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Tax credits forever changed my family’s life
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March 1, 2021

In 2009, I was enrolled in college, but my financial aid fell through. I suddenly owed the school just under $5,000. I was barely making it already and had to drop out. In the spring of 2012, my son was born. As a new parent I was full of joy and excitement. There was also the constant anxiety thinking about what I could do to provide a better life for my child. How was I supposed to tell him how important education is and that he can follow his dreams when I wasn’t able to do that for myself? Tax time the following year I received credits that would forever change my family’s life.

COVID-19 Watch: Tracking Hardship February 26, 2021
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February 26, 2021

The 500,000/50 million edition. This week, the U.S. eclipsed the 500,000 mark for COVID-19 deaths. More Americans have died from COVID-19 than in combat during all of America’s wars against foreign enemies. On a brighter note, we are about to surpass 50 million vaccinations administered. Shots don’t hurt, much, but the pain to our economy is acute. According to The Century Foundation, some 19 million Americans – nearly 1 in every 8 workers – are currently collecting unemployment benefits, and that doesn’t even include many more who are out of the labor force and/or not collecting benefits for a variety of reasons

Reflections on Black History Month: Jamaica Brickhouse
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February 25, 2021

I am not a stranger to adversity. I grew up as the oldest of five children in a single-parent household. Through each phase of my life, I have experienced some type of homelessness and poverty knowingly or unknowingly. Like most people in my community, I have quietly dealt with the effects of systemic racism and oppression, whether I was seeking employment, housing, or in the criminal justice system. For a long time, I did not know how to help myself and others on a larger, more impactful scale.

COVID-19’s byproduct: A burgeoning increase in violent crime 
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February 24, 2021

During the first weeks of widespread lockdowns in March 2020, one of the most immediate effects of social distancing was a marked decrease in crime. But as the pandemic continues to restrict our ability to safely coordinate and gather in person, the picture of crime in America has grown more complicated. In recent months, an increase in violent crime has been noted by criminologists. Experts have pointed to disruptions in economic and social assistance as the underlying factor among these trends.  

Biden stimulus bill called key to preventing Virginia eviction crisis
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February 23, 2021

With the economy stalling and millions of Americans still out of work because of the pandemic, Virginia housing advocates are urging Congress to quickly pass President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to bring relief to families being pushed into poverty. Brian Koziol, executive director for the Virginia Housing Alliance, said even before the pandemic, Richmond had the second highest eviction rate in the country, with four other Virginia cities in the top ten.

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