As our team at the Coalition on Human Needs was preparing for our Human Needs Hero event last week, we were contemplating the bringing together of the human needs community that’s at the heart of CHN’s work. As we did, we thought about why we all do the work that we do together – both the challenges and the successes. Here are just 12 of those many reasons:
- Child poverty rates top 50 percent in more than 40 U.S. counties, and child homelessness is at a historic high. Young adults are more likely to be poor now than in 1980.
- Half of new jobs pay less than a living wage, and the minimum wage hasn’t been raised in six years.
- Half of low-wage workers don’t have a single paid day off to care for themselves or a family member.
- One in seven households in the U.S. is food insecure.
- The cost of child care is nearly half of the income for a family at the poverty level.
- Since FY2010, at least136 important human needs programs have been cut, one-third by 15 percent or more.
- More than 100 big U.S. corporations used offshore tax havens to avoid $280 billion in taxes.
- Safety net programs like SNAP, low-income tax credits, and Social Security lifted 48 million people, including 12 million children, out of poverty.
- We could reduce child poverty in America by 60 percent through an investment equal to only 2 percent of the federal budget, if only we would choose to.
- Girls who receive SNAP benefits are more likely to be economically self-sufficient as adults.
- Early childhood programs increase educational achievement and high school graduation rates.
- The Earned Income Tax Credit boosts retirement benefits for working-age women by boosting employment and earnings.
Many in Congress want to cut spending on the very programs that deliver these successes. That’s why spreading the word about the need for more investments in human needs programs is critical. To learn more how you can speak out and help stop federal cuts to human needs programs, click here.