Poverty Solutions partners with the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to inform anti-poverty and economic mobility initiatives that enhance public benefit programs and identify pathways for sustainable employment for those with major barriers to work.
Poverty Solutions works with state partners to provide research evidence, data and analysis, and policy recommendations for MDHHS leadership to consider, including:
- Strengthening work supports and reducing the negative impacts of “benefit cliffs” that reduce the positive rewards to employment for families by abruptly cutting access to public benefits.
- Informing the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Making Michigan one of the first states to deliver added food assistance with federal funds totaling $66.3 million to help 386,000 Michigan families put food on the table
- Gaining federal approval to suspend work requirements, recertification activities, and in-person interview requirements for food and cash assistance programs, eliminating cumbersome barriers to more quickly deliver resources to Michigan families
- Securing federal approval to deliver added food assistance benefits for 750,000 Michigan children who usually receive free and reduced lunch through public school
- Implementing numerous policy changes to streamline access to energy assistance, and negotiating long-term rate reductions and subsidy programs with DTE and Consumers Energy
As director of Poverty Solutions, H. Luke Shaefer serves as special counselor to MDHHS and works with the Department’s economic security policy leadership teams on a set of anti-poverty and economic mobility initiatives to enhance public benefit programs and identify pathways for sustainable employment for those with major barriers to work.
Amanda Nothaft, senior data and evaluation manager at Poverty Solutions, has provided data analysis for DHHS that the department would not otherwise have had the capacity to complete.