Clara Bates covers social services and poverty for The Missouri Independent. She previously wrote for the Nevada Current, where she reported on labor violations in casinos, hurdles facing applicants for unemployment benefits and lax oversight of the funeral industry. She also wrote about vocational education for Democracy Journal. Bates is a graduate of Harvard College and is a Report for America corps member.
Mary Holmes says she subsisted on hardly any food for over a month as she struggled to recertify her eligibility for federal food assistance earlier this year. She spent hours on the phone trying to speak to someone at Missouri’s Department of Social Services (DSS) for her mandatory interview, as her prepaid phone minutes dwindled. […]