poverty

War on Poverty
6:39 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

To Break Cycle Of Child Poverty, Teaching Mom And Dad To Get Along

Brittiny Spears, 26, is not with the father of her daughter, Zykeiria, 4. "He just still wanted to go out and party and be a little boy," Spears says.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 9:52 am

After a half-century of the War on Poverty, an anti-poverty agency in Ohio has concluded that decades of assistance alone just hasn't changed lives. Instead, it says, the ongoing breakdown of the family is to blame.

"You're seeing the same people come year after year, and in some cases generation to generation. And so then you think, why is that happening?" says Jennifer Jennette, program manager of the Community Action Commission of Erie, Huron and Richland Counties in Ohio.

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WAMC News
10:27 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Springfield Mayor Renews Call For Moratorium On Refugee Resettlements

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 6:22 pm

The Mayor of Springfield, Massachusetts has renewed a call for an end to new refugee resettlements in Springfield.  Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal said the mayor has raised concerns that need to be addressed.

     Mayor Domenic Sarno first called for a moratorium on refugee resettlements in Springfield 10 months ago, but then backed off amid criticism from social service providers and advocates for immigrants. Sarno said his office recently learned that up to 70 refugees will be settled in Springfield in the coming year.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:33 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Young Black Men Pay a Hefty Price

David Canton is an associate professor of History at Connecticut College
Chion Wolf

President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's called "My Brother's Keeper," and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the  problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's  mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back. 

This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will  help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:16 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Connecticut Is the Land of Plenty, for Some

Lucy Nolan is the Executive Director of EndHungerCT
Chion Wolf

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of thoughts about food today but they won't be about how to get some. It will be about what you want for lunch and what you feel like having for dinner.

You might have an argument with yourself about whether you can afford to eat a snack or dessert, but to you the word "afford" has to do with your weight and your waistline.

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Guilty and Charged
5:22 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons

After spending three weeks in jail because he couldn't afford his court debt, Papa lost his job at a small steel plant. He has since found a job as a security guard.
Grant Hindsley for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 10:31 am

  • Listen to the Story: Part 2
  • Listen to the Story: Part 1

Debtors prisons were outlawed in the United States nearly 200 years ago. And more than 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear: Judges cannot send people to jail just because they are too poor to pay their court fines.

That decision came in a 1983 case called Bearden v. Georgia, which held that a judge must first consider whether the defendant has the ability to pay but "willfully" refuses.

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Public Defenders
4:57 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Big Fees For The Big Easy's Poorest Defendants

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 12:23 pm

In the next installment of an NPR investigation, Joseph Shapiro goes to New Orleans to look at the ways poor people are charged for their public defender in court.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Guilty and Charged
8:38 am
Tue May 20, 2014

As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying The Price

The proliferation of court fees has prompted some states, like New Jersey, to use amnesty programs to encourage the thousands of people who owe fines to surrender in exchange for fee reductions. At the Fugitive Safe Surrender program, makeshift courtrooms allow judges to individually handle each case.
Nicole Beemsterboer/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 10:02 am

In Augusta, Ga., a judge sentenced Tom Barrett to 12 months after he stole a can of beer worth less than $2.

In Ionia, Mich., 19-year-old Kyle Dewitt caught a fish out of season; then a judge sentenced him to three days in jail.

In Grand Rapids, Mich., Stephen Papa, a homeless Iraq War veteran, spent 22 days in jail, not for what he calls his "embarrassing behavior" after he got drunk with friends and climbed into an abandoned building, but because he had only $25 the day he went to court.

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Guilty and Charged
6:17 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Unpaid Court Fees Land The Poor In 21st Century Debtors' Prisons

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 11:43 am

Debtors' prisons were outlawed in the United States back before the Civil War. But an NPR state-by-state survey found that people still get sent to jail for unpaid court fines and fees.

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Law
7:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Court User Fees Bill Defendants For Their Punishment

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 3:27 pm

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary. Courts have found a new source of funding. They charge user fees to defendants who use the criminal justice system.

These extra charges can add up to hundreds and even thousands of dollars per person on a felony or a simple misdemeanor like a driving offense. NPR has spent the last year looking at the growing practice. NPR investigative correspondent Joseph Shapiro is here to talk about the series. Joe, good to have you.

JOE SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Thank you, Lynn.

