21,000 Detroiters Losing Welfare Benefits

Source: Karen Bouffard and Mike Wilkinson /  The Detroit News

Lansing— Roughly 1 in 10 children in parts of Detroit and Flint will lose welfare benefits Saturday, when cash benefits for families who’ve been on welfare 48 months or longer are cut off.

Although nearly 41,000 people statewide will lose payments averaging $515 a month, the brunt of the impact will be felt in two of the poorest cities in the state, with Detroit accounting for more than half of those losing benefits, according to ZIP code records obtained by The Detroit News through a Freedom of Information request.

The results show high concentrations in neighborhoods deeply afflicted with blight, crime and poverty. In Detroit’s 48205 ZIP code, a roughly five-square-mile section of the northeastern part of the city, nearly 2,000 adults and 1,500 children will be cut off.

“I think it’s tragic,” said state Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Highland Park, whose district includes the 48205 ZIP code. “You can’t have high violence and crime and poverty and expect that Detroit’s going to be able to compete in its comeback.”
For Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, the news that more than 21,000 Detroiters will lose their benefits comes at a particularly troubling time.

“It gives us cause for great concern,” he said.

Godbee said he fears the cutoff could lead to increased crime as he announced Thursday stepped-up enforcement measures in the 48205 ZIPcode, recently identified by a Detroit News analysis as the deadliest area in the city.

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