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Assistance to strengthen families in poverty will increase in February

Families in Minnesota Family Investment Program will see benefit increase for first time in more than 30 years

1/31/2020 9:40:38 AM

On Feb. 1, the maximum cash grant for the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) will increase for the first time since 1986. 

MFIP provides temporary income support and employment services to families with children experiencing poverty. The increase, proposed by the Walz-Flanagan Administration and approved by the 2019 Minnesota Legislature, will help these families as they move toward work, stability and self-sufficiency.

DHS Commissioner Jodi Harpstead today visited Hired, an employment services agency, at their office on St. Paul’s east side to meet with parents currently accessing MFIP, listen to the challenges they face and hear about the opportunities they see to strengthen Minnesota’s families. 

“This an important first step to help low-income Minnesota families,” said Harpstead. “The families we serve are resilient and want to contribute to their communities despite the hardships they have faced. By giving families the boost they need to get back on their feet, we create better health and fuller lives that benefit our entire state.”

MFIP serves more than 29,000 families per month, and 72% of individuals accessing the program are children. The vast majority of parents who apply for the program work in low-wage industries offering temporary or seasonal employment or hourly work with unpredictable, inconsistent schedules. To help support their ability to work, as well as their child’s healthy development, Medical Assistance and child care assistance are available to most families. More than 50% of families are able to leave the program in less than a year.

“Every family we work with has a different story. There’s a lot to juggle, particularly for single parent families, as they prepare for their next job and a career,” said Hired Executive Director Julie Brekke. “We’re constantly reminded how resourceful the families we work with are as they figure out housing, food, transportation, clothing, childcare and more – all while finding a job that builds a career that can help them leave poverty.”

Most families accessing MFIP will begin seeing an increase in their cash assistance beginning in February. The maximum increase is $100 per month. 

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