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University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP Poverty Dispatch

Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

March 27, 2020

The U.S. unemployment rate has likely risen to 5.5 percent already — a level not seen since 2015.

 

The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits soared to an unprecedented 3.3 million last week.

 

People of color make up a disproportionate share of workers in the industries where layoffs are the most intense and only expected to get worse.

 

140 million Americans who are considered poor or low-wealth and could not afford a $400 economic emergency.

 

“This outbreak is going to bring to light and highlight really strongly the types of disparities and the gaps in our health care system that leave people vulnerable,” one expert said.

 

Trump administration policies that discourage immigrants from coming forward could hamper efforts to contain the epidemic.

 

To avoid going out in public, many are turning to online ordering and delivery for basic necessities like groceries. But the coronavirus has created

 

Schools are scrambling to provide meals to students during the COVID19 emergency but some officials say they face regulatory confusion.

 

Thousands of students living in shelters and doubled up in overcrowded apartments have not received web-enabled devices for online learning.

 

“You’re going to see devastation that’s unbelievable.”

 

March 20, 2020

Unemployment sites jam; ag groups fear labor shortage; states pause evictions.

 

The coronavirus has hit restaurants, hotel and gig workers hard, and many of these workers are finding out they don’t even qualify for unemployment insurance.

 

Nearly 20% of U.S. households have experienced either a layoff or a reduction in work hours because of the coronavirus, according to a new NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll.

 

Janitors are going into offices to battle the invisible germs that threaten public health, sometimes without adequate protection or information about what they are facing.

 

COVID-19 could catch fire among the nation’s low-income residents, experts say, but with the crisis comes the opportunity for a just response.

 

As the coronavirus upends the economy, the Trump administration plans to make changes to the food stamp program that could lead to nearly 700,000 people losing assistance.

 

Americans with tight financial resources have fewer options as they navigate coronavirus closures and layoffs.

 

A flurry of federal, state and local action aims to prevent a new housing crisis as the coronavirus pandemic upends the economy.

 

“We’re just as exposed as anybody else in the country.”

 

Legislature fails to pass bill waiving rules on phone, video chats for pandemic.

 

March 13, 2020

“There are some students whose food at school is the one or two meals they’re getting that day. This situation is really highlighting how critical school meals are,” one official said.

 

As cases of the respiratory disease grow in Maryland and throughout the country, daily life is being upended for people from all walks of life. But low-paid service employees are worried their jobs may not provide benefits needed to cope with the outbreak and their interactions with the public put them at risk.

 

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the United States—infecting at least 1,000 people in more than 35 states, as of Wednesday afternoon—experts are recommending that…

 

An outbreak could devastate low-income black and Latino communities that, even in the best of times, face serious medical challenges.

 

As states scramble to control the coronavirus, the Trump administration is denying them key tools in their Medicaid safety net programs to respond.

 

Shelters are a “fertile ground” for transmission of infections like COVID-19. Adding to the risks: Many homeless people in King County are already susceptible because of existing medical problems.

 

Doctors say the country’s more than half-million homeless people are at higher risk of catching and dying from the virus.

 

No cases of coronavirus have been reported among homeless people in the Bay Area yet, but officials are getting ready for what seems like the sure eventuality of that happening.

 

Donation portals, pickup apps and other out-of-the-box solutions take on food insecurity and waste.

 

From Hawaii to Pennsylvania, states are scrambling to curb the impact of a new Trump administration rule that could cause nearly 700,000 people to lose food stamp benefits

 

A new state process to review requests for subsidized child care is so backlogged that needy families who qualify are getting kicked out.

 

Philadelphia may begin testing a cash subsidy pilot in 2020, city policymakers and nonprofit leaders revealed Tuesday at a press conference.