Housing Instability among College Students

Community college students, as well as students at four-year institutions, struggle with barriers to success in school such as inadequate child care, food and transportation costs, housing and financial problems, and access to health care.  In a new report – Housing Instability among College Students – Sara Goldrick-Rab , Associate Professor, Educational Policy Studies and Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Katharine BrotonDoctoral Candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, outline the problem of housing insecurity among students and lays out some potential next steps.  Read the full report here.

Single Stop USA Submits Comments on the Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) On August 2, 2013, Single Stop USA submitted comments to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding the upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). Single Stop’s comments focused on modernizing student support services and reforming financial aid in order to increase college accessibility, affordability, and completion. We look forward to working with the Committee throughout the comment and markup period to ensure that community college students have a voice in the final bill.

Smart Strategies for Health Care Reform and Human Services Integration:  Promoting the Health and Well-Being of America’s Low-Income Families

August 2013 This paper, written on behalf of Single Stop and the Coalition for Access and Opportunity, explores strategies for maximizing enrollment in health insurance and related systems and how to integrate these strategies into existing human services programs. At the federal level, the paper highlights specific roles the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Department of Agriculture, and the Internal Revenue Service can play in coordinating benefits and services. Although states are at varying stages of ACA implementation, the paper suggests ways for all states, regardless of readiness, to achieve more seamless integration. Community partners involved in advocacy are recommended to educate government policymakers about opportunities described in this paper, while partners involved in direct services can play an important role in helping to successfully implement changes.

Clearing the Path to a Brighter Future: Addressing Barriers to Community College Access and Success.  

A new white paper issued by Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and Single Stop USA details the impact the Single Stop model has had on community college students, as well as federal policy recommendations to support student success.

Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future

Written in partnership with Excelencia in Education (Excelencia), Single Stop co-released a new paper today entitled, “Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future”. This paper highlights the importance of increasing the college graduation rates of Latino students as part of a national strategy to increase educational attainment in the United States. Single Stop partnerships with eight community colleges classified as Hispanic Serving Institutions serve as an example of an Excelencia-supported initiative that can help college leaders and policymakers re-think how we support students who do not fit the mold of the “traditional college student”. The paper concludes by providing high-level recommendations for college leaders and state and federal policymakers to consider as they seek to increase the college completion rates of Latino students and community college students overall. Download the report. Download the press release. 

Single Stop submits comments to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services

On February 28, 2013, Single Stop USA submitted comments on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed Single Streamlined Application for the Health Insurance Marketplace. This federal application, will replace existing applications with a single, streamlined application that anyone can use to apply for health insurance coverage, including Medicaid, CHIP, and other affordability programs like tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Beginning 2014, all states will be required to use this federal application unless they receive approval to use an alternative state application. Single Stop USA’s comments focused on addressing the following topics: (1) Encouraging transparency in the application process; (2) Integrating Navigators, In-Person Assisters, Certified Application Counselors; (3) Leveraging eligibility results to connect individuals to multiple benefit applications; and (4) Addressing the concerns of immigrant applicants. In addition to submitting our own comments, Single Stop worked with the other national benefits access providers and interested policy groups to have a shared voice about ways to maximize this important opportunity to advance on-line benefits access.

Sequestration: Local Impact Is Felt as Contention over Budget Solutions Continues

April 2013 The sequestration budget cuts took effect on March 1st 2013- this means that $1.2 trillion will be cut from both defense and non-defense budgets equally over the next 10 years. In the remainder of 2013 there is about $85 billion scheduled to be cut from everything ranging from early childhood education, to WIC, to emergency unemployment benefits and homelessness prevention programs.

Efficient Government Works Better for Kids, Taxpayers

November 2012. New Report Recommends Data Strategies to Improve Efficiency The Coalition for Access and Opportunity co-released a new paper today recommending information-sharing reforms federal agencies can implement to improve the efficiency of federal investments in children and other Americans. The paper, Data Sharing in Public Benefit Programs: An Action Agenda for Removing Barriers, recommends 26 specific efficiency reforms designed to eliminate barriers that deny eligible people the help they need and deliver government services and benefits more cost-effectively.

Data Sharing in Public Benefit Programs: An Action Agenda for Removing Barriers by Cari DeSantis and Sarah Fass Hiatt November 2012 Today, Single Stop USA along with Coalition for Access and Opportunity released “Data Sharing In Public Benefit Programs: An Action Agenda for Removing Barriers.”  Data sharing between different government programs and also with independent outreach organizations like Single Stop can streamline the steps needed for individuals to gain access to public benefit programs and stay on them. This policy report outlines concrete actions federal agencies to increase the use of data sharing while protecting privacy and data security.

