The GHRU is currently involved in several ongoing projects within the community, including the Living Wage Campaign and efforts to extend the TANF deadline.
Living Wage Campaign
One of our principal campaigns has been the fight for a living wage in the state of Georgia. More than one out of every 10 families in Georgia live in poverty, and the biggest cause of poverty is underemployment. Each state controls their minimum wage and until recently the state minimum wage in Georgia was $3.25 an hour, the lowest in the nation. We played a major role in the successful campaign to raise the state minimum wage to the federal level of $5.15 an hour, which took effect on July 1, 2001. However, $5.15 an hour is not a livable wage, so the fight continues. Presently, we are part of the Atlanta Living Wage Coalition. Our goal is to pass an ordinance that would ensure a living wage for all municipal employees and city contractors.
Another one of our major campaigns is to extend the deadline for families on Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In Georgia there is a four year life time limit for receiving public assistance, though the federal limit is five years. In addition, tighter restrictions and regulations have resulted in about 50% of all Georgia TANF recipients being kicked off welfare rolls due to violations and disqualifications. People leaving welfare for work earn less than a living wage, with an average income of $7,996 a year. One of our goals is to extend the TANF deadline to the federal time limit as well as work to inform TANF recipients of their rights and entitlements.