The Coalition on Human Needs: an alliance of national organizations working together to promote public policies which address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable people.

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COVID made Long-Term Struggles Worse — But Congress Prevented Poverty for Millions, and Must Act Now to Sustain Major Progress 
September 14, 2021

Poverty declined from 2019 to 2020 despite soaring unemployment. Here’s why: Congress’ actions to provide COVID relief lifted millions of people out of poverty. The “stimulus” (Economic Impact) payments helped nearly 11.7 million people out of poverty.  Expanded unemployment insurance lifted 5.5 million out of poverty. The stimulus payments were new; the expanded unemployment insurance lifted ten times the number of people out of poverty as in 2019 (524,000 were helped in that year). This is powerful evidence that federal actions can provide essential help when people need it most.

September 11
September 11, 2021

Twenty years ago I drove into work at the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, DC and saw the twin towers coming down on a television set just as I entered the building.  Our location was a short walk from the U.S. Capitol; we didn’t know what else might happen.  A few minutes later the Pentagon was attacked.  The Metro shut down as a precaution; we needed to evacuate, and I took as many people as possible to drive to their homes.  The streets were gridlocked; it took many hours. 

CHN’s COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship September 10, 2021
September 10, 2021

The (mostly) back-to-school edition. Millions of kids are back in school – some for the first time in 18 months. Polling shows parents are happy about this – but also favor safety measures such as mask mandates. Although experts broadly agree students should be in school as opposed to learning virtually, there is much cause for concern. Kids now account for more than one in four COVID-19 cases nationwide. In just the past week, 1,400 schools had to close and go to virtual learning due to COVID-19 outbreaks. In Texas alone, 50,000 K-12 students have tested positive. And 13 employees of Miami-Dade County schools have died. 

A Matter of Equity: The Expanded Child Tax Credit 
September 9, 2021

Next week,, the House Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to mark up legislation relating to the newly expanded Child Tax Credit, an important step toward making the CTC permanent and available beyond this year to almost all families with children. Making the CTC permanent, including children of immigrant families among its recipients, and making it fully refundable – meaning the lowest-income families would receive the same benefit as everyone else – are keys to lifting low-income families out of poverty as well as battling systemic racism in America.

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