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Support Group

The Legacy We Advocate For.

Our work is not done until poverty ceases to exist. One person at a time,

we can and must uplift the unacceptable condition of our nation.

In 2021, 11.6% of Americans, about 37.9 million people (twice New York's population), lived in poverty, a stark contrast to 1935's 64.9%. President Roosevelt's welfare program began then. The system has evolved, reducing poverty rates consistently. Yet, there's more work to do. This page offers a brief history of America's welfare systems for better understanding.

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Former President Roosevelt initiated the United States' first welfare program in 1935 amid the Great Depression via the Social Security Act. This legislation aimed to assist the elderly, people with disabilities, and dependent mothers and children. The Act included Aid to Families of Dependent Children (AFDC), offering indefinite financial support to needy families but failed to facilitate their exit from poverty. In 1996, President Bill Clinton introduced the Welfare Reform Law, shifting focus to the private sector's responsibility. Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) was a component, providing temporary assistance while requiring recipients to seek employment. This marked a shift from merely providing aid to promoting self-sufficiency, initiating a more comprehensive approach to combating poverty in America.

Although, these new legislations were far from being perfect. Despite the admirable goal of transitioning people out of poverty, there was much to be wanted in the workforce department. How would those affected by poverty be able to apply for and secure work when they may have never done so before? What about stigmas or assumptions businesses had about those who had been affected by poverty? Would childcare or transportation be available to working parents? These are only a few of the questions that surrounded this reform. 

It is from these questions that the Welfare to Work Partnership of 1997 was formed. It started out with five companies: Burger King, Monsanto, Sprint, United Airlines and UPS. It was an effort by the private sector to bridge the gap between former President Clinton’s Welfare Reform and those who needed to reenter the workforce. The Partnership interacted with federal, state, and local governments to provide innovative workforce solutions so businesses could hire, retain, and promote the hiring of welfare recipients and other unemployed workers. 

Through research, community collaborations, and employer engagement, this system provided innovative workforce solutions for U.S. companies of all sizes and industries to successfully hire, retain, and promote welfare recipients and other unemployed and low-income workers. The national initiative recruited more than 20,000 committed businesses including 65 of the Fortune 100. Leading many of the initiatives that resulted in employer engagement, Mr. Carroll served as an executive on loan from 1998 until 2006, when Business Interface was formed. Business Interface’s employment model evolved out of research conducted by the Partnership on best practices and workforce solutions for employing the economically disabled. To learn more contact us.

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