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University of Wisconsin–Madison
Poverty-related issues in the news, from the Institute for Research on Poverty

Tag: Delaware

Kids Count Report – Delaware

Study: Almost half of Delaware children experience trauma, stress, By Meredith Newman, May 1, 2018, News Journal: “Almost half of Delaware children experience some type of traumatic or stressful moment growing up that could influence a child’s overall health, according to a new study.  The annual Kids Count report, released Tuesday, found that 48 percent of kids in Delaware experience one or more adverse childhood experiences, slightly higher than that the national average of 46 percent…”

Bail Reform

  • Atlanta mayor signs new ordinance changing cash bail system in a nod to the needy, By Rhonda Cook, February 5, 2018, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: “Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed an ordinance Tuesday that eliminates the Municipal Court’s cash bond requirement for some low-level offenders who otherwise would sit in jail because they can’t afford bail…”
  • Delaware strengthens bail reform movement, By J. B. Wogan, January 29, 2018, Governing: “Delaware Gov. John Carney signed a bill late last week that places the state among a small group that has moved away from cash bail. ‘You have poor people who pose no risk of flight or no risk to the community incarcerated on a full-time basis before trial,’ says Delaware state Sen. Bryan Townsend, a co-sponsor of the bill. ‘That’s not at all what the criminal justice system is supposed to be about.’ On any given day, jails across the country house some 700,000 people — many of whom are there because they can’t afford to pay bail…”

Pediatric Hunger Screening – Delaware

Delaware pediatricians now screen for hunger, By Alonzo Small, May 1, 2017, News Journal: “Delaware pediatric health care practices believe the answer to ending food insecurity in Delaware is asking the right questions. Along with general inquiries about vaccines and other medical issues designed to pick up areas of medial concern, many family doctors and pediatricians now screen for a far simpler, more direct question: Do you have enough to eat..?”

Kids Count Report – Delaware

Delaware’s child poverty rate remains high, By Jen Rini, April 1, 2015, News Journal: “Close to 50,000 kids in Delaware live in poverty, a number higher than 20 years ago.  Many wonder when their next meal will be. School may be the only place where they can find clean clothes. The holiday season might be nonexistent.  ‘A lot of them are just hungry for some nurturing,’ said Anthony Powell, executive director of Kingswood Community Center, an organization that serves close to 6,000 kids in inner city Wilmington.  Delaware’s child poverty statistic was flagged in a recent Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count study as one that needs attention. The study, unveiled Wednesday, compiles 20 years worth of data on factors that impact kids health and wellness…”

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Delaware

  • Food stamp use increasing in Delaware, By William H. McMichael, Jon Offredo and James Fisher, March 9, 2014, News Journal: “Each Delaware community experienced different problems. In New Castle County, it was the loss of good-paying jobs. In Smyrna, thousands of newcomers seeking an affordable life stumbled into economic troubles. In Rehoboth Beach, younger workers and seniors struggled to make ends meet. In each, increasingly, many Delawareans needed help with food. The number of state residents receiving food stamps has nearly tripled over the past 10 years, far outpacing the relatively small increase of 14 percent in population…”
  • Food Stamps in Delaware: Rising need ‘a big deal’ in Smyrna, By Jon Offredo, March 9, 2014, News Journal: “There’s something about the once quiet farming community around Smyrna that has attracted Christina Quiros and thousands of others over the past 10 years. Mostly, it’s a better way of life, a cheaper cost of living and the promise of a new beginning. Quiros, 40, joined her husband last summer. A former police dispatcher, she thought finding a job would be easy. He already had moved to the area to look for work, which he found for a time…”
  • Food Stamps in Delaware: One NCCo community looks to recover, By William H. McMichael, March 9, 2014, News Journal: “A once-prosperous swath of homes and businesses across New Castle County has seen first-hand the impact of lost jobs and lost opportunity. Here lived workers from Chrysler, MeadWestvaco, MBNA, Avon and the dozens of businesses that supported those major employers. Those jobs have disappeared. And across the area, which stretches from the state’s western border south of Newark to the Christina River, the use of food stamps over the past decade has grown dramatically, even as the population has fallen…”
  • Food Stamps in Delaware: Shopping trips involve careful planning, By Jon Offredo, March 9, 2014, News Journal: “Erick Coleman reaches in and grabs five fried chicken strip dinners from one of the freezers lining the frozen food aisle at Food Lion in Newark. ‘This is a meal right here,’ Coleman, 42, said, clutching the boxes of Hungry Man. ‘If I could afford it, I’d never eat these again.’ Like others across Delaware, Coleman hits the supermarket twice a month. He and his girlfriend plan out what they need, scour the newspapers for coupons, and keep an eye out for must-grab in-store deals like the two half-gallon containers of orange juice for $5 they place in their cart, or the two packages of shredded cheese for the same price…”
  • Food Stamps in Delaware: Coastal Sussex changes hit some hard, By James Fisher, March 9, 2014, News Journal: “Rehoboth Beach is Delaware’s biggest coastal resort, its air thick with the scent of vinegary french fries and sloppy cheesesteaks. There’s even a store at the beach offering bacon-infused ice cream. The coastal town draws many vacationers interested in owning beach homes or condos, and willing to pay high prices in a community that has seen the median sales price grow to $647,000 for a single-family home. But the area is also seeing a rising use of food stamps, according to data from the state Department of Health and Social Services. In 2003, 260 people received the food assistance in the Rehoboth ZIP code of 19971, which had 10,000 residents then…”

