During the ISAAC’s Public Meeting in October, the Anti-Poverty Task Force presented a list of barriers to employment such as job readiness skills, health issues, criminal record, substance abuse, photo identification, housing, transportation and child care. Local organizations such as Momentum, Michigan Works and Employer Resource Network are providing services to help families obtain jobs and become self-sufficient. However, many families still need assistance if their wages do not cover work-related expenses such as child care and transportation. To remain employed and have the opportunity to move up the employment ladder they need a gradual decrease in state benefits over time, rather than losing them all at once.
At the Public Meeting, several state house candidates including State Representative Jon Hoadley committed to advocating for conducting a study to determine which state benefits can provide a gradual release of support when a person becomes employed. To support this work, the Anti-Poverty Task Force will focus on the following actions in 2019:
- Gather information on the status of the One Fair Wage Campaign.
- Invite State Rep. Jon Hoadley to speak about the state benefits study along with Kym Hollars from Goodwill.
- Partner with Michigan Works to advocate for the 2019 re-authorization of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF).
– Dr. Regena Nelson, Anti-Poverty Task Force co-chair