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Mismatches and Unmet Need: Access to Social Services in Urban and Rural America.

June 2007

Scott W. Allard, Brown University.

Download 'working_paper07-14.pdf'.


How do society and our communities assist low-income populations? Typically, welfare cash assistance, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are identified as primary sources of support for poor populations. These prominent antipoverty programs compose only a part of how society and communities help low-income populations. Instead, social services that promote work activity and greater personal well-being (e.g., job training, adult education, child care, substance abuse or mental health services, temporary emergency assistance) have become a primary method for assisting low-income families. Whereas annual governmental spending on welfare and the EITC total about $10 billion and $40 billion respectively, governmental expenditures for job training and social service programs reach about $34 billion (in $2006). Today, social service programs compose a larger share of governmental safety net expenditures than many scholars and policymakers recognize.

Rural Poverty, Social Welfare Programs and Policies