Jobless Benefits – Delaware

Jobless benefits bill: 1-week waiting period, higher taxes, By Jonathan Starkey, June 2, 2013, News Journal: “Delaware racked up more than $70 million in debt sending out unemployment checks during the recession. Now the bill is coming due, and proposed legislation would pay down the debt by raising taxes on businesses and forcing jobless Delawareans to wait a week before collecting state benefits. Gov. Jack Markell is backing the proposed changes, which administration officials say would stave off even higher federal taxes in coming years. The proposal is working its way in the Legislature. Delaware, which is not the only state needing to tackle the problem, began borrowing from the federal government in March 2010 to pay for unemployment benefits, with the bill reaching as high as $78.5 million. The state-administered unemployment trust fund currently owes about $71.5 million…”

Affordable Housing – Delaware

Limited rental choices: Low-income families try to keep up with Del. rent, By Eric Ruth, August 28, 2012, News Journal: “Up and down Delaware and across the nation, the housing market is seeing new vitality. Sales are starting to edge up, builders are beginning to see hope, and for many, the dream of homeownership seems closer to reality again. Yet for thousands of other Delawareans, a different kind of housing crisis continues, with no solution in sight. Even as the state enjoys a renewed sense of energy in the market for single-family homes, the supply of apartments that lower-income Delawareans can afford continues to dwindle, even as rents continue to rise, leaving thousands struggling day by day to keep a roof over their heads…”

Unemployment Benefits – Delaware, Iowa

  • Jobless-benefit checks phased out, By Chad Livengood, November 15, 2011, News Journal: “Paper unemployment insurance checks will be virtually nonexistent in Delaware by mid-2012. The Delaware Department of Labor plans to do away with almost all paper checks by June, when it begins issuing debit cards to jobless workers who don’t choose to receive their unemployment benefits via a direct deposit into their bank accounts. ‘As far as the paper check, it’s going to go the way of the dinosaur,’ said Tom MacPherson, director of the division of unemployment insurance. There may still be some paper checks issued to people claiming unemployment benefits for the first time, MacPherson said, but only until a direct deposit can be activated with their bank…”
  • Branstad praises results of closing 36 unemployment offices, By Jason Clayworth, November 14, 2011, Des Moines Register: “Gov. Terry Branstad’s decision that’s being challenged as unconstitutional to close 36 Iowa unemployment offices was praised today by himself and his administration as ‘a significant success.’ ‘Our tracking data indicates that services are equal to or greater than what they were available at this time last year. I see this as a significant success and commend Director (Teresa) Wahlert and Iowa Workforce Development for their good work,’ Branstad said. Branstad in July vetoed portions of Senate File 517 that would have prohibited closure of the 36 Iowa Workforce Development offices across the state. Branstad wrote in his veto letter that the legislation would have prevented the department from putting together a more efficient system for assisting unemployed Iowans…”

Medicaid and Home Care

Delaware government: Medicaid care heads home, By Hiran Ratnayake, February 25, 2011, Wilmington News Journal: “Each morning, a home health aide goes to 43-year-old Lisa Hughes’ Newark apartment to help with her day-to-day life. Because of her health needs, Hughes is among close to 17,000 Delaware residents who would benefit from a new state program that could save millions in health care costs while keeping people out of nursing homes. From the time she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 18 years ago, Hughes’ autoimmune disease has slowly progressed. At first, it caused ‘flashbulb spots’ in her vision, but it has progressed to the point that Hughes needs a wheelchair. Aides from Bayada Nurses, a home health care company, help her get ready every morning and prepare to go to bed at night. A Bayada registered nurse — as well as occupational and physical therapists — also check on her twice a week. Hughes, who gets part of her health insurance through Medicaid, wouldn’t have it any other way…”

