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Family Economic Prosperity

All Colorado families work hard to provide a better life for their children. However, policies and practices have created and maintained inequitable opportunities for some families, in particular for families of color. We all benefit when Colorado families facing the greatest barriers to economic prosperity have the opportunity to thrive.  

Safe and stable housing is essential to child well-being. However, many Colorado families are struggling to find an affordable place to call home, as housing costs have skyrocketed in many parts of the state and incomes have not kept pace. Housing insecurity puts families at risk of homelessness and negatively impacts health and education outcomes for kids. We can help by ensuring families have access to affordable, quality, safe housing without having to move frequently.

The hardships and stressors associated with poverty can harm children of any age—but research shows that poverty experienced during early childhood is particularly damaging to a child’s development. One study found that people who experienced poverty between birth and age 5 completed two fewer years of school, were twice as likely to be arrested (among men), and were nearly three times more likely to be in poor health as adults than peers who lived in moderate- to upper-income settings. The same study found that boosting the income of families with young children by $3,000 per year was associated with better outcomes in adulthood—including a 17% increase in adult earnings and more hours worked. 

Where Colorado Stands 

Colorado families are still suffering from the economic impacts of the pandemic and rising cost of living in our state and many are struggling to make ends meet. In addition, a history of policies and practices that have disadvantaged families of color means that poverty rates in our state vary widely based on a child’s race/ethnicity and the community in which they live. 

  • Colorado families in extreme poverty were struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic and are likely still the furthest from economic recovery. Extreme poverty has a profound impact on the health, well-being, and development of children and on the ability of families to meet their most basic needs. 
  • Even prior to the pandemic, families with children were more likely to face eviction. A study found that among families facing eviction who appear in court, those families with children disproportionately receive eviction judgments. Due to past and current policies and practices that create more barriers to housing stability for communities of color, Black and Latinx renters are also significantly more likely to face eviction.

What the Children’s Campaign is Doing 

The Children’s Campaign has helped to advance policies that support Colorado families’ ability to achieve self-sufficiency and move toward economic prosperity, and access safe, stable, affordable housing. The Children’s Campaign is focused on the following key policy priorities: 

Income Support 

We can help Colorado families by ensuring that income supports like the Child Tax Credit, TANF’s Basic Cash Assistance (TANF) and more are robust so that they can best help lift families out of poverty and place them on the path to self-sufficiency. 

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Housing 

Housing insecurity generates many stressors and challenges for families. Frequent moves, or living in overcrowded or poor-quality housing, impact children’s well-being and development and parents’ mental health. 

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