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Blog: Stop the Safety Net Cuts!

Feb 25, 2011 | By Casey Schoeneberger

To protect those who are poor and vulnerable from atrocious budget cuts contained in H.R 1, which passed in the House on February 19, we must be aware of how these cuts translate into a loss of safety net programs and services.  These proposed cuts undermine individuals’ very safety and security, and we must let Congress know that draconian cuts to vital social service programs will not be tolerated. See the information below, made available by the Coalition on Human Needs, and contact your senators today!

  • 218,000 young children will not be able to receive Head Start services.
  • 11 million patients will lose healthcare they would have received at Community Health Centers over the next year. Almost immediately 127 health center sites would have to close and 7,434 jobs would be lost.
  • 20 million low‐income people, including 5 million children, 2.3 million seniors, and 1.7 million people with disabilities, will have access to anti‐poverty services disrupted because federal funding for community action agencies will be virtually halted in the last seven months of the year.
  • 9.4 million low‐income college students who receive Pell Grants will lose some or all of this college aid as a result of the House reduction in the maximum Pell Grant amount from $5,550 to $4,705 per year.
  • More than 8 million adults and youth would lose access to job training and other employment services. Job training under the Workforce Investment Act would essentially be shut down until July 2012.
  • Cuts in the Commodity Supplemental Food Program will mean 81,000 people, mostly low‐income elders, will no longer receive the food baskets. The program now serves 467,000 low‐income people in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and two Native American reservations. Elderly poor in Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will not get the food packages because there will be no funding to expand the Commodity Supplemental Food Program in their states.
  • 1.2 million poor households in public housing (two‐thirds of whom are elderly or have a disability) will see maintenance and repairs on their apartments deteriorate because the Public Housing Capital Fund is cut by more than $1 billion (over 40 percent).
  • Fewer low‐income households needing help to pay for heat during this harsh winter will get assistance because the House slashed nearly $400 million out of a $590 million fund allowing for more aid to be released to states. $125 million from this fund has already been spent, leaving only $65 million for the rest of the year. 8.3 million households received an average of $456 in heating or cooling assistance last year; only about one in four of eligible households were able to get help.
  • 10,000 low‐income veterans will not receive housing vouchers to prevent homelessness. This would cut in half the number of veterans who would have received such housing assistance this year, despite HUD estimates that 135,000 veterans are homeless.
  • 10,000 people with significant long‐term disabilities would lose the rental assistance they now receive through the Section 811 voucher program (now, 14,000 people with disabilities receive vouchers); most of these would lose their homes.

Source: http://chn.org/pdf/2011/KeyPointsonBudgetPlans.pdf