Advocates for the poor in Ohio say that a several-year-old effort to impose strict work requirements on state welfare and food stamp recipients has led to thousands of families losing aid.
Ohio’s Senate Bill 382 would, for the first time, guarantee a standard of living of at least the poverty level for non-custodial parents. Jack Frech, our Director, voiced his support for this Senate Bill in a letter sent to every Ohio senator last week, with the request that the same provision be extended to the children and their caretakers.
Dec. 1, 2014: Campaign shines spotlight on poor during holidays
Members of the faith community have joined housing and human-services advocates in showing the toll the "low-wage economy" is having on individuals and families across the state, according to a press release. The new effort can be found at www.hardtimesohio.com.
Nov. 17, 2014: Bus route expansion to include Chauncey, Rt. 13
An Athens city bus route expansion, made possible through a state grant and matching dollars from our agency and the city of Athens, will for the first time offer regular public transit in the village of Chauncey and along Route 13, further connecting riders to an already robust public transit system.
Oct. 31, 2014: More Ohioans turning to food pantries, study shows
More than 1 in 6 Ohioans — more than 2 million people — don’t have enough to eat and turn to pantries for food each year, according to a new report, “Hunger in Ohio 2014.” The study, released yesterday by the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, showed a 40 percent jump in the number of people seeking help from four years ago.
Sept. 16, 2014: HAPCAP taking applications for State HEAP, PIPP Plus
Eligible households for the State Home Energy Assistance Program may receive a one-time benefit that can be credited towards a main heating source.
PIPP Plus requires regulated gas and/or electric companies to accept payments based on a percentage of the household income for customers who meet income guidelines.
Sept. 6, 2014: Poverty in Athens Co.: OU students impact percentage
A recent study showing Athens County with the highest percentage of low-to-moderate income residents in the entire state is deeply affected students at Ohio University. Off-campus students indeed skew the numbers, showing a major increase in poverty levels throughout the area.
Sept. 7, 2014: Poverty in Athens Co.: What can/should be done?
In this second of a two-part series, Director Jack Frech helps explain the challenges the county continues to face in its battle against poverty.
Aug., 18, 2014: Advocates say food stamps work requirements violate Civil Rights Act Several poverty advocacy organizations challenged the Kasich administration's move to restrict access to food stamps in most Ohio counties, saying it disproportionately affected poor minorities. Find the full complaint here.
July 28, 2014: Ohio employs nearly 2,400 in new welfare-to-work program
July 23, 2014: Fewer people getting public assistance even as poverty rises
July 15, 2014: How the stress of too little income changes the way people think
June 18, 2014: Cutting the Poor Out of Welfare
June 11, 2014: Elder Abuse Awareness Day set for June 13 in Athens County
June 4, 2014: State's proposed bonuses for welfare workers a "slap in the face"
“It’s a slap in the face of caseworkers,” Jack Frech said of the program. Frech is the director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services. “They (lawmakers) have this perception that there are all these good-paying jobs out there and caseworkers aren’t telling (welfare recipients) about them.”
May 30, 2014: Change in food stamp distribution causing problems for poor
The state’s safety net programs have not been meeting poor Ohioans’ basic needs due to drastic changes in state and federal policies, explained Jack Frech, director of Athens County Job and Family Services. Repressive work policies and benefit reductions have resulted in a loss of more than $570 million a year from the poorest families and the poorest communities in the state, he wrote in testimony he presented Wednesday.
Thanks to the Medicaid expansion that went into effect on January 1, more low-income people are now eligible for free medical services.
Lower-wage jobs have continued to proliferate since the Great Recession, as the economy creates fewer of the mid-wage jobs that have for generations been the backbone of the middle class, according to a new report.
April 23, 2014: America’s hunger crisis, and why Washington ignores it
There’s the 99% and the 1%, and then there’s the 16%. The latter number is the proportion of Americans who don’t have enough food to eat, according to the most recent figures on food insecurity.
April 22, 2014: Support HB 395
April 15, 2014: What if Wal-Mart paid its employees more?
April 1, 2014: A Region Reflects: LBJ in Southeast Ohio - 50th Anniversary
March 21, 2014: Office proposed for JFS to better coordinate benefit programs
March 10, 2014: Smokers may pay for Kasich’s tax cut
The overwhelming majority of data show that most of Ohio’s smokers are poor. They pay little or no income tax, so they would pay more for their smokes but benefit little from the proposed income-tax cut.
“It’s bad news for poor people, that’s for sure,” said Jack Frech, director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services, which is in one of Ohio’s poorest areas. “Let me say, no one should be smoking cigarettes. It’s unhealthy, and no one should smoke. But poor people are not going to be able to turn on a dime and stop smoking because (the state) raises the prices.”
March 7, 2014: What is the SNAP work requirement?
Not entirely clear on what the SNAP work requirement is? Check out this video created by The Center for Community Solutions for an explanation. Still have questions? Leave a comment below.
March 7, 2014: Who is dependant on welfare?
Are we all on welfare? Ananya Roy, professor at the University of California Berkeley, takes a critical look at government dependence in our society and comes to some surprising conclusions. Click through to watch her video to learn more about welfare and entitlements in the United States and their impact on poverty, power and economic inequality.
March 5, 2014: Guardians needed to help area senior citizens
Feb. 16, 2014: Style, stances of Ohio's GOP governor evolving
Athens County Job & Family Services Director Jack Frech says Kasich has done more damage than good for the poor.
"The truth is we've thrown 100,000 people, including 60,000 children, off cash assistance, and those people have nothing and they are hungry and many of them are homeless," Frech said. "That's the reality of his policies. I think it's great that the governor's talking about poor people, but his compassion that he expresses does not reflect the reality of his policies."
Jan. 13, 2014: Many survive solely on food stamps
The federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is designed to provide just 75 percent of a household’s nutritional needs. But what happens when it becomes a sole source of income? According to a recent report by the United States Department of Agriculture, that’s the reality for many in Ohio and nationwide. Of Ohio’s 880,000 households that receive SNAP benefits, 185,000 (or 21 percent) had no “earned or unearned” income. Read our agency news release by clicking here.
Jan. 1, 2014: Ohio expands Medicaid
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