Pam Fessler http://ktep.org en Finding A More Nuanced View Of Poverty's 'Black Hole' http://ktep.org/post/finding-more-nuanced-view-povertys-black-hole Ask Anne Valdez what poverty means for her, and her answer will describe much more than a simple lack of money.<p>"It's like being stuck in a black hole," says Valdez, 47, who is unemployed and trying to raise a teenage son in Coney Island, New York City. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 10:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 37853 at http://ktep.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction http://ktep.org/post/voting-rights-fight-takes-new-direction It's that time again, when primary voters start casting their ballots for the midterm elections. As in recent years, voters face new rules and restrictions, including the need in 16 states to show a photo ID.<p>But this year, some voting rights activists say they're seeing a change — <a href="http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/voter-id.aspx#Details">fewer new restrictions</a> and, in some places, even a hint of bipartisanship.<p>Although that wasn't the case last month in Ohio, when the Legislature voted along party lines to eliminate a week of early voting. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 21:05:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 37520 at http://ktep.org Voting Rights Fight Takes New Direction States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows http://ktep.org/post/states-rebellion-against-food-stamp-cuts-grows When Congress passed a farm bill earlier this year, it expected to save $8.6 billion over 10 years by tightening what many say is a loophole in the food stamp, or SNAP, program. Thu, 13 Mar 2014 23:10:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 36631 at http://ktep.org States' Rebellion Against Food Stamp Cuts Grows Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving http://ktep.org/post/groups-use-cash-prizes-encourage-saving When it comes to getting ahead in the world, a lack of savings can be a big hurdle, especially for low-income families. Most don't have enough money set aside for emergencies, let alone for college or a house. Some people think the answer is to make savings more fun, like the lottery, with the chance to win big prizes.<p>It's called prize-linked savings, something that's been available in Great Britain for decades. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 36359 at http://ktep.org Groups Use Cash Prizes To Encourage Saving In Crimea, Public Relations Can Be As Dangerous As Politics http://ktep.org/post/crimea-public-relations-can-be-dangerous-politics Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>Crimea votes this coming Sunday on whether to claim independence from Ukraine. Polls indicate the measure is sure to pass. But pro-Russian politicians are leaving nothing to chance. Mon, 10 Mar 2014 20:22:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 36364 at http://ktep.org Panel Charged With Eliminating Child Abuse Deaths http://ktep.org/post/panel-charged-eliminating-child-abuse-deaths A federal commission to prevent children's deaths from abuse and neglect held its first meeting on Monday. Figuring out the extent of the problem is just one challenge facing the new commission. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 35455 at http://ktep.org Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood? http://ktep.org/post/can-exercising-seniors-help-revive-brooklyn-neighborhood The Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is known for many things, among them huge public housing projects, extremely high poverty and crime. Last summer, a one-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed as he sat in a stroller in the neighborhood.<p>But that's one side of life in Brownsville. Sun, 23 Feb 2014 10:21:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 35345 at http://ktep.org Can Exercising Seniors Help Revive A Brooklyn Neighborhood? Election Panel: Long Lines Were Management Problem http://ktep.org/post/election-panel-long-lines-were-management-problem The commission President Obama appointed last year to figure out how to fix long lines at the polls and other election problems has sought to steer clear of the many partisan land mines surrounding how Americans vote.<p>The two co-chairmen of <a href="http://www.supportthevoter.gov/">the panel</a> continued to that navigation Wednesday as they presented their unanimous recommendations to the Senate Rules Committee.<p>When asked by Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota whether some states were doing things intentionally to disenfranchise voters — like limiting early-voting days — commission co-ch Wed, 12 Feb 2014 22:11:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 34684 at http://ktep.org Election Panel: Long Lines Were Management Problem Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability http://ktep.org/post/nonprofits-pull-investors-tackle-housing-affordability One of the biggest problems facing low-income families in the U.S. today is a lack of affordable housing.<p>According to <a href="http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/americas-rental-housing">a recent report</a> by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard, more than 7 million low-income households now spend more than half of their income for rent, which leaves little money for anything else. And the situation is expected to get worse.<p>Now, a coalition of nonprofit groups is trying to turn things around with a new, more business-like approach to buying real estate. Tue, 11 Feb 2014 21:53:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 34612 at http://ktep.org Nonprofits Pull In Investors To Tackle Housing Affordability Shorter Lines? For Elections Commission, It's Common Sense http://ktep.org/post/shorter-lines-elections-commission-its-common-sense Transcript <p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel. Remember the scenes of those endless voting lines in the 2012 presidential election? Some voters waited for six hours or more to cast their ballots. Well, now a presidential commission has come up with some ways to fix the problem. The panel, appointed by President Obama himself, suggests that more early voting and better voting technology would help. