“The latest report, from czb consultants, said we need to invest $3 to $4 million initially to address the city's $36 million affordable housing problem.It's basically the same recommendations offered a year ago by the homelessness task force. Back then, Hensley said the city had a housing crisis.”
“Significant portions of West Virginia and Kentucky will soon have a new partner in trying to combat poverty in those regions.”
“As the General Assembly began its session Tuesday, Republicans and Democrats appeared poised to spar on raising the minimum wage in Kentucky.”
“Let’s bring the spirit of Christmas to Congress. The last time the minimum wage went up was in 2009, and, as the owner of a Christmas tree farm and other businesses, I think it’s time for another raise.”
“But in a state where the rollout has gone smoothly, and in a county that is one of the poorest and unhealthiest in the country, Courtney Lively has been busy signing people up: cashiers from the IGA grocery, clerks from the dollar store, workers from the lock factory, call-center agents, laid-off coal miners, KFC cooks, Chinese green-card holders in town to teach Appalachian students.”
“Living without a home, whether it be by choice or circumstance, is a reality for many people and families in the Ashland area. Although all homeless people experience the same types of stress and loss, each case requires different types of attention and assistance. That is where The Neighborhood comes in.”
“With as much as 26 percent of the region's population living below the poverty level, cuts in the nation's food stamp program this month are not good news for families or the food banks that serve them.”
“Howard is among the 47 million people who are affected by government cuts to the SNAP, which is said to be the largest wholesale cut in the program since Congress passed the first Food Stamps Act in 1964.”
"The news just gets grimmer for Kentucky’s children. The state’s youngest children already are wracked by poverty and poor educational attainment."
“Starting this month, 875,000 people in Kentucky have less money to feed their families. They are part of the 47 million Americans who saw their SNAP (food stamp) benefits cut on Nov. 1 due to the end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that passed four years ago.”
“Officials announced yesterday that people who use food stamps will see cuts to their monthly benefits through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), starting Nov. 1. That’s because temporary, extra SNAP money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has run out and there won’t be any more.”
“Kentucky’s Department of Community Based Services earlier this year cut $58 million from its Child Care Assistance Program, which helps low-income parents pay for care while they go to work.”
“It is unacceptable that so many nonelected employees in the judiciary system fall under federal poverty guidelines for a family of four, and that a larger number qualify for food stamps based on their current salaries.”
“Medicaid managed-care contracts awarded by the state of Kentucky last month should mean new business and new hiring for a couple of Kentucky’s biggest insurance providers.”
“Enrollment for Kentucky's health insurance marketplace, Kynect.ky.gov, begins today. That means the news will soon be full of stories about successes and failures, quotes about hopes and fears, and predictions about deliverance and disaster.”
“A new 24/7 Wall St. report reveals that only four states are poorer than Kentucky.
Kentucky’s poverty rate of 19.4 percent in 2012 was much higher than the national rate, which is less than 16 percent; median income is under $42,000 a year — more than $9,000 below the national median.”
“Not surprisingly, West Virginia and Kentucky have fared poorly in a new health study released this week, this one focused on how well low-income people are served.”
“How ironic it would be if the Affordable Health Care Act — aka Obamacare — actually make it more difficult for low-income Kentucky residents to receive health care even though an estimated 300,000 more state residents are expected to qualify for Medicaid under the controversial law.”
“The number of Medicaid providers for the poor, disabled and elderly in Kentucky declined 8 percent after the state moved to a managed care system two years ago, according to a review released Wednesday.”
“Despite assurances from the Republicans who control the House that they would consider reauthorizing the nutrition program before it runs out in October, a conference committee with the Senate has yet to materialize. While Congress dithers, the food security of millions of Americans and 800,000 Kentuckians is in jeopardy.”
“Kentucky has accepted federal funding from the Affordable Care Act to expand the government insurance program for the poor. Tennessee, where political opposition to “Obamacare” runs strong, has not. Kentucky is an anomaly in the South.”
