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Governor Unveils Mentoring Program for Kansas Welfare Recipients

Governor Sam Brownback and Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore

Governor Sam Brownback hopes mentoring can help lift Kansans out of poverty. A new program will match people on cash assistance in Kansas with volunteer mentors. Brownback says the goal is to help people learn the skills needed to succeed in education and employment.


“We’re asking, I’m asking, Kansans all across the state to sign up to help out to mentor somebody that’s in poverty to help them get out of poverty. This is our job, everybody,” says Brownback.
 
The group Kansas Action for Children points out that the state recently cut back the amount of time Kansans can receive cash assistance. President Shannon Cotsoradis says she’d like to see the federal dollars invested in existing assistance programs.

“I think that the first priority needs to be making sure that families have the access to the resources they need to pay for rent, utilities, food, clothing and transportation. Mentoring programs are really a supplement,” says Cotsoradis.
 
The initial goal is to match 1100 cash assistance recipients with volunteer mentors. The new initiative is based on a mentoring program that has helped inmates transition back to life outside prison

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(VERSION TWO)
Governor Sam Brownback hopes a new mentoring program can help lift Kansans out of poverty. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.


(SCRIPT)
The program will match people on cash assistance in Kansas with volunteer mentors. Governor Sam Brownback announced the program and encouraged people to sign up to help.

“You will be the better for it. The person that volunteers to help out and mentor somebody out of poverty, you will get more out of this than anybody else. I guarantee that,” says Brownback.
 
Jim Echols will head the program. He says the goal is teaching the skills needed to be successful in education and employment.
 
“Developing within the attitude, the value system, of one who sees work and develops a worth ethic,” says Echols
 
The group Kansas Action for Children points out that the state recently cut back the amount of time Kansans can receive cash assistance. President Shannon Cotsoradis says she’d like to see more investment in existing programs instead of creating new ones. 

 

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