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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: McCracken, Vicki ; Sage, Jeremy; Sage, Rayna
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Pressures of the globalized food system have left communities and individuals in precarious situations in which nutritious and accessible food is not a given; research has begun to suggest that relocalization efforts will not necessarily alleviate these trends without directed efforts to produce exchanges that enhance both food and farm security. Existing research in the area of food deserts and Community Food Security lacks significant empirical, spatially relevant support for developing a sound understanding on the variation of effectiveness of federal food assistance programs in relation to local food systems. This research begins to fill this void by first establishing the traditionally conceived food desert estimation for Washington State using grocery store location and census demographic data, followed by an expansion using farmers’ markets. As food deserts are results of an interaction of concentrated poverty and low accessibility to healthful food sources, this report creates two metrics for food desert determination. For urban areas, good access is considered to be...

    Pressures of the globalized food system have left communities and individuals in precarious situations in which nutritious and accessible food is not a given; research has begun to suggest that relocalization efforts will not necessarily alleviate these trends without directed efforts to produce exchanges that enhance both food and farm security. Existing research in the area of food deserts and Community Food Security lacks significant empirical, spatially relevant support for developing a sound understanding on the variation of effectiveness of federal food assistance programs in relation to local food systems. This research begins to fill this void by first establishing the traditionally conceived food desert estimation for Washington State using grocery store location and census demographic data, followed by an expansion using farmers’ markets. As food deserts are results of an interaction of concentrated poverty and low accessibility to healthful food sources, this report creates two metrics for food desert determination. For urban areas, good access is considered to be within a one kilometer walking distance. Meanwhile, the rural areas are assessed for the presence of food deserts based on a ten mile (16.1km) network distance needed to be travelled. Both the urban and rural considerations are conducted at the census tract level in which those tracts with poverty levels in excess of 20 percent and in excess of the distances identified are food deserts.

    This report first establishes the presence of food deserts, then provides an assessment of the variation in redemption rates and utilization of food assistance programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP], Women, Infants, and Children [WIC], Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program [Senior FMNP]). SNAP data is obtained from a reduced sample of the 20 pilot markets located in Washington, while complete WIC and Senior FMNP data have been obtained for 2009 and 2010 from all approved farmers’ markets. (author abstract in working paper)

    This article is based on a working paper published by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

  • Individual Author: McCracken, Vicki A.; Sage, Jeremy L.; Sage, Rayna A.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2012

    Recent research suggests that efforts to relocalize food sources will not necessarily make nutritious and accessible food available to all communities and individuals. In this article, we look at food deserts, which result from an interaction of concentrated poverty with low accessibility to nutritious food sources, and assess the extent to which farmers’ markets improve the availability of healthful and affordable food in these areas. (author abstract)

    This resource is a summary of an article published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

    Recent research suggests that efforts to relocalize food sources will not necessarily make nutritious and accessible food available to all communities and individuals. In this article, we look at food deserts, which result from an interaction of concentrated poverty with low accessibility to nutritious food sources, and assess the extent to which farmers’ markets improve the availability of healthful and affordable food in these areas. (author abstract)

    This resource is a summary of an article published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

  • Individual Author: Lyons, Christopher J.; Pettit, Becky
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2011

    Spending time in prison has become an increasingly common life event for low-skill minority men in the U.S. The Bureau of Justice Statistics now estimates that one in three Black men can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. A growing body of work implicates the prison system in contemporary accounts of racial inequality across a host of social, health, economic, and political domains. However, comparatively little work has examined the impact of the massive increase in the prison system – and growing inequality in exposure to the prison system – on racial inequality over the life course. Using a unique data set drawn from state administrative records, this project examines how spending time in prison affects wage trajectories for a cohort of men over a 14-year period. Multilevel growth curve models show that black inmates earn considerably less than white inmates, even after considering human capital variables and prior work histories. Furthermore, racial divergence in wages among inmates increases following release from prison. Black felons receive fewer returns...

    Spending time in prison has become an increasingly common life event for low-skill minority men in the U.S. The Bureau of Justice Statistics now estimates that one in three Black men can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. A growing body of work implicates the prison system in contemporary accounts of racial inequality across a host of social, health, economic, and political domains. However, comparatively little work has examined the impact of the massive increase in the prison system – and growing inequality in exposure to the prison system – on racial inequality over the life course. Using a unique data set drawn from state administrative records, this project examines how spending time in prison affects wage trajectories for a cohort of men over a 14-year period. Multilevel growth curve models show that black inmates earn considerably less than white inmates, even after considering human capital variables and prior work histories. Furthermore, racial divergence in wages among inmates increases following release from prison. Black felons receive fewer returns to previous work experience than white felons contributing to a widening of the racial wage gap. This research broadens our understanding of the sources of racial stratification over the life course and underscores the relevance of recent policy interventions in the lives of low-skilled minority men. (author abstract)

    This resource is based on a working paper that was previously published by the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan.