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 21:47:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 33286 at http://ktep.org In Appalachia, Poverty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder http://ktep.org/post/appalachia-poverty-eye-beholder <em>President Lyndon B. Johnson went to eastern Kentucky in 1964 to promote his War on Poverty. But when he did, he opened a wound that remains raw today. People in the region say they're tired of always being depicted as poor, so when NPR's Pam Fessler went to Appalachia to report on how the War on Poverty is going, she was warned that people would be reluctant to talk. Instead, she got an earful. </em><p>Lee Mueller has lived in Martin County, Ky., for much of his life, and he covered President Johnson's visit there as a young reporter. Sat, 18 Jan 2014 15:38:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 33061 at http://ktep.org Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds' http://ktep.org/post/coal-mining-area-grapples-how-keep-bright-young-minds <em>Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education and tax cuts to help create jobs.</em><p><em>In the coming year, NPR will explore the impact and extent of poverty in the U.S., and what can be done to reduce it.</em><p>When President Johnson waged war against poverty in 1964, he traveled to Martin County, Ky., an Appalachian coal-mining region with a poverty rate of more than 60 percent, to promote his cam Wed, 08 Jan 2014 22:11:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 32393 at http://ktep.org Coal-Mining Area Grapples With How To Keep 'Bright Young Minds' Kentucky County That Gave War On Poverty A Face Still Struggles http://ktep.org/post/kentucky-county-gave-war-poverty-face-still-struggles <em>Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon Johnson stood before Congress and declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America." His arsenal included new programs: Medicaid, Medicare, Head Start, food stamps, more spending on education, and tax cuts to help create jobs. </em><p><em>At the time, 1 in 5 Americans was poor. Today, things are better, but tens of millions of Americans are still living at or below the poverty level. That raises the question: Did the war on poverty fail? Wed, 08 Jan 2014 08:29:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 32335 at http://ktep.org Kentucky County That Gave War On Poverty A Face Still Struggles Loophole Or Workaround? (Food Stamp Edition) http://ktep.org/post/food-stamp-program-be-cut-how-much In the debate over whether to cut the food stamp program, members of Congress are looking at two pretty arcane provisions in the law. People who want to cut food stamps call the provisions loopholes. People who don't want to cut food stamps say they're efficient ways to get benefits to those who need them most.<p><strong>1. Categorical Eligibility</strong><p>People who qualify for one means-tested program — like welfare — can automatically qualify for other programs — like food stamps. This is called "categorical eligibility."<p>Jessica Shahin, who oversees the food stamp program at the U.S. Wed, 04 Dec 2013 10:03:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 30182 at http://ktep.org Loophole Or Workaround? (Food Stamp Edition) What Happened To Those TV Ads For Payday Loans? http://ktep.org/post/what-happened-those-tv-ads-payday-loans <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgLMgVq4p_E</p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 21:32:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 28583 at http://ktep.org What Happened To Those TV Ads For Payday Loans? I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next http://ktep.org/post/i-applied-online-payday-loan-heres-what-happened-next Payday lenders made about $49 billion in high-interest loans last year. More than a third of those loans were made online. I wondered what happens when you apply for such a loan, so I decided to find out.<p>In the course of reporting a story earlier this year, I logged on to a site called <a href="etaxloan.com">eTaxLoan.com</a> and filled out an application.<p>I asked for $500 and, to be safe, I made up an address, a name (Mary) and a Social Security number. Wed, 06 Nov 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 28454 at http://ktep.org I Applied For An Online Payday Loan. Here's What Happened Next Is Welfare 'A Rational Alternative To Work'? http://ktep.org/post/welfare-rational-alternative-work For many people, says Michael Tanner, it pays not to work. People on welfare — that's everything from food stamps to Medicaid to heating assistance — can make more in 35 states than they would if they had a minimum wage job, according to Tanner. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 21:24:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 26400 at http://ktep.org Is Welfare 'A Rational Alternative To Work'? A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line http://ktep.org/post/college-kid-single-mom-and-problem-poverty-line <strong>The College Kid</strong><p>Rico Saccoccio is a junior at Fordham University in the Bronx. He's from a middle-class family in Connecticut and he spent the summer living at home with his parents, who cover about $15,000 a year in his college costs.<p>According to the U.S. government, Saccoccio is living in poverty. The $8,000 he earns doing odd jobs puts him well below the $11,945 poverty threshold for an individual. In fact, the U.S. Tue, 27 Aug 2013 04:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 23805 at http://ktep.org A College Kid, A Single Mom, And The Problem With The Poverty Line Tucson Food Bank Helps The Needy Grow Their Own Food http://ktep.org/post/tucson-food-bank-helps-needy-grow-their-own-food Food banks around the country face growing demand, despite improvements in the economy. Many families are still underemployed and struggling. So some food banks are looking for more permanent ways to address hunger, beyond handing out food.<p>One of them is the <a href="http://www.communityfoodbank.org">Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona</a>, based in Tucson. Among the many programs it runs is Las Milpitas de Cottonwood, a community farm located in one of the city's lower-income neighborhoods.