April 24, 2019

In Affluent Boca Raton, Philanthropists Try To Understand Poverty's Strain [WLRN]

This post was last updated on September 10, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Madeline Fox of WLRN writes:

“The women’s worried conversations about paying utility bills, scraping together enough change to pay for transportation and pawning jewelry to pay for medical treatment seemed at odds with the designer purses at their well-clad feet.

For the organizers of the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County’s poverty simulation at B’Nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton, that was the point.

The simulation has been used around the country to give teachers, judges and nonprofit workers a sense of the precarity and stress experienced by the people they serve who make just enough money to scrape by.

Cindy Huddleston, a senior policy analyst at the Florida Policy Institute [emphasis added], said only 13 out of 100 families in poverty in Florida receive cash assistance. And from January 2018 to February 2019, an average 5,500 recipients lost access to food stamps each month because of sanctions – not because they no longer need the help.”


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