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Michigan Poverty Task Force
Michigan Poverty Task Force
Lifting Michiganders Out Of Poverty
"No parent should have to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table for their families. That's why I've charged this task force with identifying more ways we can lift families up and ensure they can build a good life for themselves here in Michigan. I plan to work very closely with this team to ensure that every parent can feed their families with healthy, nutritious food, put a roof over their heads, and keep them warm in the winter." - Governor Whitmer
According to Michigan Association of United Ways ALICE, report 1.5, million Michiganders struggle to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, technology, health care and transportation. There is no single face to this problem-its causes are many and varied, and so are its consequences. No matter how poverty is viewed or measured, however, one thing is clear-too many Michiganders lack the opportunity they deserve to get ahead, or even get by.
While there are already many efforts underway throughout state government to assist individuals living in poverty, the Michigan Poverty Task Force will find ways to strengthen, broaden, coordinate and streamline those efforts, ensuring that Michigan families have access to the support they need.
Poverty by the Numbers
Today, 1.4 million Michiganders fall below the poverty level, but more importantly, the United Way’s ALICE Report shows that 43% or 4.3 million of working Michigan households struggle to afford the necessities like housing, childcare, food, technology, health care and transportation. To afford the basics, single adults need a salary of just over $21,000 and a family of four need over $61,000. The Michigan Poverty Task Force will work to identify and evaluate measures such as these to gain a full understanding of both the scope of poverty’s impact on Michigan families and communities, and the ways state government can best help those families and communities.
of Michiganders are living in poverty
of Michigan children in poverty
of Michiganders in poverty or at risk of not making ends meet
Task Force Report
As the groups met, they organized themselves into smaller issue groups to develop policy recommendations in five categories:
- Benefits: The committee examined current state policy and imagined pilots, priority shifts and administrative changes designed to streamline processes to give low-income Michiganders the resources and supports they need to thrive.
- Criminal Justice: Acknowledging the groundbreaking work of Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist and Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormick on criminal justice reform, this committee examined the many ways engagement with the justice system is linked with barriers to economic mobility and explored strategies to untangle these links.
- Economic: This committee focused on strategies that will help low-income Michiganders build wealth through entrepreneurship, homeownership, employment and training and other pathways.
- Education: This committee targeted strategies to build educational equity to ensure every K-12 student in Michigan is being prepared to succeed in postsecondary education or work and meet the state’s Sixty by 30 goal where at least 60% of Michigan’s working adults have a postsecondary educational credential by the year 2030.
- Health, Housing and Safety: This committee examined strategies to ensure state government is effectively deploying policies to ensure that the basic needs of low-income Michiganders are met.
These issue groups produced 35 policy recommendations that constitute the first iteration of an anti-poverty agenda for Michigan.
Task Force Members
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2019-19 to create the Michigan Poverty Task Force within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO). The task force will be comprised of directors, or their designees, from a number of state departments and agencies and will be charged with making recommendations to the governor on how to best coordinate and activate efforts within state government to lift Michigan families out of poverty and help them on a path to opportunity. The Task Force will connect and collaborate with the public and key stakeholders in carrying out this important work.
State of Michigan Departments
Agriculture and Rural Development
Insurance and Financial Services
Michigan Indigent Defense Commission
Michigan State Police
Technology, Management and Budget
Environment, Great Lakes and Energy
Labor and Economic Opportunity
Michigan Public Service Commission
Military and Veterans Affairs
Health and Human Services
Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Michigan State Housing Development Authority