The District and Baltimore Face Double Whammy in Welfare Reform: Greater Challenges and Less Funding for Needed Services

This report finds that after over four years of implementing welfare reform, the District of Columbia and Baltimore City find their programs at points substantially different from the programs of their suburban neighbors. The two cities are wrestling with helping the long-staying, hard-to-serve welfare recipients move toward and into employment, while at the same time assisting the working poor, including many former welfare recipients, to improve their conditions. In contrast, the major focus of suburban welfare departments is on the working poor and includes efforts to keep them employed and to increase their earnings. The mismatch between the resources available for and the greater expense of serving the hard-to-serve handicaps both the District and Baltimore in helping both groups of families.