Letter  to Del. Ingram 2012

Dear Delegate Ingram:

Thank you for the opportunity to meet and discuss TANF.

I realize your concern regarding TANF funds being used in an unintended manner, and it is a concern that all of us have.

However, our major concern is addressing this question: How do we help children born into poor families have a chance in moving out of poverty, attaining their full potential as productive members of society, and one day become prepared to make a contribution to our society and our economy?

We believe, based on experience and studies that have grappled with the above question, is that the path out of poverty and into a future that is productive certainly requires that all children have educational opportunities, the protection of affordable health care that can prevent illness, freedom from hunger and poor nutrition, and a place to call home.

Expecting children in families to survive and have a chance at flourishing at current TANF support levels does not seem to be realistic. Many of these families are already looking to churches and other charitable entities just to survive because the assistance provided by TANF provides only minimal protection for the most vulnerable in our communities.

Controls to ensure that public funds are spent well are obviously important, but how this can be done without creating a big expensive intrusive bureaucracy presents another question and likely significant costs to taxpayers.

Again, our concern and focus is on children who live in poverty and the helping hand they need to protect them from the evils of inadequate education, illness, hunger, and no place to live. We are not a third world nation, and children in our nation surely deserve better than a third world existence.