“Construction has begun, and the final legal challenge to the Ohio River Bridges Project has been swept aside, but Kentucky and Indiana still need to resolve how to lessen the sting of bridge tolls on the area’s low-income and minority residents. The federal government requires such a plan, and the states are weighing a number of options that include waiving tolls for buses and allowing low-income commuters to buy only a few trips at a time.”
“A lack of available beds for senior citizens in the Kentucky area neighboring Ohio is increasingly forcing many to move north of the Ohio river, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer. The newspaper's investigation showed that Ohio taxpayers shell out more than $6 million per year for the Kentucky patients covered by Medicaid. Sixty percent of the cost is paid using federal dollars and the rest is picked up by the state.”
“Let's consider Gov. Steve Beshear's decision that Kentucky will participate in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). In Kentucky, effective Oct. 1, people whose annual income is below 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856 per year for a single individual, plus about $5,500 per dependent) may enroll in Medicaid for coverage that will begin Jan. 1, 2014.”
“While the constitutionality of Gov. Steve Beshear’s decision to heave Kentucky onto Obamacare’s Medicaid wagon – the one that rolled through the hills of the Bluegrass State last May – is being challenged in court, there also are plenty of concerns about whether adding hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians to the government health-care dole is worth the cost.”
“Homelessness in Southern Indiana is real, but it is different from homelessness in Louisville. How? Very simply put: money. It is easy to point fingers and say the folks in Jeffersonville are not as enlightened as Louisvillians. After all for 30 years Louisville has had a Coalition for the Homeless. Also, Louisville has several million dollars to address homelessness because it is an entitlement community. It is much easier to address an issue when you have the resources to do so.”
“This summer, instead of hanging out poolside or playing outside all day, about 100 Jefferson County Public Schools students will be working on reading comprehension as part of the district’s Summer Reading Institute. The program, which is in its first year, is JCPS’ way of reaching its homeless students, who number more than many people realize, said John David Marshall, JCPS assistant superintendent of diversity, equity and poverty.”
“In Kentucky and Indiana, poverty is worsening for children, according to the latest Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count report, which serves as an annual update on the welfare of children, state by state. And with poverty come a host of poor outcomes for children — including educational attainment, living conditions, abuse, neglect, health and hunger. If you doubt the last item, please read the letter on this page about child hunger in Kentucky and the nation.”
“Under the expansion, which takes effect in 2014, about 308,000 Kentuckians will become eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, which changes the government health plan from one that serves only the very poor and disabled to one based on income. The expansion allows anyone at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level to sign up.”
“The school focuses on low-income middle-age women from Appalachia, many of whom married young, became young mothers, and lack the skills and education needed to raise themselves from poverty. It takes 14 women at a time for a three-week session that teaches them everything from self-esteem to literature, taking care of themselves medically to visiting the state Capitol. It also gives them clothing and accessories to wear to job interviews.”
“More than 300,000 uninsured Kentuckians will become eligible for Medicaid after Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that the state will expand the health insurance program - taking advantage of President Barack Obama's controversial Affordable Care Act.”
“Better access to care is critical. If low-income families are lucky enough to have dental coverage, it often is through Medicaid, which limits services to adults. And the number of dentists across the state who accept Medicaid is shrinking, largely because low reimbursement doesn't cover expenses.”
“More than a quarter of Kentucky seniors - 27 percent, federal figures show - have had all their natural teeth extracted, ahead of only West Virginia and Tennessee. And 53 percent of Kentucky adults have had at least one permanent tooth pulled. A shrinking number of dentists across the state take Medicaid, and more than half of Kentucky adults have no dental insurance. Waits at some safety-net clinics can stretch to half a year, and a mobile dental service run by Louisville's health department recently stopped when its dentist left.”
“The ER costs borne by either taxpayers or paying patients and their insurers are drastically lower. So are the number of times police and ambulance time were diverted from other duties to tend to him. The recommendations of the task force Gray appointed to study homelessness and affordable housing in Lexington take into account the wide range of assistance — what are called wrap-around services — required to seriously reduce homelessness, thereby reducing civic costs and human suffering.”
