According to the Economic Progress Institute’s The 2016 Rhode Island Standard of Need report, 72% of single-parent households and 26% of two-parent households earn less than the amount required to meet their very basic needs (housing, food, healthcare, child care, transportation, etc). Fifteen percent of Rhode Islanders experience income poverty and 19% experience asset poverty. Additionally, many Rhode Islanders do not have access to revolving credit and do not qualify for prime credit rates.
Rhode Islanders regularly have to choose between putting food on the table and keeping the lights on, or paying rent or paying for that doctor’s visit. Many studies and practitioners have identified that housing and income instability are active root causes for poor health, chronic absenteeism, lower educational attainment, along with other significant outcomes. Disrupting this cycle is possible, but it will require long-term commitment and careful, responsive intervention.