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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Passarella, Letitia L.; Nicoli, Lisa T.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a...

    Economic recovery from the Great Recession has been slow for families with very low incomes. Those with incomes at the very bottom have only experienced two years of household income growth, rising 9% to $13,608 in 2016. Comparatively, middle-income families have had five years of growth with an increase of 11% to just over $59,000. Middle-income families now have earnings higher than their pre-recession levels, while those at the bottom still have not fully recovered. Given these low earnings and slow growth, it is important to examine those families who may have required additional support through Maryland’s Temporary Cash Assistance (TCA) program.

    The annual report series, Life after Welfare, examines outcomes of families who left cash assistance. The series focuses on families’ characteristics, employment and earnings outcomes, and the receipt of other public benefits. The 2017 update includes a sample of 12,597 families who left the TCA program between January 2004 and March 2017. We examine trends through the lens of three different cohorts: (a) Mid-2000s Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2004 and March 2007; (b) Great Recession Era—an increasing caseload between April 2007 and December 2011; and (c) Great Recession Recovery—a declining caseload between January 2012 and March 2017.

    The main findings from this report indicate that families’ financial situations improved after exiting the TCA program, compared with their circumstances before they came onto the program. Nonetheless, these families struggle to rise above poverty and maintain independence from cash assistance. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Scally, Corianne; Batko, Samantha; Popkin, Susan; DuBois, Nicole
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    Recent proposals, including the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way plan, propose deep cuts and possible reforms to housing assistance. Currently, only one in five eligible renter households receives federal assistance. Any reductions to funding and the proposed reforms threaten the well-being of millions of households. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, the evidence on contemporary policy proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our knowledge that suggest the need for more investigation prior to policy changes. (Author abstract) 

    Recent proposals, including the President’s FY 2018 proposed budget and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s A Better Way plan, propose deep cuts and possible reforms to housing assistance. Currently, only one in five eligible renter households receives federal assistance. Any reductions to funding and the proposed reforms threaten the well-being of millions of households. This report provides an overview of the current landscape of housing assistance, its central role in the safety net, the evidence on contemporary policy proposals, and identifies critical gaps in our knowledge that suggest the need for more investigation prior to policy changes. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: Carson, Jessica A.; Mattingly, Marybeth J.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    In this brief, we use interview and focus group data to describe some of the ways that restricted rural housing stock affects working families in two rural New England counties, and explore solutions proposed by rural residents and experts to make housing affordable (see Box 1 on page 2). Rural amenities and scenery make residence in certain New England regions desirable for second-home owners, vacationers, and retirees. However, the use of housing for these purposes, combined with efforts to conserve acreage and preserve scenery, serves to diminish the supply of housing, making it unaffordable for many low- and moderate-income residents. Moreover, the housing that is available varies in quality, and regional nonprofit and federal housing assistance programs lack the capacity to meet all residents' needs. (Author abstract)

    This report was also published as an Issue Brief at the Carsey Institute for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

    In this brief, we use interview and focus group data to describe some of the ways that restricted rural housing stock affects working families in two rural New England counties, and explore solutions proposed by rural residents and experts to make housing affordable (see Box 1 on page 2). Rural amenities and scenery make residence in certain New England regions desirable for second-home owners, vacationers, and retirees. However, the use of housing for these purposes, combined with efforts to conserve acreage and preserve scenery, serves to diminish the supply of housing, making it unaffordable for many low- and moderate-income residents. Moreover, the housing that is available varies in quality, and regional nonprofit and federal housing assistance programs lack the capacity to meet all residents' needs. (Author abstract)

    This report was also published as an Issue Brief at the Carsey Institute for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.

  • Individual Author: Parkes, Rhae
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    This brief describes strategies and opportunities for Public Housing Authorities and other owners and operators of assisted housing to finance supportive services. This brief is not exhaustive, but it compiles lessons and observations based on the author’s work in the industry. Given the significant challenges some families face, even while housed, no single strategy will work in isolation. A multilayered approach is needed to develop more sustainable platforms on which to deliver supportive services. (Author abstract) 

    This brief describes strategies and opportunities for Public Housing Authorities and other owners and operators of assisted housing to finance supportive services. This brief is not exhaustive, but it compiles lessons and observations based on the author’s work in the industry. Given the significant challenges some families face, even while housed, no single strategy will work in isolation. A multilayered approach is needed to develop more sustainable platforms on which to deliver supportive services. (Author abstract) 

  • Individual Author: McCay, Jonathan; Derr, Michelle; Person, Ann
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2018

    A road test is an iterative, rapid prototyping approach used to refine the design and implementation of a program strategy or intervention. This analytic piloting process involves multiple cycles of gathering formative feedback, adjusting the design, and strengthening the implementation of a strategy prior to scaling it up. By using this accessible approach to vetting programmatic changes, human services practitioners can clarify and strengthen the linkages between a program strategy and its anticipated outcomes and more precisely identify the necessary conditions for successful implementation. The road test is part of the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) process for using and producing evidence in the course of program change. Pilot testing is a common practice in human services programs (such as workforce development and employment services, safety net programs, child welfare services, early childhood education programs, and healthy family programs, among others), yet programs can often do more to maximize learning from the experience of trying something new. In cases where a...

    A road test is an iterative, rapid prototyping approach used to refine the design and implementation of a program strategy or intervention. This analytic piloting process involves multiple cycles of gathering formative feedback, adjusting the design, and strengthening the implementation of a strategy prior to scaling it up. By using this accessible approach to vetting programmatic changes, human services practitioners can clarify and strengthen the linkages between a program strategy and its anticipated outcomes and more precisely identify the necessary conditions for successful implementation. The road test is part of the Learn, Innovate, Improve (LI2) process for using and producing evidence in the course of program change. Pilot testing is a common practice in human services programs (such as workforce development and employment services, safety net programs, child welfare services, early childhood education programs, and healthy family programs, among others), yet programs can often do more to maximize learning from the experience of trying something new. In cases where a strategy or intervention is rolled out without intentional and incremental refinement, the program change might ultimately be abandoned due to complications or perceived ineffectiveness, resulting in wasted energy and resources. (Author abstract)

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