Single Stop’s policy work leverages our national network to identify how access to resources can be more effectively streamlined and coordinated on the federal, state, and local levels. We work to change public policy in ways that will improve access to resources for the millions of people working to achieve financial self-sufficiency. We use the institutional knowledge of our network and the expertise of on-staff industry experts to develop a deep understanding of the greatest barriers to accessing resources; highlight the most impactful issues; and find innovative solutions.

Single Stop is also committed to promoting college affordability. We works to advance the adoption of evidence-based strategies for college retention and completion so that all students may have the opportunity to succeed.

Single Stop makes meaningful policy change through three avenues:


Our Engagement with elected officials and government agencies brings attention to important issues related to access and coordination of resources and improved supportive services in higher education and prompts administrative, regulatory, and legislative change.


Our work brings Awareness about programs that exist to stabilize families, about issues that elevate the debate around poverty alleviation, and about ways people can take action to be part of the anti-poverty solution.


Our advocacy thrives through Collaboration with partner organizations equally committed to fighting poverty by improving access to resources, and acts as a vehicle for us to make large-scale changes.

Supports for Success


Single Stop’s Supports for Success series highlights why student supports matter and offers recommendations to institutions about how they can help their students succeed. Our newest brief is on the topic of child care need and availability for college students. Also check out the first two policy briefs in the series that explored hunger and food insecurity and homelessness and housing insecurity among community college students.


Child Care Need and Availability

Child Care

Homelessness and Housing Insecurity

Hunger and Food Insecurity




TestimonyChange Through Engagement:

Comments, Letters & Testimony

Single Stop regularly submits written comments and testimony to elected officials and government agencies to advocate for policies that will increase and streamline access to resources for low-income families and improve student support services in higher education.




January 25, 2017: Single Stop’s Manager of Policy and Research testified before the New York City Council’s Committee on General Welfare and Committee on Aging during its annual Hunger Hearing to bring attention to the issue of hunger among New York City’s senior citizens and to urge the City Council to support efforts to provide outreach and education to seniors about their SNAP eligibility. Single Stop also submitted written comments to the committees expanding on our recommendations.

January 13, 2016: Single Stop’s Policy Analyst testified before the New York City Council’s Committee on General Welfare during its annual Hunger Hearing to bring attention to hunger among New York City’s college students and to urge the City Council to support the expansion and long-term sustainability of campus food pantries. Single Stop also submitted written comments to the committee expanding on our recommendations.

August 6, 2015: Andrew Stettner, Single Stop’s Chief Program Officer, submitted testimony to the National Commission on Hunger highlighting the problem of food insecurity among college students and recommending ways to combat hunger.

June 15, 2015: Single Stop submitted comments to the Department of Labor and the Department of Education on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), a groundbreaking new federal workforce law that has the potential to support millions of Americans in their quest for post-secondary credentials and good jobs.

April 24, 2015: Single Stop responded to Senator Lamar Alexander’s white paper on the concept of risk sharing or “skin-in-the-game,” urging the Senate to consider the unintended consequences of accountability measures on low-income students and to pair those policies with others in support of sophisticated supportive services for low-income students.

March 25, 2015: Single Stop submitted comments to the Department of Education suggesting changes to the proposed priorities and requirements for the First in the World (FITW) grant program that would strengthen the program’s ability to support innovative, evidence-based solutions that increase persistence and graduation among nontraditional students.

February 23, 2015: Andrew Stettner, Single Stop’s Chief Program Officer, testified before the New York City Council’s Higher Education Committee, praising the committee for bringing attention to President Obama’s America’s College Promise Proposal and highlighting the importance of wraparound services for students.

August 29, 2014: Single Stop submitted comments to Senator Tom Harkin on his discussion draft for the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, outlining how the law could be strengthened to provide more comprehensive student support services and to use the financial aid system to help address college affordability.



May 18, 2016: Single Stop submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service arguing that the proposed rule to enhance SNAP retailer standards could deter more colleges from accepting SNAP benefits on campus.

March 13, 2015: Single Stop wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Education to express concern over the state of Massachusetts’ handing of SNAP cases, particularly for low-income students, that was causing an alarming number of eligible SNAP recipients to lose access to benefits.

January 23, 2015: Single Stop submitted comments to the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) in Massachusetts urging DTA to strengthen their TAFDC regulations so that low-income students may maintain their financial stability necessary to graduate.

November 24, 2015: Single Stop’s Global Health Corps Policy Fellow testified before the New York City Council’s Committee on General Welfare during its annual Hunger Hearing urging the City to consider policy changes that will help eliminate food insecurity in New York City, and Single Stop submitted written comments to the committee expanding on our recommendations.

