Michigan residents applying for cash assistance will have to get through a new three-week assessment and training period.
The state Department of Human Services unveiled the program on Wednesday.
D-H-S officials say the PATH program is meant to make sure people are prepared to re-enter the workforce. They say many welfare recipients can’t find or keep jobs because of they can’t find adequate child care or transportation.
Judy Putnam is with the advocacy group the Michigan League for Public Policy. She says the program has great goals, but the length of the assessment could be a problem for people who urgently need help.
“Three weeks is a really long time if you don’t have a place to live, or you’re hungry, or other problems,” she says.
Putnam also worries PATH won’t have enough funding to make a dent in the problem.
The new program kicks in January 1.