TANF reauthorization – What does this mean to me?

(Plain Press, July 2004) TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) is the federal name for the program that many know as Cuyahoga County Work and Training. TANF is also known as the program that replaced welfare in Ohio and Cuyahoga County .

Currently, our representatives in Washington are deciding just how the federal government will continue to fund the program and what it will look like in the future. One of the more questionable changes up for consideration is an increase in the hours participants are required to work each week. Proposals on the table could increase hours from the current 30 up to 40 hours per week.

Members of the newly formed Lower Income Organizing Group are very concerned about this and other changes proposed. In addition, many members have expressed concern and dissatisfaction as to how the Cuyahoga Counties Work and Training Program is actually working. Some do not see it as a help, feel that they are treated poorly and that little is coming out of it to help them live better. The group is planning a survey about the services provided and needs your help in deciding what and who to ask.

The group will be gathering stories, ideas and comments from community members affected by this program at their next meeting on Wednesday, July 21 st.at 6pm at the May Dugan Center at 4115 Bridge. Incorporating community input is especially important since the group is formulating plans to meet with Senators Michael DeWine and George Voinovich to express concerns and ask for support in fighting some of the proposed changes.

The July 21 st meeting is an opportunity for the community to learn more about what is being proposed and to let their ideas and concerns be heard and included.

The Lower Income Organizing Group consists primarily of low income residents from the West Side of Cleveland. Their mission is to give a greater voice to low income residents about the issues and concerns that affect their day to day lives. It is open to all. Call Tim at 631-5800 for information.


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