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Health Disparity
2:59 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Smoking Rates Decline in Connecticut, But Striking Disparities Persist By County

Credit Marius Mellebye / Creative Commons

Although smoking rates in Connecticut decreased between 1996 and 2012, striking disparities persist among counties, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:30 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Raising the Minimum Wage

Raising the minimum wage will put more money on the plates of those who need it most
Credit Tax Credits / Creative Commons

Minimum wage in Connecticut is higher than the federal minimum, $8.70 an hour instead of $7.25. In fact, the federal minimum is so ridiculously low that not many people are earning it. Maybe as few as 1.5 million, according to one study. 

So, what happens if it goes up to $10.10 an hour here, or less likely, nationally. Some minimum wage workers will tell you that is still ridiculously low, $15 an hour is more like it. And, there are movements to help fast food workers bargain collectively for that kind of raise.

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Minimum Wage
5:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Economists' Views Differ on Whether Minimum Wage Would Hurt Job Growth

Reverend Samuel Saylor of Hartford spoke at a rally outside the Connecticut State Capitol last May to support raising the minimum wage.
Credit Connecticut Senate Democrats / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama will be in Connecticut on Wednesday with four governors to push for a higher minimum wage of $10.10 an hour.

The increase is controversial, but what might actually happen if it goes up? Increasing the minimum wage is a contested political issue, but it's also an economic question that can be studied.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:00 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Broccoli is Best!

Credit whologwy, Flickr Creative Commons

Somehow, kale has become trendy in the last few years, although its moment in the sun seems to be almost over. How did a thing like that happen? Would it be possible to infuse an old standby like broccoli with a similar hip panache? Broccoli is the warmest vegetable, and the coolest.

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Poverty
3:50 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

LBJ's War on Poverty Sidetracked by Politics, Economics

President Lyndon B. Johnson on his poverty tour on May 7, 1964 in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Credit Cecil Stoughton / LBJ Library Photos

Fifty years ago in his state of the union address, President Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty." Today, there are still 50 million people in poverty in the U.S. But Yale Historian Jennifer Klein said that number doesn't mean Johnson's war was a failure.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

War on Poverty is Far From Won

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Credit LBJ Library

Just over 50 years ago, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered his State of the Union address and made a pledge to the nation. "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America," he said.

Johnson didn't live long enough to see the end of the War on Poverty...and neither have we. Poverty continues to be a big problem in the United States and right here in Connecticut.

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Homelessness
8:27 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Visiting Hartford's Homeless Population

A dormitory-style home in a truck trailer in Hartford.
Credit Susan Campbell

Frequent WNPR guest and former Hartford Courant columnist Susan Campbell rode along with the Hartford Homeless Outreach Team early on Thursday morning. She works for Partnership for Strong Communities, which is working to end homelessness.

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Data
10:13 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Incomes Across Connecticut: Poorest in City Centers; Flush in Fairfield County

Credit WNYC

An interactive map showing median household incomes in neighborhoods across the U.S. shows that Connecticut is poorest in its urban centers, and wealthiest in Fairfield County. The numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey Five-Year Estimates, assembled elegantly by the data news team at WNYC.

Food Assistance
3:11 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Food Pantry Demand Linked to Benefit Cuts

Federal stimulus funds that supported SNAP benefits ran out on November 1, and area food pantries have seen an increase in demand.
Credit Rick Reinhard / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s food pantries and soup kitchens continue to see rising numbers of people in need of food assistance. Nancy Carrington is president of the Connecticut Food Bank. She said though there’s been slight improvement in job growth in the state, its not affecting people at the lower end of the pay scale.

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Food Assistance
11:29 am
Sun November 17, 2013

See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Screen grab of a map that shows hard numbers about who's getting hit by food stamp cuts.
Stateline

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:20 pm

When you think of Oregon and food, you probably think organic chicken, kale chips and other signs of a strong local food movement. What probably doesn't come to mind? Food stamps.

And yet, 21 percent of Oregon's population – that's one out of every five residents – relies on food stamps to get by. And like many people across the country, these Oregon families who have come to rely on federal food assistance program for meals are learning to make do with less as of this month.

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Energy Assistance
2:14 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Fuel Affordability Gap Widens

Patricia Wrice of Operation Fuel.
Credit CT-N

The gap between fuel prices and what low-income people can afford to pay to heat their homes in Connecticut has more than tripled in recent years. Operation Fuel, the nonprofit which provides energy assistance to thousands of households in the state, said the number of residents in need is growing. 

