Pam Fessler http://ualrpublicradio.org en A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/campaign-house-homeless-reaches-milestone Mallyveen Teah, 53, has been homeless or couch surfing on and off for the past 25 years. Now, he walks from his job at a construction site in Arlington, Va., to his new home, a one-bedroom apartment.<p>"Something as simple as giving a person a set of keys to their own place makes a huge difference in terms of their outlook on life, the world," he says.<p>Teah is <a href="http://100khomes.org/" target="_blank">part of a campaign launched by a nonprofit group</a> in New York four years ago to permanently house 100,000 homeless people. Wed, 11 Jun 2014 21:04:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 24660 at http://ualrpublicradio.org A Campaign To House The Homeless Reaches A Milestone Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/economic-upswing-has-fewer-americans-receiving-food-stamps Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.<p>But the numbers <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap">have started</a> to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Thu, 29 May 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 24001 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/lack-affordable-housing-puts-squeeze-poor-families The U.S. is in the midst of what Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan calls the "worst rental affordability crisis" ever. Poor families are being hit the hardest: An overwhelming majority spend more than half of their incomes on rent. Tue, 27 May 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 23830 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of Bad Choices And Bad Luck http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/poverty-frustrating-mix-bad-choices-and-bad-luck Stories about poverty can evoke strong reactions, in part because Americans are conflicted about the topic. Both bad circumstances and bad choices can be the cause. Sun, 18 May 2014 11:41:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 23417 at http://ualrpublicradio.org One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/one-familys-story-shows-how-cycle-poverty-hard-break Desiree Metcalf's story is heartbreaking, but among the 46 million Americans who are poor today, her story is not unique.<p>Metcalf is 24 years old.<p>She's the mother of three little girls — ages 6, 4 and 2. They all have different fathers.<p>"That about sums me up, I think," she says.<p>Metcalf is sitting on the floor of her two-bedroom apartment in the small town of Bath, in western New York. A fish tank gurgles in the background. A tiny kitten peeks out from under the furniture. Wed, 07 May 2014 21:06:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 22936 at http://ualrpublicradio.org One Family's Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/changing-picture-poverty-hard-work-just-not-enough There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.<p>And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?<p>Take Victoria Houser, a 22-year-old single mother who lives in Painted Post, a small town in western New York. At first glance, her life doesn't look all that bad. She lives in a cozy two-bedroom apartment. She has food, furniture and toys for her almost 2-year-old son, Brayden. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 22893 at http://ualrpublicradio.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/states-vote-primaries-voter-id-laws-come-under-scrutiny Three states are holding primaries Tuesday, and voters might understandably be confused over what kind of identification they need to show at the polls.<p>In Indiana, it has to be a government-issued photo ID. In Ohio, you can get by with a utility bill. In North Carolina, you won't need a photo ID until 2016. But that law, along with ID laws in many other states, faces an uncertain future.<p>"We have Florida, Georgia, Indiana," says Wendy Underhill, of the National Conference of State Legislatures. Tue, 06 May 2014 20:03:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 22871 at http://ualrpublicradio.org As States Vote In Primaries, Voter ID Laws Come Under Scrutiny Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole' http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/finding-more-nuanced-view-povertys-black-hole Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.<p>"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 21198 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/voting-rights-fight-takes-new-direction It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.<p>But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx#Details">fewer new restrictions</a> and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.<p>Although that wasn't the case last month in Ohio, when the Legislature voted along party lines to eliminate a week of early voting. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 20961 at http://ualrpublicradio.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows http://ualrpublicradio.org/post/states-rebellion-against-food-stamp-cuts-grows When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 20269 at http://ualrpublicradio.org States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows