Poverty

The Trump administration's proposal to push millions of people out of the federal food stamp program would punish some of the country's neediest, including children, seniors and people with disabilities, according to mayors of 70 American cities who have sent a letter to an administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The Trump administration is considering changing the way the government measures poverty, which has anti-poverty groups worried that many low-income individuals will be pushed off assistance programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and Head Start.

The possible change would involve adjusting the poverty line annually using a different inflation measure, one that would result in a slower increase over time.

Madeline Fox / WLRN

The women’s worried conversations about paying utility bills, scraping together enough change to pay for transportation and pawning jewelry to pay for medical treatment seemed at odds with the designer purses at their well-clad feet.

For the organizers of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s poverty simulation at B’Nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, that was the point.

united way of Broward county
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Half of all households in Broward County can't afford basic necessities, like housing, transportation, healthcare and childcare, according to a new report. 

These ALICE families — which stands for Asset Limited - Income Constrained and Employed — are either living in poverty, or close to it, and don't have savings. 

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Thousands of homeless residents across Florida have been arrested in recent years on charges of asking for money in public spaces without government authorization. A lawsuit filed this month by the Southern Legal Counsel alleges that those thousands of arrests are violating the First Amendment -- a stance that has previously been upheld by U.S. District Courts for the Middle and Northern Districts of Florida.

Despite a strong economy, about 40 percent of American families struggled to meet at least one of their basic needs last year, including paying for food, health care, housing or utilities.

Joe Cavaretta / Sun-Sentinel

A controversial city of Fort Lauderdale ordinance banning the sharing of food with homeless residents in a city park was dealt a blow by a federal appeals court Wednesday. The decision declared food sharing as protected by the First Amendment, and sent the case back to a lower court to decide whether the city violated the right to free speech.

The lower court had previously sided with the city.

holding hands
Flickr Creative Commons / WLRN

Over the past two years, The Community Foundation of Broward has awarded 16 grants totaling $800,000 to local nonprofits to bring relief to residents who are struggling financially. 

Now the foundation is accepting a new round of applications to fund programs that promote economic independence. 

Daniel Rivero / WLRN News

Javier Vizoso knew that he was going to move to Miami at some point. But the one-two punch of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on the island of Puerto Rico last September accelerated his decision.

What kind of year will 2018 be?

Our blog covers global health and development, so we're not going to make any predictions about North Korea or Middle East peace or who will design Meghan Markle's dress.

What we do have to offer: prognostications about a variety of issues, including the fight to wipe out polio, the dark side of drones and the #MeToo movement.

Wild polio will be finished by June, but cases caused by vaccine won't

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The winter solstice, Dec. 21, is marked every year as Homeless Persons' Memorial Day. It's the longest night of the year.

Every year Key West holds a ceremony remembering those who died during the year. This year 71 names were read.

They ranged in age from infants to 95.

But only nine of them were homeless. The rest were people still listed on the county forms as "paupers" - those whose remains went unclaimed. So the county takes responsibility for cremation and their remains are placed in the crypt owned by the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

Equity is a growing focus in South Florida, as communities try to address problems like high housing costs and a car-centered transportation system that excludes some public transit users.

A new organization is hoping to spur even more conversations about how to resolve some of those problems.

It’s called the Miami Urban Future Initiative and its goal is to bring together researchers, business leaders, officials and activists on critical equity issues that accompany South Florida's ongoing growth. 

The growing number of fatherless children in this country poses one of the the most serious problems in education today, according to best-selling author Alan Blankstein.

He has spent most of his life advocating for kids who struggle in school. He wrote Failure is Not an Option, a guide to creating high-performing schools for all students.

When it comes to poor Americans, the Trump administration has a message: Government aid is holding many of them back. Without it, many more of them would be working.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney said as much when presenting the administration's budget plan this week to cut safety net programs by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 10 years. The administration also wants to tighten work requirements for those getting aid, such as food stamps, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.

Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long.

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