This summer I worked with Professor Christopher Howard in the government department to better understand poverty in America. My research was split into two different tasks: first to gain knowledge about different government assistance programs and then to create a research topic that involved government assistance programs. The main three programs that I focused on were the Social Services and Child Care and Development Block Grants as well as the funding for the Legal Services Corporation.
During my research, I looked at how the government programs were funded, the eligibility guidelines, those people who were eligible and how many of them were receiving the program benefits, and what were the specific program benefits that they were receiving.
Additionally, I also researched the impact of government assistance programs on ex-felons and their reentry into society. The main programs I looked at in that regard were public housing and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, in order to understand how housing and food insecurity impacts ex-felons. Within that subset, I looked at how both current and past restrictions on access to government food and housing correlated with recidivism rates within states.