Across Texas, impoverished families are seeking assistance with child support through a variety of resources. One such program is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which provides financial and medical assistance for eligible households. However, seeking TANF opens a child support case against a noncustodial parent (NCP). If the NCP is incarcerated, he or she is unable to make payments, which causes interest to pile up and punish the NCP long after his or her prison release.
● Update the AOG compliance form for incarcerated NCPs to halt payment obligations. Make the AOG form accessible in all forms of correctional institutions upon entry.
● After the NCP is released, allow him or her six months minimum to find employment and receive a new child support payment calculation based on the newly-established income.
● Reduce the amount of wage withholding from 50% to a rate that does not force the NCP into homelessness once they are gainfully employed.
● Offer more education to incarcerated parents about their obligations upon release and resources to successfully re-enter society and reunite with their family.
● Texas receives TANF funds from the federal government, yet spends only 7% of it on basic assistance for families. States redirect a substantial portion to fill budget holes.
● For every 100 poor families with children in the state, only 5 receive TANF assistance.
● Texas continues to seek $17.8 billion in arrears from NCPs without stable income to offset TANF costs, which keeps NCPs on the streets and away from their families, emotionally and fiscally breaking the family unit.
● Research indicates that 70% of NCPs saddled with arrears earn under $10,000 per year, which often forces them to turn to illegal ways of making money to survive. A culture of poverty, crime, and recidivism robs communities of strong leaders and role models for children.
● Navigating unstable family units and shuffling in and out of foster care causes teenagers to seek community elsewhere. Many times, they find that community through gangs. Money made through gang activities deters people from completing high school education.
● Texas burdens its poorest citizens with repaying over $17 billion in arrears debt without the means. Texas spends over $363 million in administrative costs to collect only 8.1% of that debt a year.
● The cost to taxpayers for each unsheltered homeless individual on average ranges from $14K- $45K per year in medical services, SSI, HUD housing vouchers, correctional expenses, caseworker salaries, food stamps, and more.
Reducing arrears reduces homelessness, which reduces the amount of money taxpayers spend on dealing with a growing homeless population. Texas has the fourth largest homeless population in the country, and we do not want to become a state overrun with homelessness. Instead, Texas needs to offer parents a chance to rebuild supportive and loving family units. Rather than spending taxpayer money on medical, housing, and administrative costs for homeless people, we can invest it in rebuilding families, therefore reducing expenditure and reducing Texas debt.
Join Fighting Homelessness as we outreach to those in need. We will be collecting gently used or new winter Coats, jackets, gloves, hats, socks, tennis shoes, travel size lotions/cleansers.
You can arrange to drop off any of these items before the event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feel free to drop off the day of directly at the outreach location:
3515 Metropolitan Ave Dallas TX
Set up starts at 9:30am, event starts at 10:30am.