Ashley Saltzman

The Project

Ashley addressed the unique set of legal challenges that immigrants face in obtaining public benefits. Presentations and direct representation allow me to inform immigrants about public benefits and to help them overcome the obstacles that immigration status can pose in obtaining and retaining the benefits. Ashley worked to address noncompliance with Title VI and the failure to provide interpreters, which makes it more difficult for immigrants to access the resources available to them.

The Project

Kristy will provide community education, legal representation, and support to work-eligible individuals under the Ohio Works First (OWF) program in Franklin County.

OWF is the financial assistance portion of Ohio’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. OWF is intended to promote self-sufficiency by assisting recipients in overcoming barriers to finding employment. Understanding and following OWF requirements is usually the lifeline that keeps low-income families from falling further into poverty. Ohio relies upon federal funding to maintain the OWF program and must meet federal workforce participation rates in order for this funding to continue. Currently, Ohio is meeting the federal requirements not because OWF recipients have found employment but by decreasing its OWF-enrollment numbers through increased OWF work requirements and imposing strict penalties for even minor infractions. This fellowship will focus on OWF policies and procedures and provide much-needed education and representation to those work-eligible individuals under the OWF program. By focusing on the true intent of OWF — removing barriers to employment through adequate training and employment opportunities – these individuals can become truly self-sufficient.