Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson and JSD student Elsa Zawedde co-authored an op-ed in Deseret News, where they advocate for centralized locations for accessing government benefits. An excerpt follows:
"The government should look to Welfare Square in downtown Salt Lake City, a landmark location for helping those in need. The federal government and states should create Benefits Depots: one-stop shops for accessing government benefits efficiently and easily. These depots would provide a physical place for people to reach the services they need. They would house all programs, with a knowledgeable employee to walk citizens through services — like a personal shopper for government benefits.
"COVID-19 has pushed us to innovate. Takeout food has become more widespread and accessible thanks to Uber Eats and other services. If Uber can do this, governments can, too. Mobilizing services and pooling resources are not new concepts.
"Like Welfare Square, which is accessible by public transportation, Benefits Depots should be located centrally in easily accessible locations where people congregate: next to bus stops, houses of worship, post offices, stores or food banks. And they can be strategically located in historically underserved areas to better serve those in need."
Read the full piece at deseret.com.
Note: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Illinois College of Law.