  • Individual Author: Kato, Linda Yuriko
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    Is it feasible to engage large numbers of public housing residents when employment services are offered right in their own housing developments? This is one of the many questions that the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (“Jobs-Plus” for short) is trying to answer. Since 1998, Jobs-Plus has been under way in six cities in an attempt to raise the employment and earnings of residents of “low-work, high-welfare” public housing developments. Jobs-Plus offers residents employment-related services, rent reforms and other financial work incentives that help to “make work pay,” and community support to strengthen work-sustaining activities among residents. Operating on-site at the developments and offering service referrals to off-site partner agencies, Jobs-Plus seeks to inform all working-age residents about its services and to accommodate all who come forward for help.

     Key Findings

    • Implementation challenges. Program operators had to overcome residents’ entrenched...

    Is it feasible to engage large numbers of public housing residents when employment services are offered right in their own housing developments? This is one of the many questions that the Jobs-Plus Community Revitalization Initiative for Public Housing Families (“Jobs-Plus” for short) is trying to answer. Since 1998, Jobs-Plus has been under way in six cities in an attempt to raise the employment and earnings of residents of “low-work, high-welfare” public housing developments. Jobs-Plus offers residents employment-related services, rent reforms and other financial work incentives that help to “make work pay,” and community support to strengthen work-sustaining activities among residents. Operating on-site at the developments and offering service referrals to off-site partner agencies, Jobs-Plus seeks to inform all working-age residents about its services and to accommodate all who come forward for help.

     Key Findings

    • Implementation challenges. Program operators had to overcome residents’ entrenched skepticism; contend with crime and safety problems; and address wide variations in residents’ employment histories, cultural backgrounds, and service needs. Efforts to address these problems diverted staff energies away from the program’s immediate employment goals.
    • Saturation. The sites achieved widespread awareness of Jobs-Plus among the target group of residents, enlisting some of them as outreach workers to play a key role in enhancing the program’s profile and credibility among their neighbors.
    • Residents’ engagement. Initial delays in implementing some features of Jobs-Plus added to the challenge of getting residents to embrace the program. However, as of June 2001, over half the targeted working-age residents across the sites had officially attached themselves to Jobs-Plus either as individual enrollees or as members of a household that received rent incentives. As additional Jobs-Plus services and program components became available over time, attachment rates increased among the targeted populations. Jobs-Plus’s place-based approach also permitted the site staff to assist residents in a variety of informal ways that proved critical to the program’s appeal.
    • Contrasting site experiences. Variations in residents’ participation from site to site were influenced primarily by organizational factors, including differences in the sites’ ability to achieve stable program leadership, adequate professional staffing, and continuous support of the local housing authority. At the Dayton and St. Paul sites, an impressive 69 percent and 78 percent of targeted residents, respectively, became attached to Jobs-Plus; by contrast, at the Chattanooga site and at one of the two sites in Los Angeles, only 48 percent and 33 percent of residents were attached to the program.

    This report presents recommendations for how housing authorities and their partner agencies can implement Jobs-Plus’s offer of on-site employment assistance. It describes practical steps that can be taken to promote employment as an expectation that comes with tenancy among working-age residents and to mobilize community resources to address residents’ employment needs. The lessons of this report are also applicable to other place-based employment initiatives that strive to be more accessible and more responsive to residents by locating in low-income communities outside of public housing. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Cancian, Maria ; Klawitter, Marieka M.; Meyer, Daniel R.; Rangarajan, Anu; Wallace, Geoffrey; Wood, Robert G.
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2003

    From its peak in 1994 through 2001, the U.S. welfare caseload declined by nearly 60 percent. The decline became even more precipitous as state welfare reforms picked up speed after Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. In light of these dramatic reductions, many states sponsored studies to track what was happening to current and former recipients of welfare. These studies offer a unique opportunity to use interstate differences in how such families were faring as a key to understanding the effectiveness of different policies. But cross-state comparisons have been problematic, for the studies were generally constructed to be of use for a specific state, and so often use different sampling strategies and different definitions of key outcomes. Thus an important issue that we hoped to address is the extent to which cross-state comparisons are limited by substantive differences in programs as opposed to differences in data or the measures used by researchers.

    The research reported in this article constitutes an early effort...

    From its peak in 1994 through 2001, the U.S. welfare caseload declined by nearly 60 percent. The decline became even more precipitous as state welfare reforms picked up speed after Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act in 1996. In light of these dramatic reductions, many states sponsored studies to track what was happening to current and former recipients of welfare. These studies offer a unique opportunity to use interstate differences in how such families were faring as a key to understanding the effectiveness of different policies. But cross-state comparisons have been problematic, for the studies were generally constructed to be of use for a specific state, and so often use different sampling strategies and different definitions of key outcomes. Thus an important issue that we hoped to address is the extent to which cross-state comparisons are limited by substantive differences in programs as opposed to differences in data or the measures used by researchers.

    The research reported in this article constitutes an early effort to see whether preexisting data from several state studies can be made enough alike to permit valid comparisons among state programs. It also reveals some of the difficulties confronting those who undertake the effort. Our aim was to develop a common set of analyses of the patterns of public benefits and earnings in three states, New Jersey, Washington, and Wisconsin, using administrative and survey data on those who have left welfare and those who have stayed. These three states were chosen in part because in each state a survey of families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) has been or is being conducted by independent researchers, and because each has taken somewhat different approaches to TANF. (author abstract) 

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