Pam Fessler http://wvxu.org en How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job http://wvxu.org/post/how-banning-one-question-could-help-ex-offenders-land-job Washington, D.C., is expected to join four states and several cities soon in prohibiting companies from asking job applicants — up front — if they have a criminal record.<p>It's part of a growing movement called Ban the Box, a reference to that box on a job application form that asks, "Have you ever been convicted of a crime?"<p>Advocates for the laws say having to check the box prevents many ex-offenders from getting a fair shot at a job.<p>Chearie Phelps-El says it happened to her. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 07:28:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 29156 at http://wvxu.org How Banning One Question Could Help Ex-Offenders Land A Job Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps http://wvxu.org/post/economic-upswing-has-fewer-americans-receiving-food-stamps Critics of the food stamp program have been alarmed in recent years by its rapid growth. Last year, about 1 in 7 people in the U.S. received food stamps, or SNAP benefits, as they're called. That's almost 48 million people, a record high.<p>But the numbers <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap">have started</a> to drop. In February, the last month for which figures were available, 1.6 million fewer people received food stamps than at the peak in December 2012, according to the U.S. Thu, 29 May 2014 21:30:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 27350 at http://wvxu.org Economic Upswing Has Fewer Americans Receiving Food Stamps Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families http://wvxu.org/post/lack-affordable-housing-puts-squeeze-poor-families The U.S. is in the midst of what Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan calls the "worst rental affordability crisis" ever. Poor families are being hit the hardest: An overwhelming majority spend more than half of their incomes on rent. Tue, 27 May 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 27205 at http://wvxu.org Lack Of Affordable Housing Puts The Squeeze On Poor Families Poverty, A Frustrating Mix Of Bad Choices And Bad Luck http://wvxu.org/post/poverty-frustrating-mix-bad-choices-and-bad-luck Stories about poverty can evoke strong reactions, in part because Americans are conflicted about the topic. Both bad circumstances and bad choices can be the cause. Sun, 18 May 2014 11:37:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 26873 at http://wvxu.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough' http://wvxu.org/post/changing-picture-poverty-hard-work-just-not-enough There are 46 million poor people in the U.S., and millions more hover right above the poverty line — but go into many of their homes, and you might find a flat-screen TV, a computer or the latest sneakers.<p>And that raises a question: What does it mean to be poor in America today?<p>Take Victoria Houser, a 22-year-old single mother who lives in Painted Post, a small town in western New York. At first glance, her life doesn't look all that bad. She lives in a cozy two-bedroom apartment. She has food, furniture and toys for her almost 2-year-old son, Brayden. Wed, 07 May 2014 07:34:00 +0000 Pam Fessler 26416 at http://wvxu.org The Changing Picture Of Poverty: Hard Work Is 'Just Not Enough'