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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State Policy Opportunities: Report on Illinois Poverty 2009

April 22, 2009

1.5 million Illinoisans experience violations of their human rights due to the impact of poverty on their lives. In these uncertain times, poverty threatens to reach even more people. Yet, greater hardship, spiraling unemployment, increased poverty and homelessness, and weakening financial security for the coming years are not inevitable. With swift and wise actions from state policymakers that seize federal opportunities and that specifically address the needs of the most vulnerable, we can create economic stability, promote future prosperity, and ensure human rights for all.

Poverty

Data and Definitions Supplement: 2009 Report on Illinois & Chicago Region Poverty

April 22, 2009

This supplement to the 2009 Report on Illinois Poverty and the Report on Chicago Region Poverty contains: the county well-being index, which provides a standard for localities to use as they monitor their county's progress on poverty issues; local data for each county and congressional district in the state relating to income, poverty, employment, housing, health, and education; and definitions and data notes, explaining terms and data sources used throughout the reports, including a more detailed explanation of poverty.

Poverty

2009 Report on Chicago Region Poverty

April 22, 2009

In 2009, a family of four that is poor by the federal government's definition has an annual income below $22,050. A family that is extremely poor has an income less than half the poverty line for their family size -- under $11,025 for a family of four. As discussions continue on the best way to help the nation weather and emerge from the recession, the focus must be on meaningful policy changes that truly lift all boats and make us collectively a much stronger nation. If solutions do not specifically address the needs of those whose lives and hardships are reflected in this report, millions will be left behind, and we will all be left weaker and more vulnerable.

Poverty

2009 Report on Illinois Poverty

April 22, 2009

In 2009, a family of four that is poor by the federal government's definition has an annual income below $22,050. A family that is extremely poor has an income less than half the poverty line for their family size -- under $11,025 for a family of four. As discussions continue on the best way to help the nation weather and emerge from the recession, the focus must be on meaningful policy changes that truly lift all boats and make us collectively a much stronger nation. If solutions do not specifically address the needs of those whose lives and hardships are reflected in this report, millions will be left behind, and we will all be left weaker and more vulnerable.

Poverty

Supportive Housing in Illinois: A Wise Investment, Executive Summary

April 1, 2009

Summary findings from the 2009 report on supportive housing in Illinois.

Housing & Homelessness

McHenry County: A Place to Call Home - Affordable Housing Needs Assessment

September 1, 2008

The Heartland Alliance Mid-America Institute on Poverty conducted an assessment of the need for and the supply of affordable housing in McHenry County, Illinois. The study found that there is a serious lack of housing in McHenry County that falls in the price range of low and even middle-income families. The need is particularly salient for households with annual incomes below $35,000 and for people with special housing support needs.

Housing & Homelessness

2008 Report on Illinois Poverty: Opportunities for Change

April 11, 2008

The 2008 Report on Illinois Poverty showcases how Illinois families struggle to achieve or maintain economic stability. Negative economic shifts including stagnating wages and rising costs have taken their toll on people across Illinois, hitting those with the least to start with the hardest. **The report finds that poverty continues to cast a pall on Illinois' economic future. Statewide, poverty increased in 74 of Illinois' 102 counties. It now afflicts more than 1.5 million Illinoisans, representing a population large enough to rank as the nation's fifth-largest city. Nearly 250,000 additional Illinoisans have succumbed to poverty since 1999, a 19 percent increase.

Poverty

2008 Report on Illinois Poverty: Chicago Area Snapshot

April 11, 2008

During a period when they were widely thought to have flourished economically, the Chicago suburbs over the past 25 years have recorded dramatic increases in poverty. Since 1980, the suburban counties have experienced a 114.5 percent increase in the number of people living in poverty. Now, over 400,000 suburban residents and over 570,000 Chicagoans live below the poverty line. **Living in poverty today in the Chicago region may be more difficult in some respects than it was in 1980. Rising costs of basic necessities such as housing, health care, food, and energy have further eroded the purchasing power of people in poverty as the poverty line has failed to keep pace with inflation. While the standard of living for some has been elevated since 1980, people who are poor have seen limited gains.

Poverty

2008 Report on Illinois Poverty

March 24, 2008

This eighth Report on Illinois Poverty comes at a unique moment of barriers and opportunities. A moment when the state of Illinois holds the distinction of having the worst budget deficit in the nation for 4 years running. Yet, it is also a moment when people across the United States are talking about poverty as a threat to our well-being, when leaders are proposing solutions, and when communities are taking important steps to decrease hardship. **As you read this report, you will see how Illinois families struggle to achieve or maintain economic stability. Negative economic shifts including stagnating wages and rising costs have taken their toll on people across Illinois, hitting those with the least to start with the hardest. But there is hope. There is a movement stirring throughout the country to act now to address poverty. With this momentum building and new collective efforts in Illinois, we can eliminate the poverty that deprives people of their human rights.

Poverty

Measuring Poverty in America

August 15, 2007

Written Statement Submitted to the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support Committee on Ways and Means U.S. House of Representatives Hearing on Measuring Poverty in America.

Poverty

2007 Report on Illinois Poverty

February 9, 2007

This seventh annual Report on Illinois Poverty illustrates that there are many indications Illinois families are experiencing significant hardship. Over one third of Illinoisans in poverty are children, disparities in income and wealth are widening, young adults face significant obstacles to economic success, and hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans live in extreme poverty, with incomes below half the poverty line.

Poverty

Spotlight on Assets: The Future of Economic Security for all Illinoisans

March 21, 2006

Wages and household income are important indicators used to define and assess poverty, but they are only part of the picture of an individual or a family's economic stability or vulnerability. In most cases, it is a person's assets -- a home, a savings account, a retirement account, or even a college degree -- that provide the foundation for solid economic standing. **The challenge facing Illinois and our nation as a whole is to expand existing asset-building opportunities to benefit all people, particularly those most in need. Given the current realities of poverty in Illinois, there is an ongoing need for government involvement in promoting asset-building strategies.

Asset Building & Financial Security; Poverty

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