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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Women, Work, and Welfare: The Need for a Community Model


In September 1985, the California State Assembly initiated a job training/workfare for welfare recipients called GAIN, Greater Avenues for Independence. This program, though barely underway, is already seen as a model for future workfare programs in other states as well as at the federal level. GAIN and other workfare proposals raise the issue of how women in low-wage work are to sustain themselves. This paper explores the need for policy makers to focus on neighborhood development when creating programs intended to move women (who are disproportionately women of color) off the welfare rolls and into wage labor.

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