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Putting People at the Center: Highlighting Local Efforts to Promote Economic Mobility

Summary: 
Programs designed to serve poor families should be assessed by the extent to which they help people find employment.

At HHS, we follow the evidence.

After a 50-year war on poverty, the evidence is in: work, personal responsibility, and a healthy economy are fundamental to individual and family well-being and provide the best pathway out of poverty. Programs designed to serve poor families should be assessed by the extent to which they help the heads of households find employment and climb the ladder to their own success. Therefore, supporting employment is a core value and component of HHS’s effort and responsibility to the American people seeking the dream of freedom and economic independence.

That is one reason why HHS is eager to implement the Executive Order issued by President Trump this week on boosting economic mobility through encouraging work. In fact, the Department has already taken a number of actions under President Trump toward that goal.

One such action, begun earlier this year, was convening a team from across the Department to identify and execute actions we can take to promote work opportunities for families headed by unemployed or low-income adults, as well as for non-custodial parents who struggle to meet their obligations to support their children.

HHS is learning from our state and local partners about successful programs that increase meaningful employment, and we are using our federal reach to help communities learn from each other. Welfare-to-work strategies are diverse, ranging from those that promote strong social networks to those that reduce barriers to finding child care.  They also include strategies to help people who face particular difficulties finding and maintaining employment, such as substance use disorder or homelessness.  Highlighting local innovations is another way that, as part of ReImagine HHS’s “Aim for Independence” initiative, we are committed to putting people at the center of HHS programs to promote self-sufficiency.

Eric Hargan quote: At HHS, we follow the evidence.  After a 50-year war on poverty, the evidence is in: work, personal responsibility, and a healthy economy are fundamental to individual and family well-being and provide the best pathway out of poverty.

I am pleased to announce today the launch of a new “Self-Sufficiency Series: Solutions from the Field,” a series of blogs and program profiles that will feature local programs from across the country that are getting low-income and hard-to-serve families and individuals to work.

Each week for the next few months, this blog will highlight programs that are successfully promoting employment among those receiving substance use disorder treatment, child care vouchers, and other social services. I envision this as one of many ways in which we’ll work to empower local communities to seek solutions that are right for them so that they can help those in need achieve economic mobility.

I hope you will follow this blog over the coming weeks to learn more about some of the great work happening across the country to support low-income families and their independence.

This blog is part of HHS’s ongoing “Self-Sufficiency Series: Solutions from the Field.” 

The series profiles local programs from across the country that are implementing “Principles of Economic Mobility” in the President’s Executive Order  and getting low-income and hard-to-serve families and individuals to work.  

From Addiction to Freedom and Self-Sufficiency National Public Health Week

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