Human Services in a Time of Economic Crisis
An Examination of California’s Safety-Net Programs and Related Risks and Benefits for Communities


CWDA and California State Association of Counties (CSAC) commenced a study in 2009 looking at safety-net programs counties provide on behalf of the state and the benefits for our communities and counties.

Among the key findings:

  • Human services play an important role in our economy, generating $1.32 in economic activity for every $1 spent.
  • The study also found the economic downturn across the state is significantly driving demand for these human services, such as CalWORKs, CalFresh and Medi-Cal.
  • Unfortunately, the growing state funding gap is exacerbating the difficult position counties have been put in to provide these services without adequate funding
  • Our findings are supported by a separate study by Beacon Economics, a research and consulting firm the closely tracks the economy and public policy in California, which we’ll provide more on in a bit.

Human Services in a Time of Economic Crisis, CWDA-CSAC Study, April 2009

Spending on County Human Services Programs In California: An Evaluation Of Economic Impacts, Beacon Economics, March 17, 2009