A new Urban Institute report explores the relationship between the economic health of cities and the financial health of its residents. While it’s no surprise that having wealthier families leads to wealthier cities, the study looks at how families experiencing hardships with even a small amount of savings can avoid spiraling into instability and creating greater costs for municipalities. (City Lab, 4/26):
Hardship outcomes matter to cities. Eviction is a leading cause of homelessness, especially for families with children. Eviction also leads some families to seek out substandard living conditions. Residential instability limits opportunities for children and youths. Missed utility payments, another form of hardship, is a cost for municipalities. So are public benefits.
Financial insecurity is a problem for families that can take the form of food insecurity, poor health outcomes, and homelessness. The Urban Institute’s research shows that a family’s financial insecurity is also a city’s problem. When families without savings suffer income disruptions (which are common), they may turn to public benefits. Or they may turn to more expensive forms of support. Or they may suffer. All of these outcomes at the family level detract from a city’s overall financial health.
– Ahead of WRAG’s upcoming Brightest Minds event featuring author and Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton University Eldar Shafir on May 18, WRAG’s Philanthropy Fellow Hannah Davis explains the notion of the “scarcity trap,” and why having too little is a big deal. (Daily, 4/26)
– Opinion: Natalie Wexler, education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation, explores why it’s so important for decision makers to stop viewing reading as the “broccoli” that low-income students must eat before getting to the “dessert”- art, history, music and more. (DC Eduphile, 4/18)
– The Growing College-Degree Wealth Gap (Atlantic, 4/25)
– Heroin epidemic worsens in Virginia (WTOP, 4/25)
– Suicide rates are on the rise for every age group under 75, with girls between the ages of 10 and 14 experiencing the highest percent increase. Economic stagnation, drug use, lack of health coverage, and even earlier puberty ages are counted as possible reasons for depression that leads to more suicides. (WAMU, 4/21)
– Do Local Governments Have a Role to Play in Mental Health? (City Lab, 4/19)
– Americans for the Arts delivers their sixth and final publication of the National Arts Index, an annual report on the health and vitality of arts and culture in the U.S.
– With a number of recent transitions in the District’s dance scene, here’s a look at what’s on the horizon in the near future. (Dance Magazine, 4/15)
– Audio: Is Jazz Sustainable In Washington, D.C.? (WAMU, 4/21)
Have you read any of these remarkable book titles?