Human Services

Low-income water assistance program set to end

Advocates are pushing to extend the program as poverty rates in the U.S. are on rise, an increase attributed to the end of other expanded pandemic benefits for food, rent and unemployment.

States will soon be required to track post-welfare employment outcomes

The new rule, part of the debt deal struck in June, is a bipartisan effort by Congress to improve welfare assistance and lift recipients out of poverty.

Crunch time in Congress could hit state and local programs

The legislative logjam on Capitol Hill is backing up everything from child care to disaster funding. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

Cities struggle to solve the public restroom problem

There's a lack of public restrooms in U.S., which particularly affects the homeless. New policies and portable toilet models are helping to address the shortage.

Food assistance for new moms and toddlers projected to fall short

The number of low-income women signing up for the federal Women, Infants and Children program is sharply increasing. But funding levels don't look likely to change. 

For states, the rollout of 988 still faces some challenges

One year in, states are struggling to staff up the suicide prevention lifeline and get the word out about its existence.

Post-pandemic, SNAP benefits aren’t high enough to buy food

A new study finds that people in three-quarters of the nation’s counties don’t receive enough food assistance to pay for their groceries.

Child welfare staffing crisis can only be solved by addressing capacity issues first

COMMENTARY | We need creative solutions to provide enough capacity for caseworkers to complete their work in an effective, timely and efficient way.

As states hunt for new voters, Massachusetts adds thousands via Medicaid applications

Any eligible voter in the state who applies for Medicaid is automatically added to the rolls, unless they opt out. Other states are exploring similar systems, which experts say could be more effective in increasing voter rolls.

Amid looming ‘child care cliff,’ states scramble to bolster programs

Billions in federal subsidies for child care providers are set to run out in September, causing as many as 3.2 million children nationwide to lose their daycare spots. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Roundup.

State coffers to take a hit with the end of extra federal Medicaid funding

During the pandemic, states received more than $117 billion in additional federal Medicaid funding in return for pausing disenrollments. That extra money is set to end this year.

Mayors: There’s a Mental Health Crisis in Every City

It is causing drug overdoses and homelessness in cities across America. But with the debt deal to freeze spending, it is uncertain whether federal help is coming.

Feds Give States More Flexibility in Medicaid Redeterminations

But, according to federal data, states already aren’t using all the latitude given to them to keep eligible people on the low-income health care program.

SCOTUS Preserves Medicaid Patients’ Right to Sue

Had the court ruled differently, it would have stripped millions of people who rely on federal assistance programs of the ability to sue states when their rights are violated. Plus, more news to use from around the country in this week's State and Local Round

Federal Covid Changes Helped Feed Twice as Many Kids During Summer

Some advocates say the summer feeding programs could be more flexible even when there’s not a national emergency.

Senate Passes Debt Ceiling Bill, Approves New Work Requirements for Benefits

States will have to meet stricter rules for those receiving food stamps and welfare assistance. Some worry it will actually hamper states’ ability to help people get back to work.

The Pros and Cons of the Debt Deal for States and Localities

The deal doesn’t claw back billions of dollars promised under the infrastructure and climate laws, but it does keep federal spending flat and adds work requirements for food stamp recipients.

County Wants to Employ Ex-Offenders and ‘Break the Cycle’

A unique jobs website lists available Shelby County government jobs for people with arrest or conviction histories in an effort to fill job vacancies and reduce recidivism.

Funding for Rental Assistance is Ending, But Need Continues

Some states are working to develop programs that will pick up where pandemic-era programs are leaving off.

The Fight to Reverse Increasing Maternal Mortality Rates

The U.S. has some of the highest mortality rates in the world. A study in North Carolina found approaches that are making a difference.