Why We Do the Work We Do Together


July 16, 2018

The CHN office is always a flurry of activity. With a small staff and so much to do to protect and expand basic needs programs that help our low-income neighbors, there’s no time to sit still. This week is even busier as we take care of final preparations for our Human Needs Hero reception on Thursday, July 19th, where we hope you’ll join us, support our workand honor our 2018 Human Needs Heroes. This year, we’re honoring rising heroes for women’s justice and health, gun violence resisters, teachers standing up for education, and special hero Helen Blank of the National Women’s Law Center.


As we prepare for our event, we’re reminded of the bringing together of the human needs community that’s at the heart of CHN’s work. We’re thinking about why we all do the work that we do together – both the challenges and the successes. So, in honor of our 15th annual Human Needs Hero event, here are just a few of those many reasons:

    • More than 40 million Americans live in poverty, including more than one in six children.
    • Millions of our neighbors face unprecedented threats of deportation and thousands of children are torn from parents seeking asylum.
    • On an average day, 96 Americans are killed with guns, including 7 children or teens.
    • The 2017 tax cut law will hurt low-income people and communities of color disproportionately, while corporations use their windfall for nearly $500 billion in stock buy-backs.
    • Efforts to worsen the decennial Census undercount of low-income people, children, immigrants, and communities of color will magnify inequities.
    • Nearly 70 percent of critical human needs programs have lost ground since FY10. More than 40 percent of appropriated programs were cut by 15 percent or more, and nearly 30 percent of programs were cut by 25 percent or more.


    • Safety net programs like SNAP, low-income tax credits, and Social Security cut poverty nearly in half, lifting 46 million people, including 12 million children, out of poverty each year.
    • Public support for safety net programs and greater federal efforts to reduce poverty is strong.
    • Despite repeated efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act, advocates continue to prevent repeal, and more states are approving Medicaid expansion.
    • Funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant was increased by more than 80 percent this year, an unprecedented gain that will help an additional 151,000 children.
    • Advocacy works!

There are multiple enormous threats to human needs programs, including draconian budget cuts, proposals to impose harsh work requirements in Medicaid, SNAP, and housing programs, and efforts to chip away at health care and reverse worker and consumer protections. That’s why spreading the word about the need to protect and invest in human needs programs is so critical. To help CHN continue this work, please click here. We are most grateful for your support. 

[Photo credit: Doug Kline via Flickr]

Census Bureau
child care
child poverty
gun violence
Human Needs Hero
Poverty and Income
Social Services
tax policy