“The equity report cited research on the links between poverty and health. For example, the report said, lower socioeconomic status is linked to hostility and depression, which are associated with coronary heart disease. It also pointed to research showing that poverty limits access to resources such as good housing, stable health insurance and healthful food.”
“Jenna Keller Berdel, a strategy officer with the Lumina Foundation, an Indianapolis-based private foundation that focuses on getting more low-income students to enroll and complete college, said she hopes groups working to boost education focus on low-income students.”
“Unfortunately, cigarette tax hikes would ultimately harm consumers, retailers and the economy, all while likely failing to meet revenue estimates. Picking an easy target in "sin taxes" is an obvious cover for reckless fiscal management, and Kentuckians should see right through such a politically motivated gambit. For one, low-income earners are more likely to smoke, and thus a 67 percent tobacco tax hike would hit Kentuckians suffering most during the continued economic uncertainty.”
“Designed to build assets, the federal program is designed to ‘give low-income families a hand up out of poverty,’ according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. The savings accounts are for Louisville-area workers who earn an average of $11 per hour or less.”
“A recent estimate by state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday forced a harsh retabulation of school budgets last week. District administrators face up to 9.2 percent in federal, across-the-board budget cuts prompted by the March 1 sequestration. Funding to special education and low-income learners will take the hardest hits, Holliday said. The cuts will slice up to $3 billion nationally in education alone.”
“While our local economy is rebounding, we still have a long way to go before all of our citizens feel financially stable. As we go through tax season, many citizens who may be struggling to make ends meet should be aware of an important service in our community: the Central Kentucky Economic Empowerment Program or CKEEP.”
“While some would like to believe that hunger is a problem better solved by charity, charity can't do it alone. We also need a strong federal safety net. Speaking from the front lines, we are barely able to keep up with existing need, and there is no way we could make up the difference if federal anti-hunger programs are cut, as some in Washington have proposed.”
“Reducing the eligibility for child-care assistance will force parents living marginally above the poverty line, whose options are already limited, to make choices that will undoubtedly negatively affect their, and their children's, lives.”
“The Senate approved two bills Friday that would give the Legislature more say on the federal health care overhaul's role in Kentucky. The measures would allow lawmakers to vote on whether Kentucky expands the Medicaid program and sets up a state-run marketplace to sell insurance to individuals and small businesses.”
“Living Cities Inc. has selected Louisville for an initiative to learn new ways to increase and encourage civic engagement with urban millennials living in poverty. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization is a national collaborative of 22 of the world's largest foundations and financial institutions that works to improve the lives of low-income citizens.”
“The sixth annual Walk for Warmth drew 170 participants and raised $11,900 for Lexington Rescue Mission’s Homeless Prevention Program, according to Natalie Cunningham of the mission.”
“The state recently announced an $86 million cut in child-care assistance for low-income working parents. Also included in the cuts are subsidies to relatives raising abused or neglected children. That's quite a statement for a governor who hung his hat on a platform of the importance of early childhood education and created a statewide Early Childhood Advisory Council and a Governor's Office of Early Childhood, none of which has made any comment on the impending collapse of the system that houses most of our children younger than 5.”
“One of the reasons the count was low, Johnson said, was rainy weather probably held down attendance at Owensboro Christian Church, where the count was held. The homeless were informed of the count, encouraged to participate and given bus passes to get to the church where a resource fair was held, along with a meal, shower facilities and other incentives such as haircuts and dental screenings.”
“A successful, prosperous future for Lexington is a goal we all share. We will not succeed, however, if fully one quarter of our children are growing up in poverty and lack the economic and social opportunities they need to succeed. Our schools and the early childhood community are making great strides to ensure preschool-age children have a good foundation. But we have done little as a community to ensure pre-teens and teens from households with low-incomes are on a track for success.”
“When the counting of people on the streets ended late Thursday night, volunteers had found 51 homeless people living under overpasses, surviving in rude campsites, or taking cover anywhere they could find it around Lexington.”
