Welfare Reform Legislation May Be Having Unintended Impact: Homeless Families

Four-year limit on benefits hits first round of Michigan families since legislation passed

Advocates for the homeless say it appears that legislation passed in 2011 may be having unintended consequences.  

The law puts a four-year limit on the length of time a family may receive cash assistance from the state. Homeless Action Network of Detroit Executive Director Tasha Gray says a recent count of the homeless population shows an increase in the number of families. 

For the unsheltered, under the age of 18, there were about four children. And as it relates to our shelter population, there were 403. So were looking roughly 407 children who were both sheltered and unsheltered and that’s just on one night” says Gray. 

Homeless advocates, she says, are taking a closer look at what impact the loss of cash assistance may be having now that it’s been four years since implementation of the law.


Click on the audio link above if you want to hear the entire interview.


  • Amy Miller
    Amy has been working in public and commercial radio for the last 30 yrs. She is an award winning reporter and news anchor, born and raised in Detroit.