<p>More than 50 families have garden plots there. Sat, 27 Jul 2013 10:38:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 21834 at http://ktep.org Tucson Food Bank Helps The Needy Grow Their Own Food Howard Buffett Battles Hunger, Armed With Money And Science http://ktep.org/post/howard-buffett-battles-hunger-armed-money-and-science Get Howard Buffett into the cab of a big ole' farm tractor and he's like a kid — albeit a 58-year-old, gray-haired one. He's especially excited when it comes to the tractor's elaborate GPS system, which he describes as "very cool."<p>"I'm driving hands-free," says Buffett, the son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett.<p>He says that the tractor has been automatically set to plant 16 perfect rows of seeds, "so it makes everything more efficient. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 19:30:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 21574 at http://ktep.org Howard Buffett Battles Hunger, Armed With Money And Science Voting Rights Ruling By Supreme Court Draws Mixed Reactions http://ktep.org/post/voting-rights-ruling-supreme-court-draws-mixed-reactions Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>As we've been hearing, the reaction to the court's decision was strong and immediate.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>President Obama said he was deeply disappointed and he called on Congress to act. Wed, 26 Jun 2013 09:27:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 19700 at http://ktep.org Shortening Lines At Polling Stations A Challenging Task http://ktep.org/post/shortening-lines-polling-stations-challenging-task Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Seven months ago many voters waited in long lines to cast ballots in the presidential election. Well, today a presidential commission charged with fixing the problem was finally up and running. Fri, 21 Jun 2013 22:29:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 19445 at http://ktep.org Can Federal Funds Help Social Service Groups Work Smarter? http://ktep.org/post/can-federal-funds-help-social-service-groups-work-smarter When President Obama first took office in 2009, he had an idea called the <a href="http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/social-innovation-fund" target="_blank">Social Innovation Fund</a>.<p>"We're going to use this fund to find the most promising nonprofits in America," he said when announcing the plan. "We'll examine their data and rigorously evaluate their outcomes. Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:30:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 18734 at http://ktep.org Can Federal Funds Help Social Service Groups Work Smarter? Komen Cancels Charity Races In Several Cities http://ktep.org/post/komen-cancels-charity-races-several-cities One of the foremost breast cancer charities, the Susan G. Komen foundation, has canceled important fundraising walks in Washington, D.C., and other major cities next year. Wed, 05 Jun 2013 21:16:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 18325 at http://ktep.org Overshadowed By Moore, Carney, Okla. Recovers From Twister http://ktep.org/post/overshadowed-moore-carney-okla-recovers-twister Moore, Okla., has gotten the lion's share of resources and attention following last week's tornado. A tornado hit Carney, Okla., last week too. No one died in Carney, but three dozen homes were damaged or destroyed — a big blow to a tiny town. Mon, 27 May 2013 08:47:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 17659 at http://ktep.org 'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash http://ktep.org/post/please-no-more-clothes-okla-asks-monetary-donations The tornado that <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/185643689/2013-tornadoes-in-oklahoma">devastated much of Moore, Okla.</a>, has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.<p>After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help. <strong> Sat, 25 May 2013 09:55:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 17582 at http://ktep.org 'Please, No More Clothes': Relief Groups Ask For Cash House, Senate Consider Cuts In Food Stamp Program http://ktep.org/post/house-senate-consider-cuts-food-stamp-program Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. Food stamps are used by one in seven Americans. The average recipient receives about $133 a month. Now if that sounds hard to live on, the House and Senate are considering steep cuts in food stamp program - or SNAP benefits, as they're known - as part of a major farm bill. Depending on one's perspective, the cuts would either reform the program by closing loopholes, or cause severe hardship for hungry children and senior citizens. Wed, 22 May 2013 10:34:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 17325 at http://ktep.org Advocates Struggle To Reach Growing Ranks Of Suburban Poor http://ktep.org/post/advocates-struggle-reach-growing-ranks-suburban-poor Poverty has grown everywhere in the U.S. in recent years, but mostly in the suburbs. Mon, 20 May 2013 07:07:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 17160 at http://ktep.org Advocates Struggle To Reach Growing Ranks Of Suburban Poor Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One' http://ktep.org/post/sequester-puts-some-needing-housing-aid-back-square-one Congress decided last week to ease the effects of the across-the-board federal spending cuts on travelers upset over airport delays. But low-income Americans who rely on government housing aid are still feeling the pain.<p>Housing authorities across the country have all but stopped issuing rent vouchers as they try to deal with the cuts known as sequestration. Tue, 30 Apr 2013 20:49:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 15853 at http://ktep.org Sequester Puts Some Needing Housing Aid 'Back To Square One' Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead http://ktep.org/post/changes-help-san-diego-homeless-long-road-remains-ahead <em>Two years ago, we reported on an <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/03/08/134035384/campaign-aims-to-open-doors-for-the-homeless">ambitious campaign to end homelessness</a> in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.</em><p><em>At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much. Tue, 16 Apr 2013 21:46:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 14951 at http://ktep.org Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead