Needy Pass on Public Assistance
Fifty-three percent of Seattle residents who qualified for food stamps in 2001 opted not take advantage of the offer of aid. A lengthy application, required statements from landlords, and visits to the community services division of the state's Department of Social and Health Services are all reasons why many stay away. Although state and federal governments have attempted to make the process easier, it still poses barriers for many.
"We certainly have not made it as easy for working poor families to get services they are entitled as we might," said Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, a professor in the Department of Human Development and a national expert on the intersection of families and poverty.
The article, entitled "Half Who Qualify for Food Stamps Don't Get, or Want, Them," appeared in the June 23 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.