by ashoe1 on April 14, 2014 - 9:14pm

Pamela R. Bennett and Andrew J. Cherlin both from Johns Hopkins University used data from the Three-City studies and the U.S. census to follow 1,059 low-income women from 1999 to 2005. They tracked the types of neighborhoods they lived in and how it affected women on welfare as well as the neighborhoods they lived in after welfare ran off. They tried to see if women that lived in better communities could become more self-sufficient. They found that six years later, the people who left welfare with a job and moved to better neighborhoods with moderate poverty were able to become more self-sufficient. The people who left welfare but were unemployed and moved did not end up in better neighborhoods and could not provide for themselves. The people who stayed in the same neighborhoods and on welfare either employed or unemployed were also not able to stay self-sufficient.

It is certain from these studies that there needs to be a major change in the welfare system. Not only is it so that people can move out of bad neighborhoods so that they can live a nice life but it is so that adults on welfare get the idea of what being self-sufficient means. Our government should try to steer away from giving welfare to people that stay unemployed while they are on welfare. If you do not have a job for a certain amount of time welfare should not be provided for you. The only thing that welfare does for people that are unemployed using it is keep them in bad neighborhoods and setting them up for failure. If new rules were set by the government we would be able to see a change in poor neighborhoods just like the ones shown in the studies where the people who had jobs were able to move to better neighborhoods and start living a stable life.


citation:  Benett, P. R., & Cherlin A. J. (2011). The Neighborhood Contexts in Which Low-Income Families Navigate Welfare Reform: Evidence from the Three-City Study. Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), 92(3), 735-760


Although the data you show is very interesting, I do not agree with the way you analysed it. Somebody on welfare may not be able to have job opportunities in his or her area, which is often the case. Taking away the little amount of money that they have will only create more problems, such as an augmentation of crime and possibly drug use. What I do agree with is that the government should get involved, but not in the way you wrote about. Instead of placing more laws on welfare like you talked about, the government should offer more public transport poor areas. Since most cannot afford a vehicule and reach job opportunities, an effective public transport system would give them the chance of going to places were there are more jobs. This would raise their income and eventally get off welfare.

About the author