Churches as government partners

Navigating 'Charitable Choice'

In 1998 Sue Hill, an administrator with the Department of Human Services in Peoria, Illinois, was trying to help find jobs for several adults whose families were on welfare. Under the new welfare laws, the families would lose their cash benefits (called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, or TANF) if the heads of the households didn’t find work soon. The department was not able to give these families the time-intensive support and attention they needed. So Hill decided to turn to the town’s faith community.


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