November 24, 2015: Single Stop submitted comments to New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) recommending changes to strengthen rules for LINC Rental Assistance Programs that would provide more stability for families in shelters as they became stably housed through the program.

November 7, 2014: Single Stop submitted comments to New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) applauding their Biennial Employment Plan for allowing more students to meet the work requirements for benefit programs and recommending further changes that could increase access to benefits for more low-income families.

Additionally, Single Stop signs on to letters drafted by other organizations:

April 17, 2017: America Forward Coalition letter urging Congress to prioritize funding allocations to programs in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies that have a positive impact on individuals and families

January 3, 2017: Fiscal Policy Institute letter to Senator Chuck Schumer supporting a bill that would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to more low-wage workers who are not raising children

June 13, 2016: Letter sent to the Massachusetts House and Senate Budget Conference Committee supporting measures to help close the SNAP gap and create a common application for multiple benefits in MA

May 25, 2016: New York Housing Conference’s call for New York State lawmakers to agree to an affordable housing plan that would unlock $2 billion in enacted funds for affordable housing

March 10, 2016: America Forward Coalition letters sent to the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee supporting funding for programs that spur innovation, reward results, and catalyze cross-sector partnerships

December 7, 2015: Letters sent to members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives in support of making improvements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) permanent

July 10, 2015: Letters sent to members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives in support of saving key provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and in support of strengthening the EITC for childless workers

April 30, 2015: Coalition for Access and Opportunity letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) supporting the extension of authority for “Strategy 3”

March 24, 2015: Letter sent to members of the Senate opposing anti-immigration budget amendments designed to eliminate immigrant eligibility for the EITC and the refundable CTC

February 26, 2015: Letter to Congress to provide a four-year funding extension for Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

January 26, 2015: Comments submitted to the MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) raising concerns about the impact of DTA’s implementation of the state’s welfare reform law

August 20, 2014: Coalition for Access and Opportunity letter to the Office of Management and Budget, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging them to extend 90/10 funding and the A-87 exception


ReportsChange Through Awareness:

Research & Reports

Single Stop periodically releases reports, policy briefs, and research in collaboration with other organizations to elevate the debate on benefits access issues and multi-benefit coordination.

Connecting College Students to Alternative Sources of Support: The Single Stop Community College Initiative and Postsecondary Outcomes (Lindsay Daugherty, William R. Johnston, and Tiffany Tsai, November 2016, released by RAND Corporation)

This independent study of Single Stop examines the effectiveness of the program at community colleges and finds that Single Stop clients are more successful in college than their peers who do not use Single Stop’s services.

Too Distressed to Learn? Mental Health Among Community College Students (Daniel Eisenberg, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Sarah Ketchen Lipson, Katherine Broton, March 2016, released by Single Stop, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the Healthy Minds Network, and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT))
This paper discusses survey results that show that community college students are experiencing significant mental health challenges and that greater access to mental health services is needed.

Hungry to Learn: Addressing Food & Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates (Sara Goldrick-Rab, Katherine Broton, and Daniel Eisenberg, December 2015, released by Single Stop, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the Healthy Minds Study, and the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT))
This paper explores the prevalence of food and housing insecurity of community college students by discussing data from a survey of more than 4,000 undergraduates at 10 community colleges across the nation.

Smart Strategies for Health Care Reform and Human Services Integration: Promoting the Health and Well-Being of America’s Low-Income Families (Julie Kashen and Sara Fass Hiatt, July 2013, on behalf of Single Stop and the Coalition for Access and Opportunity)
This paper explores strategies for maximizing enrollment in health insurance and highlights specific roles that state and federal agencies can play in coordinating access to benefits and services as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

Clearing the Path to a Brighter Future: Addressing Barriers to Community College Access and Success (Sara Goldrick-Rab, June 2013, issued by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and Single Stop)
This paper details the impact the Single Stop model has had on community college students and provides federal policy recommendations to support student success.

Supporting Latino Community College Students: An Investment in Our Economic Future (June 2013, written in partnership with Excelencia in Education)
This paper highlights the importance of increasing the college graduation rates of Latino students as part of a national strategy to increase educational attainment and provides recommendations on providing support services to nontraditional college students.

Download the press release. Data Sharing in Public Benefit Programs: An Action Agenda for Removing Barriers (Cari DeSantis and Sarah Fass Hiatt, November 2012, released by Single Stop with the Coalition for Access and Opportunity)
This paper discusses how data sharing between different government programs and with community-based organizations can streamline the steps needed for individuals to access benefit programs and stay enrolled.

Moving to 21st-Centurty Public Benefits: Emerging Options, Great Promise, and Key Challenges (Stan Dorn and Elizabeth Lower-Basch, May 2012, released by the Coalition for Access and Opportunity)
This paper highlights how federal and state policymakers are modernizing eligibility determinations for public benefits by using existing data sources and sophisticated information technology. Click here for the toolkit.

