Government Alienating Families in Need


LEAH CEDULA Staff Writer

One very damaging thing that Congress has been executing in American cities today is moving impoverished families into better neighborhoods. To test this, Congress had created the Move to Opportunity program, which helped to do research in five cities: Chicago, Baltimore, New York, Boston and Los Angeles. In these cities, vouchers were randomly distributed to families to allow them to move to a better neighborhood. After gathering sufficient research, a Harvard study concluded that these moves expanded adult earnings of children from all five cities. Unfortunately, this data only significantly applied to children under thirteen years old. Those over thirteen did not benefit as much. Due to the fact that moving poor families did not make such a big impact, the government should focus on improving neighborhoods instead.

If Congress put more effort into improving the welfare of neighborhoods, then the percentage of impoverished families would decrease. The government’s main motive for moving families was to help them find better financial opportunities. However, it puts some broken families at a disadvantage. For those families with separated parents, the children would sometimes have to live farther away from the other parent that moved. Even if the child’s family had begun to make a better living, the parental support could be further weakened.

To improve neighborhoods, the government should donate money and goods to families in need. If in any case the government is low on resources, they should request donations from other families in the cities. Not only will this benefit impoverished families, but it will also help strengthen the connections between city residents. Improving neighborhoods has not been one of the government’s priorities in today’s society, which is why many families are struggling. Their first impression is that families would thrive in a new city or town, but really they could just do better in their home- towns with the government’s help.

The basic common needs of families include financial aid, different types of insurance, safety and security. Financial aid and insurance could be covered simply through donations from others, but safety and security cannot always be so easily gained. It is the government’s job to make sure cities are safe for the citizens who live in them. Everyone in the city should be safe regardless of where they live in the city or how much money they make.