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Contest Entries

Senior Insecurity

Entrants: Kelley Weiss

Affiliation: Capital Public Radio


Year: 2009

Place: Third Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

Kelley Weiss reports that California's second most expensive health and human services program, Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, was designed to help the elderly and disabled afford basic necessities. It has an almost $3 billion price tag covered by taxpayers. And yet today a growing number of people in this program over the age of 55 can't afford enough food or are living on the streets.

Judges' comments: I admire the way the reporter forged relationships with Supplemental Security Income recipients and gained their trust for the interviews. It's always compelling to 'follow the money' and when people in charge of this money don't have adequate answers about how it's spent or its effectiveness it speaks volumes about the problem.

See "Senior Insecurity."

See the contest questionnaire in which the reporter writes about how this story was written.