Welfare Reformed?

When the State and Federal Governments approved welfare reform a few years ago, it upset advocates for the poor. They were concerned Ohio would cut families off of cash assistance and leave them destitute.
But many now agree that welfare reform in ohio has had some success. Still, some say Ohio should do more to help poor families and point out the state already has plenty of money to do it. In "Welfare Reformed?" WKSU's Julie Grant tells the stories of some poor families and reports on the politics of a changing welfare system.
Joel Potts
When it comes to the technical aspects of welfare reform, Joel Potts of the Ohio Job and Family Services Department is the expert. In this interview he explains the changes Ohio has made and how they are encouraging people to work instead of to continue collecting welfare checks. Especially interesting at the end of this segment is his explanation of how dealing with head lice in some southern Ohio counties is expected to reduce the welfare roles.
Monique Gunter
Monique Gunter was staying at the Angeline Crisis Shelter the January evening Julie Grant visited. Gunter is no longer receiving cash assistance through the welfare system, but she's having a tough time affording a permanent place to live.
Betty Myer
Betty Myer is adminstrator of welfare reforms in Cuyahoga County. She explains how the county has changed its social services in recent years to help people become self-sufficient. Myer is concerned the state is going to cut funding to help lawmakers in Washington pay for a tax cut.
Related Links
Welfare Reform Results -- The latest results from The State of Ohio's commissioned study to track welfare reform -- in PDF Format. (requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-in - get one FREE from the Adobe web site)

Povertycenter.cwru.edu -- Case Western Reserve University's Center on Urban Poverty and Social Change is following former welfare recipients in Cuyahoga County -- see their findings.

TheCityMission.org -- Mentioned in the Monique Gunter interview, The City Mission is a multi-faceted ministry reaching out to meet the needs of thousands in Northeast Ohio.

COHHIO.org -- Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio web site. (provided background information for this story)

ODJFS -- The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services web site -- Ohio's new welfare system has two parts. "Ohio Works First" is similar to the old cash assistance welfare program, except it has a three-year time limit. The second part of Ohio's program is called "Prevention, Retention, and Contingency". This is explained in greater detail on the web site.

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