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Fellowship story

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California’s second most expensive health and human services program, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, was designed to help the elderly and disabled afford basic necessities. But for many older Californians it's not meeting that goal.

In the first of our two-part series, Senior Insecurity, we’ll look at how the deepest state budget cuts to SSI in a decade have impacted older disabled Californians. A growing number of them can’t afford enough food or are living on the streets. 

 

Picture of Kelley Weiss

California sends out about three billion dollars a year to the disabled and elderly so they can buy food and afford housing. But in the second part of our series, Senior Insecurity, Capital Public Radio found there's little oversight of this program.

Even though Supplemental Security Income - or SSI - is California's second most expensive health and human services program, the state doesn't track whether it's enough to live on or how people spend their money.

 

Picture of Rachel Dornhelm

The WIC federal nutrition program has just undergone a makeover, and vouchers are now good for fresh produce and healthy foods. This switch has put thousands of WIC-certified stores through some changes of their own. Rachel Dornhelm reports.

Picture of Rachel Dornhelm

The WIC program, which offers nutrition education and food vouchers to low-income families, will soon get a healthy overhaul. But to cash in, food manufacturers have had to make some adjustments. Rachel Dornhelm reports.

Picture of Rachel Dornhelm

The Women, Infants and Children Program provides food vouchers and nutritional education to low income families. California runs the biggest WIC program in the nation -- 60 percent of all infants born in this state are enrolled in it. Now, the program's changing the kinds of food it recommends.

Picture of Sheraz Sadiq

I produced an eleven minute TV story on depression, focusing on new research into better understanding the neural mechanisms underlying depression, as well as current treatments, including antidepressants, transcranial magnetic stimulation and cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of talk therapy.

Picture of Debra  Sherman

Reforms unlikely to defeat obesity

Picture of Sandy Kleffman

A look at the progress and potential pitfalls in California's $3 billion stem cell research program.

Picture of Sandy Kleffman

A Contra Costa Times investigation finds that East Bay hospitals benefited from at least $81 million in tax breaks in 2005, while providing less than $43 million in charity care.

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Announcements

U.S. children and teens have struggled with increasing rates of depression, anxiety and suicidal behavior for much of the past decade. Join us as we explore the systemic causes and policy failures that have accelerated the crisis and its inequitable impact, as well as promising community-driven approaches and evidence-based practices. The webinar will provide fresh ideas for reporting on the mental health of youth and investigating the systems and services. Sign-up here!

The USC Center for Health Journalism at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism is seeking two Engagement Editors and a social media consultant to join its team. Learn more about the positions and apply.

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