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Hunger
12:07 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

1 In 8 Suffers From Chronic Hunger Globally, U.N. Report Says

Schoolgirls eat a free midday meal in Hyderabad, India, last month. India has offered such meals since the 1960s to persuade impoverished parents to send their children to school. A U.N. report released Tuesday finds modest progress in the worldwide fight against chronic hunger.
Mahesh Kumar A. AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 1:17 pm

Worldwide, roughly 1 in 8 people suffered from chronic hunger from 2011 to 2013, according to a new report from three U.N. food agencies.

They concluded that 842 million people didn't get enough food to lead healthy lives in that period, a slight drop from the 868 million in the previous report.

The modest change was attributed to several factors, from economic growth in developing countries to investments in agriculture. And in some countries, people have benefited from money sent home by migrant workers. But the gains were unevenly distributed, the report's authors say.

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A Real Living Wage
8:52 pm
Sun September 22, 2013

Episode 487: The Trouble With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew supports herself and her son in New York City on $23,000 a year. According to the government, she does not live in poverty.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 8:48 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

According to the government, there are 46.5 million Americans who live below the poverty line. In other words, that's how many people are officially poor. But pretty much everyone who studies poverty agrees: The way we arrive at this figure is completely wrong.

On today's show, we figure out how we got here, why still measure poverty in a way that so many people agree is wrong, and how could we do it better.

For more, see our stories:

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Food Stamps
7:12 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program

A woman and her daughter shop for groceries in New York City's Union Square using electronic benefits transfer (EBT), more commonly known as food stamps, on Wednesday.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:51 pm

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to slash $40 billion from the federal food stamp program.

GOP lawmakers cited what they said was widespread abuse of the program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which is intended to help poor individuals and families buy groceries.

The vote to cut food stamps came on a party line vote of 217-200.

"It's wrong for working, middle-class people to pay" for abuse of the program, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said.

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Food Stamps
6:47 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Fight Over Food Stamps Reveals Sharp Differences in Congress

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro opposes shrinking the federal food stamp program.
Credit Ana Radelat / The Connecticut Mirror

Congress is heading into a major fight over food stamps. The battle highlights sharp ideological differences over a program that helps to feed about 220,000 people in Connecticut.

Conservative House Republicans, especially members of the Tea Party, say the food stamp program has become bloated and discourages people from finding jobs. They propose cutting $40 billion over the next decade from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the official name for food stamps.

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U.S. Economy
12:16 am
Tue August 27, 2013

A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line

Marion Matthew is a home health aide supporting herself and her 17-year-old son.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:02 am

The College Kid

Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.

According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that more than half of all college students who are living off campus and not at home are poor.

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Where We Live
9:52 am
Tue May 21, 2013

A Secret In The Suburbs

Eduardo Mueses, Flickr Creative Commons

Poverty is a problem you tend to think of affecting very urban and very rural areas of America. But a new Brookings study shows a shocking fact: that over the last decade, the poor population in the suburbs has grown by about 60 percent. That national trend follows the same path as local metro areas are seeing, and the numbers aren’t just due to the effects of the economic downturn.  

We explore that subject and check in with Elaine Zimmerman from the Connecticut Commission on Children to see what the impact of all this is on Connecticut’s kids.

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Where We Live
10:24 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Hyper-Local Aid To Africa

Chion Wolf

The idea ‘For what you pay to feed your cat, you can save lives in my country.’ That...set a fire under Quinnipiac Professor Dennis Richardson.

He works in remote villages in Cameroon to aid a community of about 1,000 people.

On the opposite side of Africa, student and faculty of the University of Hartford are helping remote farmers create sustainable agriculture businesses in rural Kenya.

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Increase in Poverty
7:15 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Paying Attention To Poverty In Connecticut

A report released Friday says more than 720,000 people are living at or near the poverty level in Connecticut.

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Where We Live
10:37 am
Fri January 27, 2012

El Sistema

Emily Moran

Thousands of children struggling against poverty find hope - and the path to a better life - through classical music.

Its not some pipedream...but a very real and inspiring story of El Sistema - The System: a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids and captured the attention of the world.

Today, we talk with the author of a book about El Sistema. We’ll also speak with educators who are using music to transform the lives of students right here in Connecticut.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Wed January 25, 2012

A Look at Homelessness

davco9200, creative commons

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