One of the by-products of the nation’s economic downturn is a marked increase in the number of working poor — or working homeless — across this country. These are people who have full-time jobs, yet can’t afford to rent, buy or maintain a home. They come to agencies like ours, the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), for assistance. We provide a safe, warm place to sleep, along with food and a place to shower.
There is a budget proposal pending in Michigan that would make life even more difficult for the working poor. Michigan’s newly-elected governor is pushing to end the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for the working poor. The EITC is a refundable income tax credit for low to moderate income working individuals and families. These tax credits provide people with an incentive to work and stimulate the economy, because the money is usually spent fairly quickly on essentials such as home and auto repairs.
Sadly, the Michigan League for Human Services says ending the Michigan EITC will push an estimated 14,000 children in working families into poverty! That is a primary reason why so many residents look at the governor’s budget proposal as an attack on children. Eliminating the EITC will take away even more financial support from those who can barely make ends meet now. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck and relying on any supplemental funds that are available to them.
Regardless of what happens to the Michigan EITC or to other funding, the DRMM’s mission will remain the same: to use the generous donations of our supporters to help all who come to our doors in need, even if the numbers swell to unprecedented levels.