Social IMPACT Research Center Publications

The Social IMPACT Research Center has an extensive portfolio of needs assessment and evaluation research on issues facing poor and low-income populations. Our user-friendly work equips nonprofits, foundations, and governments to advance real-world solutions to poverty.
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Illinois and Chicago Region: Poverty, Income and Health Insurance (Fact Sheet)

September 13, 2018

Millions of people in Illinois experience poverty or are living on the brink. That societal position keeps opportunities out of reach and nearly guarantees worse outcomes in every quality of life domain—making ALL of us worse off.This fact sheet on poverty, income, and health insurance coverage in Illinois and the Chicago region, was created using the Census Bureau's release of local American Community Survey data.The poverty rate for the United States was 12.3% in 2017. There were 39.7 million people in poverty nationwide. The poverty rate is not significantly different from the pre-recession level of 12.5% in 2007. In 2017, 1.6 million Illinoisans were in poverty ─ a rate of 12.6%. Additionally, 2.0 million Illinoisans are near poor and economically insecure with incomes between 100% and 199% of the federal poverty threshold.


The 2018 Illinois Poverty Update

April 19, 2018

Heartland Alliance's Illinois Poverty Update indicates that millions of people in Illinois are experiencing poverty or are on the cusp. Rooted in inequity, poverty prevents people from meeting basic needs, improving their quality of life, and creates barriers to opportunities including quality education, stable employment, affordable housing and safe neighborhoods. The update sheds light on who is most likely to experience poverty in Illinois: Women, people of color, and children have the highest poverty rates.In addition to the Illinois Poverty Update, Heartland Alliance also released state legislative district poverty fact sheets.These releases are the first of a series Heartland Alliance is publishing on poverty in Illinois this year. Local- and county-level data books will be published this summer, and an in-depth exploration of the forces that contribute to gender-based poverty inequity will be released in the fall. 


Comments in Response to Proposed Rulemaking: Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status

July 9, 2019

On May 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published a proposed rule that would prohibit mixed status families from living in public housing and other HUD assisted housing. Mixed status families are households that include both members who are eligible and ineligible for housing assistance based on their immigration status. HUD's proposed rule will force families of mixed immigration status to break up to receive housing assistance, to forego the assistance altogether, or face eviction from their homes.Heartland Alliance submitted official comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to oppose this harmful and cruel proposal that could lead to the eviction of over 100,000 people, including 55,000 children, from HUD assisted housing. 

Report on the Implementation and Early Outcomes of the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership’s Career Connect Project

June 12, 2018

In July 2012, the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) was awarded a three-yearWorkforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grant from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The purpose of The Partnership's WIF project was to design, implement, and test an integrated workforce management information system (MIS), later named Career Connect, that:- Contains comprehensive and useful program- and customer-specific measures acrossfunding streams- Supports varied reporting capabilities; and- Provides the information necessary to adequately serve the needs of the workforce system'scustomers.The functional goal for the project is to have all Cook County workforce providers that receiveWorkforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title I funds (delegate agencies) using CareerConnect as their data system of record. This included 49 delegate agencies when the project beganand 53 by the time Career Connect was fully implemented in June 2017. Additionally, the goal is toinvite non-WIOA workforce providers to also use the system, though The Partnership cannot mandate its use for non-WIOA providers.In the following study, we:- Assess whether Career Connect achieved its desired outcomes;- Document the context and operations of Career Connect's design;- Assess the degree to which it was implemented as designed; and- Evaluate stakeholder participation.

Requirements & Services for SNAP ABAWDs: Heartland Alliance Comments on USDA Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

April 9, 2018

These are Heartland Alliance's comments in response to the USDA's Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Able-Bodied Adults Without Dependents (ABAWD) time limit. As these comments reflect, Heartland Alliance is deeply concerned by attempts to further restrict food assistance to the individuals whom we serve. SNAP is the country's most important anti-hunger program. We strongly support the goal of helping SNAP participants obtain and keep quality jobs that enable them to achieve economic security. However, we believe the restrictions suggested in the ANPRM would only result in more people losing their SNAP benefits, which will make it harder to achieve this goal. Furthermore, the questions posed in the ANPRM 1) appear to be based on the assumption that many SNAP participants simply do not want to work, which we know to be untrue and 2) overlook the reality that many individuals receiving nutrition assistance face multiple barriers to work that reflect personal challenges such as education or skills gaps and more insidious structural labor market barriers such as discrimination in the labor market.

Power of Policy Change: 5 Policies Proven to Reduce Poverty in Illinois

March 27, 2012

This brief summarizes anti-poverty policy simulations conducted by the Urban Institute for the Illinois Commission on the Elimination of Poverty.

Human Rights & Justice; Poverty; Safety Net & Human Services

IL Tax Exempt Organizations Awaiting Payment 2010

October 1, 2010

This research allows us to gain an understanding of how the state budget crisis is affecting organizations that provide human services to the people of Illinois. Through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Illinois Comptroller's Office, IMPACT obtained data on the amount of unpaid bills, by state agency, to tax exempt organizations. Take a look for yourself at how the billions of dollars the state owes breaks down.

Safety Net & Human Services

IL State Unpaid Bills by Agency 2010

June 30, 2010

This research allows us to gain an understanding of how the state budget crisis is affecting organizations that provide human services to the people of Illinois. Through a Freedom of Information Act request to the Illinois Comptroller's Office, IMPACT obtained data on the amount of unpaid bills, by state agency, to tax exempt organizations. Take a look for yourself at how the billions of dollars the state owes breaks down.

Safety Net & Human Services

Extreme Poverty and Human Rights: A Primer

January 1, 2007

Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a roof over their head, to put food on the table and to give their children a chance at a bright future, but that opportunity does not exist for the hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois living in extreme poverty. Freedom from this barrier requires a comprehensive vision and plan. This primer will provide the tools to understand the role of opportunity and human rights in eradicating poverty. Specifically, this guidebook defines what it means to be extremely poor and how many people live in extreme poverty -- globally and locally. It also identifies the rights guaranteed equally to every human being, which have been promised by the United Nations and by the United States government. Freedom from extreme poverty is the most basic of human rights. Finally, this primer highlights global and local efforts to fulfill human rights and eradicate extreme poverty and what each of us can do to help move all of humankind from poverty to opportunity.

Human Rights & Justice; Poverty

Investments in Illinois' Future: A 10-year Analysis of State Funding for Youth Ages 12-24

November 10, 2006

Illinois youth currently represent one of the state's most vulnerable groups. The realities facing today's youth -- poverty, homelessness, school dropout, and teen pregnancy -- highlight the need for increased investments, coordinated solutions, and comprehensive, targeted programs and services to address their array of needs.

Safety Net & Human Services

Human Rights in the Heartland: An Assessment of Social, Economic, Civil, and Political Rights in the Midwest

December 1, 2005

This report measures human rights progress in the heart of the United States. In this compilation, eight Midwestern states are evaluated on a freedom index, providing a comparative snapshot of local commitments to civil, political, social, and economic rights.

Human Rights & Justice

Income Supports for Working Families: Recommendations to Increase Utilization

November 1, 2002

Working poor families continue to live in poverty, despite working full-time jobs. Low-wage earners have found that working full-time hours does not ensure economic stability. Parents who work full-time at a salary well above the minimum wage find that they and their families are still living below 200% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). An individual who earns $7.11 an hour and works full-time is still at only 100% of the poverty line.

Safety Net & Human Services

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