Aging Out of Foster Care

  • Governor signs bill to assist children aging out of foster care, By Doug Denison, July 20, 2010, Dover Post: ” Children aging out of the foster care system now have access to greater protections under the law thanks to legislation signed June 14 by Gov. Jack Markell. Under Senate Bill 113, former foster children between the ages of 18 and 21 will now be allowed to petition Family Court and continue to work with the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families to get help with housing, employment, education and health care. Court-appointed child advocates, former guardians and the foster children themselves will be able to bring cases to Family Court that weren’t previously within its jurisdiction. In the last fiscal year, 94 Delaware foster children aged out of the system, putting in jeopardy their ability to continue to receive various kinds of federal- and state-funded assistance. Ten years ago, half as many children were in that position…”
  • Foster kids at 18 aren’t ready to go it alone in the world, By Kathy Markeland, July 24, 2010, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: “Each year, more than 7,000 Wisconsin children are removed from their parents’ homes and placed in foster care. Most of these children will live with relatives or foster parents for a short time and then be reunited with their families. Sometimes families can’t be reunited and children are connected to new families through adoption. But for up to 600 young people in Wisconsin each year, their stay in foster care ends when they turn 18 and ‘age out’ of their foster home. They ‘age out’ of the system that promised to protect them. The national data on the experiences of youths that age out of the foster care system are grim. Compared to their peers in the general population, these young people have a higher incidence of physical and mental health needs, yet are less likely to have health care coverage…”

Aging Out of Foster Care – Delaware

Delaware’s children: On their own after foster care, By Mike Chalmers, July 14, 2010, Wilmington News Journal: “One day when Lorri Moxey was 13, her mother told her she needed a yearlong break from her kids. ‘When I walked into the house, all my stuff was packed and there was a van parked outside,’ said Moxey, now 20. ‘I didn’t know what foster care was,’ she said. ‘I didn’t know where I was going. By the age of 14, I knew she wasn’t coming back. She doesn’t want to be a mother.’ Like many teenagers who enter Delaware’s foster care system, Moxey was not adopted and never went back to her family. She ‘aged out’ of the system when she finished high school last summer at age 19. Most leave when they turn 18. Moxey got lucky, though. One of her former foster mothers took her in until she could get on her feet. But others struggle with the transition to adulthood and may end up homeless, in jail or addicted to drugs, experts said. With the number of teenagers aging out of the system nearly doubling in the past decade, Delaware is about to make big changes to help them line up a home, a job, an education and the little things that new adults need to go out on their own…”

Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program

  • More people apply for energy assistance to help with heating, By Julie Schmit, March 1, 2010, USA Today: “A record number of U.S. households are applying for help to pay home heating bills with 17 states fielding application requests that are up more than 20% from last year, the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association says. Almost 9 million U.S. households are expected to need help paying winter energy bills. That’s up 15% from the record-setting 7.7 million last year, the association says. Next year may be even worse, when more than 10 million households are likely to need help, given continued weakness in the economy and the swelling ranks of the longer-term unemployed, says Mark Wolfe, the association’s executive director…”
  • Requests for heat aid rise, By Aaron Nathans, March 2, 2010, News Journal: “Applications for heating assistance in Delaware are up 10 percent over last year, an increase that mirrors the record number of U.S. households applying for help to pay home heating bills. Seventeen states say requests are up more than 20 percent from last year, the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association said. Almost 9 million U.S. households are expected to need help paying winter energy bills. That’s up 15 percent from the record-setting 7.7 million last year, the association said. Delaware had 16,446 applicants through the end of February, said Leslie Lee, management analyst for the Delaware Division of State Service Centers…”

Increasing Need for Assistance – Delaware, North Dakota

  • More people turn to state to fill basic need: food, By Angie Basiouny, November 2, 2009, Wilmington News Journal: “The number of Delawareans receiving food stamps has jumped by 27.5 percent in the past year, another sign of a recession cutting deeper into household budgets for the most basic of necessities. A total of 98,346 residents — 1 in 9 Delawareans — were enrolled in the food assistance program as of July. Officials said they expect that number to shoot up another 40 percent in the coming year as severance packages offered by many of the state’s biggest employers to laid-off workers expire…”
  • Grand Forks County Social Services sees 30 percent spike in assistance, By Kevin Bonham, November 1, 2009, Grand Forks Herald: “North Dakota might not be feeling the full effects of the economic recession that has crippled the nation over the past year or so, but local taxpayers are feeling the pain. Some symptoms are surfacing in the Grand Forks County Social Services Department. The total number of households in Grand Forks County receiving some type of assistance has increased by nearly 30 percent in just two years. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps, represents the largest increase, with the number of households growing by 35 percent since 2007. In October 2009, 5,677 residents were receiving SNAP benefits. That’s about 8.5 percent of the county’s population, which the U.S. Census Bureau estimated at 66,585 in 2008…”