“An estimated one in 10 Louisville households already benefits by claiming the credit, Yarmuth said. Still, 20 percent of those who are eligible do not apply, he said, possibly because they are unaware they can. ‘The earned income tax credit is proven to be the best way to help individuals and families get out of poverty,’ Yarmuth said, adding that the average resulting tax refund is $2,200.”
“Janet Hodes plans to eat next week on a total budget of just $31.50 , equivalent to the average subsidy each food stamp recipient receives. Roughly one in five Jefferson County households get food stamps — and as the number of people who depend on them climbs, Hodes is joining a Jewish Community of Louisville campaign to show people what it’s like to live on the meager stipend of roughly $1.50 per meal .”
“This entire testing mania came about because children from poverty were not succeeding in school as well as middle-class children. So, without research or analysis, politicians decided that the problem was teachers. They decided that if we test the children and publish the scores, it will shame teachers into doing a better job and prompt the public to demand better. For a decade now we have tried it, and it hasn't worked. The gap between kids from poverty and the middle class remains, but the aftermath has been disastrous.”
“One of the greatest misperceptions is that Kentuckians who receive food stamps and other income maintenance benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income, are receiving a major share of the state's budget, Crouch said. However, the Personal Current Transfer Receipts (to individuals from the government) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the largest percent (40.03) goes for Medicare and public assistance/military medical care benefits.”
“Nichol and his extended family have long been supporters of the Chrysalis House and also have an interest in providing quality, low-income housing. The two passions came together in a program that allows Chrysalis House graduates like Fox a chance to sublet an apartment through the recovery program until they can support themselves.”
“A quarter of Kentucky children live in poverty - more than 240,000 across the commonwealth. And those numbers are on the rise, according to a report released Friday. They are among the statistics in the Kentucky Kids Count 2012 County Data Book, a joint project of Kentucky Youth Advocates and the Kentucky State Data Center at the University of Louisville.”
"How can we begin today to create the skilled future work force of tomorrow? Let's start by boosting enrollment eligibility in the Kentucky Preschool Program from 150 percent to 200 percent of the poverty level. This would give almost 4,000 more 4-year-olds and their families access to a quality early education."
“There were about 12,400 homeless students in Jefferson County Public Schools during the 2011-2012 school year. That amounted to about 13 percent of all students and a 21 percent increase from the prior year, according to the housing coalition. The school district's figures show about 100 fewer homeless students, with the difference attributed to students who didn't finish the school year in the system.”
“The idea behind the EITC is that a family shouldn't be poor if a parent is working full-time. The credit enables eligible workers to reclaim all of the federal income tax that was withheld from their paychecks, plus a refund up to the amount of the credit if the credit is more than the tax liability.”
“A new study funded by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says the state's Medicaid managed-care program has led to gaps in health care services and appears to lack case management efforts needed to improve care. Gov. Steve Beshear implemented the managed-care system in November 2011 with the goal of saving millions of dollars and improving health care for roughly 560,000 low-income and disabled beneficiaries outside the Jefferson County region.”
“Jagoe Homes will break ground on a Homes for Hope project house Friday, the proceeds from the sale of which will go, in part, to Aid the Homeless in Owensboro, as well as a ministry that helps people escape poverty in Third World countries.”
“Kentucky has one of the highest poverty rates in the country, according to the latest federal statistics. Depending on which indicator used to measure poverty - the federal poverty level for households, or the percentage of individuals, regardless of family status, who are considered poor - Kentucky ranks as having either the seventh- or fifth-worst poverty rate among all U.S. states and the District of Columbia.”
“Because of a delay in the allocation of Low Income Housing Energy Assistance Program funds at the federal level, Audubon Area Community Services will not be able to help with their clients' utility bills just yet. The application process for LIHEAP funds began on Monday and will continue as usual. However, money is not yet available and AACS can't forward those applications to the utility companies.”
“The subsidy phase of the annual program that helps low income residents of Metro Louisville with utility bills begins Nov. 5 and will run through Dec. 14. The program, known as LIHEAP, for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, is operated by the Louisville Metro Community Action Partnership.”
