The state of Mississippi isn’t getting anything past Danielle Thomas. Thomas is a bright, young single mother raising her six kids in south Jackson. Because she lives in poverty, Thomas is also an expert in the convoluted policies and bureaucratic red tape surrounding one of the biggest scandals in state history: the TANF program. Despite recent attention on the graft and corruption within the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant, Mississippi is still pumping less than 5% of the money directly to mothers like Thomas. “I really think it’s still them stealing from people, to be honest,” Thomas, 34, said. “I really feel like they feel like a lot of us aren’t smart enough, or they feel like we probably don’t know the system in and out well enough.”
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