Homeless Make Up Growing Number Of California Welfare Recipients | California | Los Angeles Times
When Genivive Jones lost her job last year and started bouncing between friends’ homes and motels with her toddler daughter, she inadvertently joined one of the fastest-growing groups of state welfare recipients: homeless families who receive aid known as CalWorks.
Over the last five years, the number of CalWorks families without a permanent place to live has grown by 98%. That’s nearly four times the growth of non-homeless families who are also getting assistance.
The increase shows how difficult it is for people on the lower rungs of the financial ladder to improve their situation in the current tough economy, experts say, especially because the average amount that Los Angeles County families get from the state has shrunk from $560 a month three years ago to $490 last October.
“The largest growth has been at that level of need where people are at the ledge of homelessness,” said Michael Arnold, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Grants could become even smaller if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget passes. Brown wants to reduce CalWorks by about $1 billion.
“If some of these safety-net programs are cut, it will push a lot of people to homelessness,” Arnold said.