Pam Fessler Pam Fessler is a correspondent on NPR's National Desk, where she covers poverty and philanthropy.

Michigan Department of Human Services caseworker Sandy Satchel works at the Family Independence Agency in Detroit. In the past few years, welfare caseloads have dropped 2 percent in Michigan while unemployment has risen 54 percent, a trend that's reflected in other states. Carlos Osorio/AP hide caption

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Carlos Osorio/AP

In Hard Times, Welfare Cases Drop In Some States

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Study Shows Racial Wealth Gap Grows Wider

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A voter casts a ballot in a Democratic primary on July 12 in Wisconsin, one of seven states to enact voter ID laws this year. Dinesh Ramde/AP hide caption

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Dinesh Ramde/AP

The Politics Behind New Voter ID Laws

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John Harrison (right) says his homelessness is in "remission." Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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Ex-Homeless Speak Out To Change Perceptions

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Robert Laws collects supplies from the Tennessee food bank's mobile pantry. Pam Fessler hide caption

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Pam Fessler

Food Bank Shortages Lead To Innovation

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Steven White (right) helps serve dinner at the Salvation Army soup kitchen. Pam Fessler/NPR hide caption

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A Squash's Journey: From The Shelf To The Hungry

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Diaries Reveal One 'Swelegant' Dad

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HUD Surprised Homeless Population Isn't Higher

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Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson, with son Khyber and daughter Amira, sit with students at the Gultori War refugee school in Pakistan. A 60 Minutes report questioned some of the stories Mortenson tells in the book and his charity's use of funds. Deidre Eitel/PR Newswire/AP hide caption

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Can You Know Where Charity Dollars Go? Not Easily

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said a warning will only be issued if there's specific information about a credible threat. Still, on Sunday night her department warned state and local law enforcement to be prepared for the possibility of an attack. Jeff Roberson/AP hide caption

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Jeff Roberson/AP

U.S. Security Tightens, Despite No Specific Threat

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Ex-Congressman Fasts To Protest Budget Cuts

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In Some States, Working Poor Could Pay More Taxes

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Nonprofits Look For New Ways To Get People To Give

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Untangling Low-Income Budget Cut Claims

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Philip Doud and his girlfriend, Cathy Espong, sit in their new one-bedroom apartment. They both lost their jobs and were found living on a San Diego sidewalk during a survey of the city's homeless population last fall. The Department of Veterans Affairs helped move the couple into permanent housing as part of a campaign to end homelessness. Pam Fessler /NPR hide caption

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Campaign Aims To Open Doors For The Homeless

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