The Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) is Minnesota’s welfare-to-work program. MFIP provides cash and food assistance to low-income children and their parents.

MFIP, Low-Wage Work & Housing

Women and their Families Turn to MFIP

  • Half of all MFIP applicants were working the quarter before they turned to MFIP in female-dominated industries: Administrative & support (temp agencies) – 17%
  • Retail trade – 13.8%
  • Accommodation & food services – 13.7%
  • Health care & social services – 13.3%

When women lose low-wage work because of layoffs, reduced hours, or child birth, they do not often do not qualify for unemployment insurance – 70% of MFIP applicants are women, 2/3 of people who turn to Unemployment Insurance (UI) are men. [iii]

Did you  know…

  • Monthly assistance has not increased since 1986. A family of three survives on $532/month. 
  • MFIP has extensive work-related requirements : 30 hr/week of job search; must accept the first suitable job offered 
  • Work with a job counselor on an employment plan 
  • 50% of families move from welfare-to-work within one year; 70% transition within three years.[iv] 

Legislative Commission to End Poverty by 2020

    • Minnesota has a bipartisan Legislative Commission to End Poverty that has made holistic policy recommendations with Minnesota should adopt these recommendations.    
    • Commission’s Recommendations include:  
      • Restore work as a way out of poverty 
      • Refocus public assistance to streamline services and support everyone’s capacity and potential (more uniform eligibility requirements) 
      • Help Minnesotans build and maintain financial assets 
      • Increase state support for housing, access to transportation, and support for caregivers 

    Key Data

    • 34% of people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota are children
    • In 2011, there were 42.500 MFIP cases on average (DHS)
      • 70% of parents enrolled in cash assistance are women
      • Approximately 116,400 people are served by MFIP each month (DHS)
        • 81,400 are children
        • Only 40%-50% of unemployed Minnesotans collect unemployment insurance (DEED)
        • Women make up half the workforce but only collect about 1/3 of the Unemployment Insurance (DEED)

MFIP, Jobs & Housing Interviews



TANF Waiver update (7/24/2012) from Assistant Commissioner Erin Sullivan Sutton to the Minnesota Legislature.

MFIP Brochures and Fact Sheets (DHS)

MFIP Self Support Index (DHS)

TANF Work Participation Rate April 2009 (DHS)