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Michigan League for Human Services

has used its report findings a in a broad-based advocacy effort to educate communities about the potential effect of welfare \"reforms\" which make vulnerable populations less employable, and to prevent further reduction in welfare assistance programs in the state.September/October 1994 issue of Poverty & Race

300 N. Washington Square, Suite 401
Lansing, MI 48933
517/487-5436
Contact: Beverley McDonald

In 1993, Michigan League for Human Services published The Impact on Individuals and Communities of the Reductions in Social Services in Michigan in 1991-1992 (available from MLHS, May 1993,56 pp., $10). In 1991, the State of Michigan eliminated its General Assistance program, the state's only safety net program for single individuals and childless couples who are poor and under 65, many of whom are minorities. The research, supported by a grant from PRRAC, found that elimination of Michigan's GA program further eroded an already decimated economic base in the state's struggling urban communities. The study also discovered an inability of the labor market to absorb GA recipients and an increase in homelessness.
Since publication of the report, MLHS has used its findings in a broad-based advocacy effort to educate communities about the potential effect of welfare "reforms" which make vulnerable populations less employable, and to prevent further reduction in welfare assistance programs in the state. The research has been used to provide information on the experience in Michigan to inform national policy-making. MLHS has also used the research to provide technical assistance to other advocacy groups across the country addressing welfare reform in their respective states, where similar cuts are being proposed. Assistance includes strategic analysis of how to address welfare reform initiatives and how to develop effective campaigns to counter severe cuts. MHLS also testified before the Connecticut state legislature on the experience of eliminating GA in Michigan and its impact on the poor.
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