Why We Need to Increase Access
The Coalition for Access and Opportunity (“the Coalition”) is dedicated to alleviating poverty for millions of Americans by promoting federal, state and local policy agendas that facilitate comprehensive, coordinated access to underutilized public benefits and related resources. Quality employment should be the first path to financial security and well-being, but when work does not generate enough income, jobs are scarce, or employment is not an option, there should be a coordinated system of supports that is easy to understand and access, free or low-cost, provided without stigma, responsive to economic hardship, and open to all who need it.
Develop and promote a federal policy agenda that promotes: Access to public benefits and related resources that remain untapped and underutilized for the millions of families and individuals who need them, and Improved coordination across public benefit programs to improve outreach, enrollment, retention and verification, and ultimately support families’ efforts to achieve self-sufficiency; Foster a unified and committed base of advocates to coalesce around a common agenda with common messages and ensure that improving access and coordination are integral to anti-poverty efforts; and Create national awareness about the need for coordinated public benefits access.
Policy Efforts and Opportunities
Identify upcoming legislative opportunities to promote access to coordinated, comprehensive benefits (i.e. health care; child nutrition; cash assistance and work supports); Encourage the exploration of a broad array of technological innovations such as using data matches to conduct enrollment or recertification for benefits programs; Support efforts of community partners to perform benefits outreach and enrollment assistance
The Coalition for Access and Opportunity is a collaboration of advocates, researchers, and practitioners working to improve access to and better coordination of the range of federal income and work supports. The Coalition meets quarterly to share information about the work of our individual organizations, as well as to work together to create a unified front in efforts to improve benefits access and coordination. Our effort is uniquely focused on coordination across programs. We hope to improve the processes by which millions of needy individuals and families access billions of dollars of resources for which they qualify.
Co-conveners: CLASP, First Focus, and Single Stop USA
Steering Committee Members: Coalition on Human Needs and Seedco
Coalition MembersCoalition Members are groups who participate in and contribute to the Coalition and support the Coalition and its consensus-built positions on promoting access to and coordination of benefits.
Center for Economic Policy Research
Center for Economic Progress
Center for Law and Social Policy
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Center to Promote Health Care Access
Coalition on Human Needs
Community Action Partners
Half in Ten Campaign
Lift (formerly National Student Partnerships)MDC
National Disability Institute
National Immigration Law Center
Sargent Shriver National
Center on Poverty Law
Single Stop USA
Solutions for Progress
Work Supports Initiative