Michigan can lift millions out of poverty, but it will require new initiatives, expanded state policies, and a significant financial investment. The findings from the Michigan Poverty Task Force were presented to Governor Gretchen Whitmer this week and include 35 policy recommendations, organized in five main areas:
- Benefits: Commission a comprehensive study on outcomes for former state assistance recipients and adopt a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families shelter stipend
- Economics: Increase access to Michigan’s Earned Income Tax Credit; support and incubate children’s savings accounts; and expand the housing choice voucher pilot program between the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority and the Michigan Department of Corrections
- Criminal Justice: Expand apprenticeship opportunities for inmates while incarcerated; and divert people with behavioral health needs away from the justice system
- Health, Safety and Housing: Create child support pass-through to families who receive or have received cash assistance; and fund the Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund
- Education: Expand the Great Start Readiness Program; expand Early Childhood Home Visiting and Maternal-Infant Health programs; increase income eligibility for childcare; and expand school breakfast and breakfast-after-the-bell programs
The Task Force was created in December 2019 and tasked with identifying new ways state government can help low-income residents transcend poverty. It was led by the Department of Labor and Economic Growth and consisted of leaders from 14 state departments, with input from the legislature and philanthropy and community organizations.
To read the full report, please click here.
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