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Families saved from welfare “cliff” as City Council budget keeps TANF

There’s no denying that it’s a tough time for those engaged in the fight for social justice — so let’s celebrate our victories when we can! On Monday, after many months of advocacy by community members and organizations, the DC City Council and Mayor reversed course and decided to allow families to maintain their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (or TANF) benefits instead of discontinuing them after the families had received TANF for 60 months.

This change in policy is immensely important: 13,000 families and 23,000 children in DC receive TANF benefits, and the stability that this assistance provides is vital to these households. As CEO George A. Jones said in his testimony to the DC City Council in April 2016, regarding the importance of continued receipt of TANF by families facing hardships: “Bread for the City supports this legislation because we believe it supports our mission, giving families and children a measure of stability that will help them to build a foundation for self-sufficiency. [Failure to continue providing TANF] will place thousands of households into crisis, at a tremendous cost to the District’s most vulnerable families and the agencies that serve them.”

Bread for the City applauds the DC City Council and the Mayor for making this humane, positive decision that supports the families of DC.

Bread for the City’s public benefits work is made possible in part through funds awarded by the DC Bar Foundation.

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