Breathing New Life into TANF

I have been learning about and advocating on safety net programs since I started at Empower Missouri 13 years ago, but have never really learned the history and inner workings of the TANF program.
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We learned about successful campaigns to increase benefit levels, create child support pass throughs, add a diaper or toiletries allowance, or end a flawed policy like the “family cap” in some states.
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With the General Assembly adjourning the 2019 Legislative Session on May 17, social justice advocates in Missouri now have more opportunity to focus on important federal issues. Unfortunately there are many situations where policy changes are being promoted that would lower the quality of life in Missouri communities and reduce safety net funds available to...
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Click the image below to view a downloadable .pdf of our July newsletter.
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It has been clear to criminal justice advocates in Empower Missouri’s network for some time that poverty has been criminalized. Among the ways we have drawn attention to this topic were an April 2017 forum and a special Media Award to Tony Messenger in May 2018 for his series on policies that create debtors’ prisons,...
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While crime has dropped across the nation and also in Missouri, our state is one of only eight states in which the prison population has been growing. In fact, we rank #3, and we have been in a nip-and-tuck race with Kentucky to take home the coveted (NOT!) prize for most women being incarcerated. How...
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