Latest News

  • Eileen DiNino: Sentenced to Death for Being Poor

    Eileen DiNino: Sentenced to Death for Being Poor

    Eileen DiNino, a 55 year old mother of 7 was found dead in a jail cell in Berks County, PA.  Ms. DiNino was serving a 2 day sentence for failure to pay $2,000 in fines for truancy. Did something happen? Was she scared to death?" said District Judge Dean R. Patton, who reluctantly sent DiNino to the Berks County jail Friday after she failed to pay the debt for four years. He described her as "a lost soul," and questioned Pennsylvanian laws that criminalize such lapses as truancy or failing to pay a trash bill. "This lady didn't need to be there," Patton said. "We don't do debtors prisons anymore. That went out 100 years ago." Ms. DiNino is just one of thousands of people in poverty who are issued death sentences everyday by the American Unjustice System.  Her story is well known to us mothers in poverty who struggle… Read More »
  • War on Poverty: Child Well-Being 50 Years Later

    War on Poverty: Child Well-Being 50 Years Later

    In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in his State of the Union Address. Fifty years later, how have American children fared? Fair Start: Rich Get Richer While Working Families Struggle • In 2012, child poverty was 5 percent lower than in 1964 but 64 percent higher than the lowest recorded level — 14 percent in 1969 — and 21 percent higher than before the recession. The Black-White ratio for child poverty decreased 26 percent from 1964 to 2012. Black children remained three times more likely than White children to be poor in 2012. • Income inequality has increased dramatically. The top 1 percent of earners received 22.5 percent of the nation’s income in 2012, more than double their share in 1964 and equal to levels last seen in the 1920s. • The federal minimum wage is now worth 22 percent less in inflation-adjusted terms than in 1964.… Read More »
  • U.S. Treatment of Homeless Persons Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading

    U.S. Treatment of Homeless Persons Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading

    On Thursday, March 13, in Geneva Switzerland, the U.N. Human Rights Committee reviewed U.S. compliance with a major human rights treaty, raising concerns of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment for the practice of criminalizing homeless people for performing necessary life functions such as sleeping and eating in public when they have no private alternatives. The criminalization of homelessness in the U.S. is documented in a report, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading: Homelessness in the United States Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, submitted to the Committee by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty ("NLCHP") and the Allard K. Lowenstein Human Rights Clinic at Yale Law School. "I appreciate that the federal government is acknowledging that the criminalization of people living on the street for everyday life activities, such as eating, sleeping, sitting in particular areas...raises serious human rights concerns...," said Walter Kaelin, a Swiss member of… Read More »
  • Welcome Home: Tent Cities on the Rise

    Welcome Home: Tent Cities on the Rise

    The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty recently released report, Welcome Home: The Rise of Tent Cities in the United States, documents media reports of homeless encampments in 46 of 50 states. "While individuals may 'choose' to live in an encampment, it is our collective choices as a society that force this choice due to failure to create adequate affordable housing solutions or even the basic safety net of adequate shelters," said Eric Tars, Director of Human Rights & Children's Rights Programs at the Law Center, "Tent cities represent our country's failure to guarantee the human right to housing, and should never be considered permanent solutions; but where they exist, residents must be treated with respect and only evicted by making adequate alternatives available." The report builds on previous Law Center reports on the criminalization of homelessness which emphasize that criminalization of homelessness is not only legally and morally… Read More »
  • Single Parents in Numbers

    Tired of the continuing dependency of using the myth of the welfare queen by politicians to justify cuts to necessary services?  Tired of seeing single parents portrayed as villains and the scourge of society in the media? Here are some statistics you can use to back up your argument when finding it necessary to defend against the single parent stereotypes perpetuated by the mass media and the right. Legal Momentum released their annual Snapshot of Single Parenthood in the United States complied using information from the Census Bureau and other government agencies.  Here are some of their findings: Half or more of today’s children will likely spend at least part of their childhood in a single parent family. 85% of children living with a single parent were living with their mother. Majority of single parents have been married or are married. 56% of single parents had one child and 30%… Read More »
  • WV TANF Misery Index is 160