“Lexington's Urban County Council agreed Thursday to delay voting on a proposed regulation that would require any organization wanting to open a homeless shelter in the city to get a permit from the Board of Adjustment.”
“Antipsychotic drugs given to poor children under Kentucky's Medicaid program jumped 270 percent from 2000 to 2010, according to a report prepared by the University of Kentucky's Center for Business and Economic Research. Minority children received these drugs at three times the rate of white children, and the incidence of prescribing varies wildly from region to region, county to county.”
“Louisville's homeless population will have access to services, information and assistance in an, all-day one-stop environment at the 2012 Project Homeless Connect/VA Stand Down Wednesday. They will be able to get food, clothing, medical evaluations, help with employment, education and benefit services, and many other forms of assistance.”
“No one neighborhood should have to shoulder responsibility for Lexington's homeless population. The responsibility is much broader than that, and lasting solutions will require broad community support. Coming up with recommendations that can win that necessary support is one of the challenges facing a commission appointed by Mayor Jim Gray.”
“Their targets will be unregistered people using public transportation, as well as college students, busy blue-collar workers, the low-income population and the homeless. ‘During our voter registration efforts, we attempt to go out to the places in the community where we can meet folks who likely aren't registered,’ said Ondine Miranda Quinn, Central Kentucky organizer for the grassroots group.”
“Anyone wanting to open a homeless shelter in Lexington would have to get a permit from the Board of Adjustment under a new regulation proposed at Tuesday's Urban County Council work session. The regulation would create a new definition for an adult day-care center and require a permit if it is closer than 500 feet to a residential area.”
“Students from low-income families in Bullitt County may now qualify to receive free dental work from two nonprofit agencies. The Bullitt County Public School Board agreed last week to let Arizona-based Big Smiles bring its dental program into schools where at least 35 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch.”
“The mayor recently established a Commission on Homelessness to address these and other homeless issues in Lexington. Given concerns about increasing violence against homeless people and public policies that seek to criminalize homelessness, it seems far better for our city to approach concerns regarding homelessness in a collaborative and compassionate way as an inclusive community and not slip into the ugly and hostile patterns to which some cities have succumbed.”
“The National Coalition for the Homeless is seeking to change that. As part of the organization's ongoing effort to highlight this type of crime, it publishes a biannual report detailing its research into hate crimes committed against homeless people. In the most recent edition, ‘Hate Crimes Against the Homeless: Violence Hidden in Plain View,’ they tabulated these crimes from across the country. Kentucky is barely noted in the statistics, with just three incidents in the past 12 years.”
“The Wal-Mart Foundation awarded the Daniel Pitino Shelter a $50,000 grant Monday to help with the shelter's soup kitchen, life skills program and general fund. The Pitino Shelter houses 65 residents and feeds from 60 to 256 people at lunch every day. The shelter was created in 1993 to create emergency and transitional housing for the growing number of homeless people in Owensboro and Daviess County.”
“The Regional Water Resource Agency pledged up to $10,000 Monday to help needy families pay for higher sewer bills related to this summer's drought.”
“Herald-Leader reporter Linda Blackford on Sunday provided some insight into why the graduation rate of low-income students fell from 46 percent to 35 percent: The legislature routinely raids lottery funds intended for need-based financial aid to balance the state budget.”
"Nearly 15 percent of Kentuckians lack health insurance, including about 290,000 low-income adults who would be eligible for the Medicaid expansion. It may surprise many that about eight out of 10 uninsured Kentuckians are working adults. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Kentucky could benefit greatly as a result of the Medicaid expansion — with about 57 percent of uninsured adults eligible for coverage."
"Kentucky stands to benefit most from the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, according to a study. The health care law expands Medicaid to nearly all individuals under age 65 with incomes of as much as 133 percent of the federal poverty line, according to the Lexington-based Lane Report."
"Lexington zoning officials are attempting to force the closing of the Community Inn, an overnight homeless shelter on Winchester Road. They say that a conditional-use permit allows a church at the site, but that the Community Inn is not a church."
