6 Things You Don’t Know About Welfare

1. Most people on welfare are children.


2. The nation’s  welfare program, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Need Families), is only available to families with children

Families with Children

3. … And yet, most families living below the poverty line are not enrolled in TANF.  (and the number of families enrolled in TANF has dropped substantially since 1996 – more details here: TANF Misery Index).


4.  When eligible families get cash assistance, there is no separate housing voucher.  All the cash assistance that’s received is used for all living expenses, including housing (rent), transportation, diapers, laundry, personal hygiene products…

532 permonth

5. … And yet, for all that’s changed since 1986 — cash assistance levels have not increased in Minnesota.  (A $110 housing allowance will be added in 2015.)


6.  So why does the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless care about TANF?  Because the majority of homeless Minnesotans are children and families.  There’s a major overlap between homeless families in Minnesota and families that turn to TANF. Minnesota’s safety net should promote stability and economic opportunity for striving families.


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Connect with the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless for campaign updates: facebook/homelesscoalition and @MNHomelessCo.