How Human Services Programs and Their Clients Can Benefit from National Health Reform Legislation (Stan Dorn, October 2011, released by the Coalition for Access and Opportunity)
This paper examines the opportunities for state health and human services integration under the Affordable Care Act and outlines ways in which states can build modernized systems and improve efficiency.

The Health and Human Service Integration Opportunity Toolkit: Enhanced Funding to Support Eligibility System (Coalition for Access and Opportunity, October 2011)
The documents in the toolkit provide an overview of the funding opportunities for the development of state health care exchanges and eligibility systems under the Affordable Care Act: What’s in the Affordable Care Act?; Short List of Opportunities; and Five Reasons to Integrate Human Services into Health Care Reform Now.


CoalitionChange Through Collaboration:


Single Stop joins together with organizations committed to social innovation, benefits access, and poverty alleviation to make Single Stop a voice in the national conversation. Our coalition work is informed by the issues our sites see every day and is a vehicle to affect meaningful, large-scale policy change.


America Forward As a member organization of the America Forward Coalition, Single Stop is committed to fostering innovation, achieving measurable results, and using those results to affect national, systemic change. Coalition work based on these principles played a pivotal role in the development of the Social Innovation Fund, through which Single Stop has expanded its impact.

Healthcare for All New York (HCFANY) Single Stop is a member organization of HCFANY because we share its mission to have affordable, comprehensive, high quality health care accessible to all people.

NYC4CNR Single Stop works with other stakeholders through the NYC Alliance for CNR to help build a strong Child Nutrition Act that will help ensure that children are free from hunger.

Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing Single Stop is an endorsing organization of the Campaign 4 NY/NY Housing, which calls on New York City and New York State to develop and implement a new statewide supportive housing program consisting of 35,000 units.

Other Resources & Publications  

United States Government Accountability Office, Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits: This report examines what is known about the extent of food insecurity among college students and their use of SNAP; how selected colleges are addressing student food insecurity; and the extent to which federal programs assist students experiencing food insecurity
Urban Institute, Understanding College Affordability: This website provides data and student profiles to help understand what college affordability actually means.
Center for Community College Student Engagement, Making Ends Meet: This report examines the financial health of community college students and their financial management skills.
U.S. Digital Service and CMS, User Research Insights: Mapping the applicant experience of benefit enrollment: Review the findings of a qualitative user research study about accessing public benefits.
Hunger on Campus Report: Food insecurity is common at colleges and universities across the country. Learn about how it is impacting the educational success of thousands of students.
Wisconsin HOPE Lab, Hungry and Homeless in College: Food and housing insecurity among college students threatens their heath and academic achievements. Learn more about the basic needs insecurity students are facing.
Aligning Federal Supports and Program Delivery for College Access & Completion: Six federal agencies released joint guidance to highlight how accessing and aligning existing government programs can improve postsecondary access and completion.
HUD Office of Policy Development and Research and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, Addressing Housing Insecurity and Living Costs in Higher Education: The guidebook provides best practices and strategies for colleges and universities to support their students as they struggle with living costs, including by partnering with organizations like Single Stop to connect students with public benefits.
Institute for Research in Higher Education at Penn GSE, 2016 College Affordability Diagnosis: Learn more about the challenges related to college affordability in all 50 states.
Wisconsin HOPE Lab, Expanding the National School Lunch Program to Higher Education: College students are at an increased risk for food insecurity. Read about an innovative proposal to address the problem.
Lumina Foundation, Today’s Student: 58% of college students today are working while in school, and 26% are raising children. Learn more about today’s students.
Center for American Progress, “State of the States” Report: New York ranks #4 in Higher Education and Attainment Rate, but #50 in Income Inequality. Check out where your state ranks on indicators of economic security and opportunity.
The Century Foundation, The Real Price of College: Find out about the many hidden and unexpected costs of college.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Opportunities for States to Coordinate Medicaid and SNAP Renewals: Learn about options for states to align renewals for Medicaid and SNAP.
CLASP, Bolstering Non-Traditional Student Success: A Comprehensive Student Aid System using Financial Aid, Public Benefits, and Refundable Tax Credits: Learn more about public benefits and tax credits for low-income students.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Lessons Churned: Measuring the Impact of Churn in Health and Human Services Programs on Participants and State and Local Agencies: Many eligible benefit recipients lose benefits and need to reapply causing hardships and inefficiencies.
Social Interest Solutions and Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, State Innovations in Horizontal Integration: Leveraging Technology for Health and Human Services: Find out what states are doing to streamline benefit processes.
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