare programs seek to ensure that poor families have adequate income while at the same time encouraging self-sufficiency. Based on studies of 28 programs involving more than 100,000 sample members, this synthesis compares the costs, benefits, and returns on investment of six welfare program strategies -- from the perspectives of participants, government budgets, and society as a whole.