"But it also serves to highlight complicated links between poverty, nutrition, obesity and overall well-being. Insecurity or hunger? 'Those public service announcements come back to haunt me,' said Mark Nord, the USDA sociologist in charge of food insecurity data."
"Navrot and 12 other Rutgers students urged lawmakers to continue supporting Pell Grants for low-income students and to reverse long-standing plans to increase the interest rate on subsidized college loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, an increase Navrot said would be "insurmountable."
"This has been a body blow to mid- and low-wage workers, but the highly placed and educated have benefited enormously. When companies replace workers with robots and secretaries with software, the savings are passed on to executives and shareholders. This upward shift in wealth also benefited from significant reductions in the tax rate on upper income since 1980."
"When Head Start was launched in 1964 as a piece of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty, Bill Ferzacca traveled as a national consultant, informing people about how the new federal law would help disadvantaged children get better prepared for kindergarten."
"With nearly a fourth of Kentucky's 1 million children living in poverty and suffering some of the worst oral health in America, the state Board of Dentistry voted recently to develop regulations to permit hygienists to treat children in a public-health setting, perhaps stemming a near-epidemic of tooth decay in the very young."
"We know low-income children in particular are likely to enter kindergarten one or two years behind in language and other important skills. We know almost one half of children in many Appalachian counties are living in poverty."
"District figures show that, as of January, 49.4 percent of students enrolled in the Fayette County Public Schools were receiving free or reduced-cost school meals, based on their families' low incomes."
"The Louisville Metro Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday that allows the city to buy the old Maupin Elementary School and transfer it to the nonprofit Family Scholar House, which will turn the blighted property into affordable housing for single-parent college students."
"About 250 people attended the session that featured representatives from the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government, child welfare professionals and advocates, as well as concerned citizens, discussing possible improvements to the child welfare system. The event was sponsored by Kentucky Youth Advocates."
"Kentucky has had a pre-school program in our public schools since the 1990 passage of the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Families with incomes of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level qualify for the program."
"Crosby Middle School eighth-grader Breya Jones said she was pretty sure she understood what homeless people looked like, and until a couple of weeks ago, that image didn't look anything like her. She had no idea that at least 28 of her schoolmates are considered to be homeless by the district."
"A program that stuffs thousands of backpacks full of peanut butter, crackers and cereal every Friday so Jefferson County elementary students from low-income homes have something to eat each weekend is about get much bigger."
"Johnson was recently evicted from her apartment because she could not pay rent and water and electric bills. Since then, Johnson and her 11-month-old daughter, Love Roberts, have been staying with a friend in a quiet apartment community in Lexington."
"Homeless veterans are most likely to be middle-aged white men with a disability. Younger veterans are more than twice as likely to be homeless than nonveterans in the same age group. And California has the most homeless veterans of any state, accounting for about a quarter of the nation's total."
"Holiday jobs at malls and warehouses have traditionally been taken by teachers, college students and others looking to pick up a little extra spending money. The jobs typically last no longer than a couple of months and pay minimum wage or only slightly more, with no health insurance or retirement benefits."
"The U.S. Agriculture Departmentdefines it as a census district where at least 20 percent of the inhabitants are below the poverty line and 33 percentlive more than a mile from the nearest supermarket."
"Poverty is assuredly a factor in the achievement gap. But it's not the whole story. Students who receive free or reduced-price school meals, the common measure of poverty, are performing better than black students."
"Oldham as a district made 15 of 22 of its goals this year, falling short with math and reading among black students, low-income students and students with disabilities. The district also missed it's math goal among Hispanic students."
"For the first time, the majority of Kentucky's public schools have failed to meet federal goals in reading and math on statewide tests, according to state test results released Tuesday."
"Assistant County Attorney Pamela Rochester, who worked with Hensley, had already received another request and was planning to attend a church service for the homeless this morning to gauge the interest level."
"Still, the rates of obesity and diabetes remain high, and a significant improvement in health will be possible only when the joblessness and poverty here ease, locals said.
Ms. Fannin said vegetables could be part of this area's economic future. "