"About 46 million Americans, according to our latest count, are poor. That means for a family of four, they're living on less than $23,000 a year," said sociologist Kristin Seefeldt, assistant professor at the U-M School of Social Work and affiliated with the Ford School of Public Policy. "This is the highest rate of poverty that we've had in about 15 years."
Seefeldt's research with John Graham of Indiana University focused on the safety net for the poor and how it performed during the recession. Some programs worked, such as federal food programs and Medicaid, while federal cash assistance for the nondisabled poor and federal housing programs did not respond much to the burgeoning numbers of families in need of help.MORE