The 1996 welfare overhaul nudged more single moms off public assistance rolls and into jobs. But many women simply entered "working poor" status, leaving them more vulnerable to the economic slowdown that occurred since the census was taken, said researcher William O’Hare of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a children’s advocacy group.
儿童福利机构Annie E. Casey Foundation 的研究员William O’Hare 说：1996年的社会福利审查使得更多的单亲妈妈失去了政府援助的地位，从而加入了工作的岗位。但是她们很多人都处于底层的工作岗位，这使得她们更容易受到本次人口普查以来的经济增速放缓的影响。
Dortch’s job at a community development outreach program pays her $22,000 a year. It is enough so that she doesn’t have to go back on welfare, which she collected off-and-on between 1990 and 1999, when she graduated from college.
"Education was my ticket out of poverty and to gaining my self-respect," she said. Next year, she plans to move her family — her kids are ages 11 to 16 — out of public housing in St. Albans, W.Va.
Dortch说道：“教育是我摆脱贫穷，赢得自信的钥匙。”Dortch最小的孩子已经11岁，最大的孩子已经16岁。明年，她计划从位于St. Albans, W.Va.的政府提供的廉租房中搬出来，住到新的地方去。
"When (Congress) considers welfare reform, education needs to be the first priority, not employment," she said.
The census showed 34% of households led by a single mother with a child under 18 lived in poverty in 1999, an improvement from 42% in 1989. The Census Bureau asks about a person’s economic status in the calendar year before forms are distributed.
For all families, poverty rates improved from 10% to 9%, while the rate for all residents improved from 13% to 12%, the Census found.
"But the question is whether these lower rates are sustainable," said Jill Miller of the advocacy group Women Work!, which coordinates job training and education programs. "Our concern is that we see women who work two or three jobs who managed to get themselves out of poverty, but at a very high cost."
资助妇女就业团体的Jill Miller说道：“关键是这种低贫困率能否维持下去。”Jill Miller所在这个团体致力于为妇女提供工作培训和教育计划。Jill Miller说道：“我们看到很多妇女打两三份工作，试图改变她们的经济困境，但是她们付出的代价相当昂贵。这才是我们关心的。”
Diana Hernandez said things have gotten worse for her in recent years. She divorced in 1996 and raises her 8-year-old son and two teen-age daughters in temporary housing in San Leandro, Calif.
Diana Hernandez说近年来她过得越来越不顺了。Diana Hernandez在1996年离婚，她带着她8岁的儿子和两个10几岁的女儿住在加州San Leandro市的一个临时房子里。
Like many other single moms, she struggles to pay for the rent, groceries and utility bills.
She said the $79 in monthly child support she gets from her ex-husband barely helps pay for food.
Poverty levels differ according to a household’s makeup. For instance, in 1999, the poverty threshold for a family of five, including four children, was $19,578. The threshold for a three-person household with one child was $13,410.
Poverty rates for households led by single mothers improved throughout the country except for the District of Columbia, where it worsened slightly, and Hawaii, where it remained relatively unchanged.
States in the South and more rural states tended to have higher percentages of single mothers in poverty. By county, urban counties like Los Angeles County and Cook County, had the greatest number of single mother-led homes.
Poverty data for single mothers refer to women who live with either their own child or a related child at home. Previous surveys show most of these children are the women’s offspring.
Income and poverty data come from the 2000 Census long form questionnaire distributed to about one in six American households.
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