Thursday, December 16, 2010

Federal money to help struggling families declines despite rising need

Poverty is rising across Colorado. In fact, the number of high-poverty neighborhoods statewide doubled during the past decade. So you might think now would be the time for the federal government to enhance its aid to our state's most struggling families.

Unfortunately, just the opposite is true, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Along with every other state, Colorado's federal funding as part of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program is expected to decline in fiscal year 2011. Colorado's funding is projected to decline 17.3 percent from the average TANF funding of fiscal years 2009 and 2010.

"Consequently, with the need for emergency and temporary assistance (including help finding work) at their highest levels in decades, more low-income parents will go without jobs, more homeless families will go without shelter, fewer low-wage workers will receive help with child care expenses, and fewer families involved with the child welfare system will receive preventive services," the report says.

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