Social Assistance Programs
Social assistance programs are a necessary safety net serving as a hand-up to many families during difficult economic times. Many transitional programs have seen a great increase of utilization within the past decade due to a number of reasons.
From January through May of 2013 Greater Burlington Partnership intern Mark Foster met with various officials, government and non-profit alike, to garner a greater understanding of the various social assistance programs available to Southeast Iowa citizens. With this, the question may arise: “Why is a Chamber of Commerce studying social assistance programs?” The answer to this lies in the countless comments from Chamber of Commerce members throughout the past six to seven years in regards to an influx of out-of-staters, specifically from Chicago, Illinois, coming to Iowa to apply for government sponsored programs. It has been a highly discussed issue, but nobody has investigated the matter very far. Up until this study was conducted, all that existed were rumors of what has taken place in Southeast Iowa during what has been nationally known as the ‘Great Recession.’ The government affairs committee deemed it necessary to either confirm or debunk what has taken place in terms of social assistance programs in Southeast Iowa within the past decade.
With this, the following nonpartisan report states the facts, statistics and testimonials of officials within the programs that creates an insight to the trends and changes actually taking place in our community. Anonymity was given to all of the officials in order to create a truthful and non-hostile environment for interviews. Though the project has taken place over numerous weeks, it must be stated that given the far-reaching governmental bureaucracy and the copious amount of social assistance programs that exist, not every statistic, fact or question can be found or answered with this report. Additionally, some officials and programs were very willing to answer questions and provide further information, while others were not.
*To the best of our ability the following information is up-to-date and correct. If you believe that any information is incorrect, please feel free to contact us.
The comprehensive report is as follows: