Recent Articles

Noted author cites link between poverty and disparate incarceration rates in MN


In the October 2015 issue of The Atlantic, award-winning journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates has penned an expansive and compelling cover story titled “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration.” The starting point for this essay is a discussion of the controversial Moynihan Report (officially known as The Negro Family: The Case for National Action). Continue Reading →

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The danger of focusing reform on ‘concentrated poverty’

Shelterforce began, 40 years ago, as a newspaper for tenant organizers. They were legal aid lawyers and similar rabble rousers in small cities in Northern New Jersey, wanting to connect to other folks doing similar work across the country: organizing groups of tenants to stand up to their landlords about horrendous living conditions, fighting for policies that protected tenants. Continue Reading →

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Flexible funding prioritizes children needs, not parents actions

Photo by katerha

There has been considerable talk about early learning lately. We have heard for so long the alarming fact that Minnesota’s children in poverty are not prepared for kindergarten. It is encouraging to see the growing consensus about the end goal, even as the means are subject of spirited debate. We, as providers of early care and education serving some of the poorest children in our state, are now asking that you open your minds and hearts to hear our point of view. Continue Reading →

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Building assets to escape poverty

During the mid-to-late 2000s, America’s sub-prime mortgage crisis served as the major catalyst to a larger financial emergency which nearly brought the global economy to ruins. In the wake of this disaster, poverty and unemployment skyrocketed toward record levels and millions of American’s lost their homes. The Center for Responsible Lending reports that since 2007 nearly 13 million homes have gone into foreclosure in the United States. The regions hardest hit by this epidemic were the South, West, and Midwest, which included the metropolitan areas of Chicago, Detroit and the Twin Cities. Most affected in the Twin Cities were the neighborhoods of North Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading →

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The federal poverty line grossly underestimates actual U.S. poverty

During the summer of 2008, art would imitate life in New York as Michael Bloomberg implemented a more meticulous and sophisticated method to measure poverty throughout the city’s five boroughs. As such, the poverty rate in New York swelled to 23 percent overnight, and 400,000 New Yorkers joined the ranks of the poor. Continue Reading →

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