Moving to 21st Century Public Benefits: Emerging Options, Great Promise, and Key Challenges by Stan Dorn and Elizabeth Lower-Basch

Written by Stan Dorn (Urban Institute) and Elizabeth Lower-Basch (CLASP), with feedback from a variety of stakeholders, “Moving to 21st Century Public Benefits: Emerging Options, Great Promise, and Key Challenges” highlights the ways in which federal policymakers and innovative states across the country are modernizing eligibility determination for public benefits by using existing data sources and sophisticated information technology.  All of these ideas focus on how to make it easier for families to access the multiple supports they need to achieve economic stability and mobility. Click here for full paper Click here for toolkit

How Human Services Programs and Their Clients Can Benefit from National Health Reform Legislation by Stan Dorn

In this paper from the Coalition for Access and Opportunity (co-conveyned by CLASP, First Focus and Single Stop USA), Urban Institute expert Stan Dorn examines the time-sensitive possibilities for state health and human service integration under the Affordable Care Act.  The paper outlines innovative ways states can build modernized systems, improving efficiency and how they serve clients, under the legislation.

The Health and Human Service Integration Oportunity Toolkit: Enhanced Federal Funding to Support Eligibility Systems Available for Limited Time

A breakdown of the funding matches that the federal government is providing for the development of health care exchanges and eligibility systems.

The Health and Human Service Integration Oportunity Toolkit: Short List of Opportunities This document summarizes tangible ways that states can maximize enrollment in heath and human service programs.

The Health and Human Service Integration Oportunity Toolkit: Five Reasons to Integrate Human Services into Health Care Reform Now A guide to the most compelling reasons for states to act now in receiving federal funding to make their citizens healthier and their government more effiecient.

The Health and Human Service Integration Oportunity Toolkit: What’s in the Affordable Care Act A brief overview of this game-changing legislation with a focus on what it says in regards to state human service programs

Improving health, human services, and education outcomes and reducing poverty by William O’Leary, Microsoft Corporation & Elisabeth Mason, Single Stop USA This article was presented by William O’Leary and Elisabeth Mason at “From Field to Fed II: Linking Systems to Sustain Interoperability in Challenging Times.” Stewards of Change and the Yale School of Management, March 8, 2011.

Single Stop Shares its Big Idea About Community Colleges by Elisabeth Mason & Julie Kashen Single Stop shares its Big Idea about community colleges. First Focus began releasing its newest compilation of proposals for innovative new ideas for investing in America’s children this week. Among the first to be released is a paper by Single Stop.

President Obama’s Asset Limit Proposal: Supporting Families and Promoting Improved Coordination by Sarah Fass Hiatt & Abigail Newcomer In this policy paper released by the co-conveners of the Coalition to Promote Access and Opportunity – Single Stop USA, CLASP, and First Focus – the authors argue that a proposal included in the President’s FY11 budget to raise asset limits to $10,000 for certain benefit programs would simplify program rules and allow more families to access needed help while accumulating modest assets.

Translating Practice into Policy: Policy Solutions from Single Stop Site Coordinators In an effort to learn more about the barriers clients face in accessing benefits and solicit ideas about how to improve access, we conducted a survey of Single Stop site coordinators. This report summarizes the findings and includes proposed policy recommendations – including simplifying enrollment processes and promoting a more customer-centered system of supports.

Including Multiple Benefits Access while Implementing Health Care Reform Single Stop USA submitted public comments to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Enrollment Workgroup and Standards Committee (created by the Affordable Care Act) that support ensuring a broader role for multiple benefits access through health care technology and the exchanges.

Single Stop USA’s findings from focus groups regarding Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) In preparation for TANF reauthorization, Single Stop conducted focus groups with low-income individuals seeking or receiving public assistance. This testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee outlines key findings from the focus groups and identifies policy recommendations, including serving a greater share of eligible families, providing meaningful job training and education, and increasing benefit levels.

Helping Americans Help Themselves: Toward a National Single Stop Policy and More Efficient , More Effective Poverty Fighting by Tom Freedman and Michael Weinstein, The Democratic Leadership Council This paper argues that a national Single Stop-style federal program could dramatically improve existing antipoverty efforts, by helping millions of American families lift themselves into the middle class and making government work more efficiently.

A One-Stop Shop for Service Delivery by Elisabeth Mason, J.D. and Julie Kashen, in Policy & Practices (The Magazine of the American Public Human Services Association August 2009) In APHSA’s Policy & Practice, Elisabeth Mason and Julie Kashen write that state human service organizations can partner with community-based organizations and community colleges to develop the means and method for effective, efficient, and affordable benefits delivery.

Out of the Desert: An Integrated Approach to Ending Child Poverty by Elisabeth Mason, J.D. and Julie Kashen, in Big Ideas for Children by First Focus In the 2008 edition of Big Ideas for Children, Elisabeth Mason and Julie Kashen argue that when accessed and delivered comprehensively, public benefits and services stabilize families and allow them to ultimately achieve self-sufficiency.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) “Fresh 50” 2008 report Applying the Single Stop approach nationwide to help children in poverty is one of the Democratic Policy committee’s “Fresh 50” ideas for addressing the nation’s challenges.

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