    WV TANF Misery Index is 160

    Legal Momentum just released their newest TANF Misery Index based on 2012 numbers, the latest numbers available.  The TANF misery index measures how TANF is performing in alleviating poverty in families with children in the United States. Legal Momentum has been utilizing the TANF Misery Index since the beginning of the TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) program in 1996.  In 1996 the TANF Misery Index was 93, by 2012, that number had increased to 147. What this means is that in 1996 only 28% of poor families with children were not receiving TANF assistance and in 2012, 74% of poor families with children were not receiving TANF assistance nationally, In West Virginia in 2012, 81% of poor families with children did NOT receive TANF (WVWorks) assistance.  Contrary to what most conservative supporters of welfare reform believe, the rolls have not dropped due to an increase in “self-sufficiency” and the ferretting… Read More »
  • Highest Number on Record of Homeless School Children

    Highest Number on Record of Homeless School Children

    According to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education, 1,168,354 homeless students were enrolled during the 2011-2012 school year. 14% of those are children with disabilities. This is the highest number on record, and a 10% increase over the 2010-2011 school year. The number of homeless children in public schools in the United States has increased 72% since the beginning of the recession. A total of 43 states reported increases in the number of homeless students and 10 states reported increases of 20% or more. States with the largest increases in the numbers of homeless students were Maine (58%), Michigan (42%), North Carolina (53%), North Dakota (212%), South Dakota (35%), Vermont (31%), and Wyoming (40%). The four states with the largest numbers of homeless students were California, New York, Texas, and Florida. West Virginia saw a 13% increase in homeless students during the 2011-2012 school year and a… Read More »
  • WV Medicaid to Start Charging Co-Pays in January

    WV Medicaid to Start Charging Co-Pays in January

    Beginning January 1, 2014, Medicaid recipients will be assigned co-pays for some medical services. A co-pay is the amount of money you will be expected to pay when receiving certain services.  The copays currently are broken into 3 tiers based on income with higher income members paying higher co-pays. Co-pays are for services such as inpatient hospital stays, office visits, prescriptions not on the preferred list, non-emergency use of the Emergency Room at a hospital, and outpatient surgical services. Each calendar quarter, members will have a maximum out of pocket (OOP) payment. The OOP is the most they can charge you in any given quarter for healthcare services.  If they charge you more than the amount listed please contact WVMMIS at 888-483-0797.   Please make sure you keep all receipts so you have proof of what you have paid each quarter. Tier 1 maximum is $8 per quarter Tier 2 maximum is… Read More »

Upcoming Events of Interest

  • September 16, 2014
    National Day of Prayer and Rememberence for the Victim's of Hurricane Katrina
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: September 17, 2014 - 12:00 am
  • September 17, 2014
    Constitution Day
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: September 18, 2014 - 12:00 am
  • September 21, 2014
    People's Climate March
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: September 22, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Location: New York City, New York
    Description: This is an invitation to change everything.

    In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a historic summit on climate change. With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history.

    Together, we’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet. A world safe from the ravages of climate change. A world with good jobs, clean air, and healthy communities for everyone.

    To change everything, we need everyone on board. September 21 in New York City. Join us.

    Organizing a bus, train or rideshare in your community? Want to? Let us know at or email
  • October 4, 2014
    Branches Domestic Violence Shelter 5k Run/Walk
    Starts: 9:00 am
    Ends: October 4, 2014 - 12:00 pm
    Location: Barboursville Park
    Description: October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month
    To find out the complete details or to register, go to
  • October 9, 2014
    Family Resource Network - FRN
    Starts: 12:00 pm
    Ends: October 9, 2014 - 1:00 pm
    Location: Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center
  • October 9, 2014
    USSF - Poverty Working Group
    Starts: 6:00 pm
    Ends: October 9, 2014 - 7:00 pm
    Location: conference call
    Description: Get involved and join the monthly call
    Dial-in Number: 1-712-432-3022
    Conference Code: 913589
  • October 11, 2014
    International Day of the Girl
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: October 12, 2014 - 12:00 am
    Description: On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
  • October 16, 2014
    World Food Day
    Starts: 12:00 am
    Ends: October 17, 2014 - 12:00 am