Families on TANF in South Carolina: Employment Assets and Liabilities. Neighborhood Problems

10/01/2004

The survey respondents were asked about problems that existed in their neighborhood, such as unemployment, drugs, crime, and run-down buildings, and whether these problems were a barrier to employment.
 
  • Nearly 60% of respondents cited unemployment as a problem.

More than a third (36%) of all respondents cited unemployment as a major problem in their neighborhoods, and another 23% saw it as something of a problem. More black respondents than white respondents saw unemployment as a major problem (38% v. 29%).34 Lack of employment opportunities close to home can be a significant barrier to employment for persons with limited transportation. Commuting to jobs in other areas of the city or in suburban or resort areas may pose difficulties with the increased time away from home, child care arrangements, and/or the cost of public transportation. These problems are usually exacerbated in rural areas where there are fewer support services and distances are greater.

  • More than 40% said that drug users or pushers were a neighborhood problem.

Twenty-one percent of the respondents said that drug users or drug pushers were a major neighborhood problem, and an additional 22% saw drug users or pushers as somewhat of a problem (data not shown). Blacks were more likely than whites to cite drug users or pushers as a neighborhood problem (23% v. 13%).35 In addition, almost one in seven of the respondents said that crimes such as assault or burglary were a major neighborhood problem. Finally, almost a quarter (24%) of all respondents felt that there was not a safe area in their neighborhood where children could play.


34 This was a statistically significant difference at the 99% confidence level.
35 This difference was statistically significant at the 99% confidence level.

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