Safety Net

When life knocks us down, we all can use a helping hand to get back on our feet. SNAP, TANF, WIC and other safety net programs provide essential assistance to hundreds of thousands of Alabamians who struggle with challenges like unemployment, health problems or wages that are too low to make ends meet. Arise studies the importance of safety net programs to our society and economy and examines the need to continue making strong investments in them.

Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021

Introduction When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated. COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that have [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Alabama Arise
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 1 – Introduction: The high cost of failing to protect the common good

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Alabama in March 2020, it didn’t just cause massive human suffering and economic disruption. It also revealed suffering and disruption that have long existed and that policymakers have long neglected – or even perpetuated. COVID-19 has laid bare deep racial and gender inequities in Alabama’s economy and social system that [...]
Issues
Budgets, Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Jim Carnes, Allan Freyer, Carol Gundlach
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 3 – Assessing the damage: COVID-19 and Alabama’s labor market

Where are we now? The COVID-19 recession hit vulnerable Alabama workers hard and fast. Alabamians working in low-paying industries suffered immediate and severe job losses, which fell hardest on women and people of color. Unemployment insurance (UI), designed for just such a moment, was inadequate and insufficient to the needs of these workers because of [...]
Issues
Budgets, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach, Dev Wakeley
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 4 – Praised but underprotected: Front-line workers in the pandemic

Where are we now? Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, we’ve grown used to seeing, and applauding, signs in front of hospitals, fire departments, police stations and other emergency service providers saying “Heroes work here.” And we’ve learned to say “thank you” to people serving their communities’ needs at grocery, drug and convenience stores. We’ve learned [...]
Issues
Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus, Medicaid Expansion
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach, Dev Wakeley, Allan Freyer
Report

The State of Working Alabama 2021, Section 6 – The ugly reality: Alabama’s hunger problem during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to widespread hunger in Alabama. We all have seen the pictures – lines of cars stretching for blocks waiting to receive an emergency food box, desperate appeals from food banks that distributed as much food in the first six months of the pandemic as they did in the prior year, [...]
Issues
Budgets, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
February 22, 2021
Author
Carol Gundlach
Handbook

How to get help in Alabama during the COVID-19 crisis

Last updated March 16, 2021. Life is changing quickly for everyone during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. Protecting yourself and your family from the virus is the first of many concerns. The pandemic also has left many Alabamians worried about food, health care, housing, job security and other basic needs. Alabama has a safety [...]
Issues
Health, Housing, Safety Net, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
April 16, 2020
Author
Alabama Arise
Fact Sheet

Federal law strengthened SNAP amid COVID-19 pandemic, but benefit increase still needed

The economic meltdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has created an extraordinary demand for food assistance. State agencies are working overtime to figure out how to get food to hungry Alabamians while schools are closed, people are sheltering in place and the risk of infection is high. Applications for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Coronavirus
Date
April 3, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Fact Sheet

Unemployment insurance improvements, recovery rebates will help Alabamians hurt by COVID-19 pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has caused an unprecedented increase in unemployment insurance claims nationally. And the story is the same in Alabama, where 74,056 UI claims were filed in the week ending Saturday, March 28. That’s easily a record high since 1987, the earliest year for which weekly data is available for Alabama. The number of [...]
Issues
Safety Net, Tax Reform, Economic Opportunity, Coronavirus
Date
April 1, 2020
Author
Dev Wakeley
Fact Sheet

A strong safety net means a stronger Alabama for all

We all know that people get down on their luck sometimes. They lose a job, have a sick child or need time to recover from an injury. And most Alabamians – understanding that “there, but for the grace of God, go I” – want to do what they can to help people going through a [...]
Issues
Health, Safety Net
Date
January 24, 2020
Author
Carol Gundlach
Letters & Testimony

Alabama Arise comments on how proposed SNAP changes would reduce school meal access

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing a rule that would require some states to reduce gross income limits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) applicants. It also would force 42 states, including Alabama, to impose resource limits on applicants. More than 3 million people would become ineligible for food assistance under the rule, [...]
Issue
Safety Net
Date
November 1, 2019
Author
Alabama Arise
All Issue Resources