Thursday, January 29, 2015

7th Annual Conversation with Elected Officials

Join the Bucks County Women's Advocacy Coalition (BCWAC) for their 7th Annual Conversation with Elected Officials: Removing Barriers to Economic Self-Sufficiency on Friday, April 10 beginning at 8 AM.

The conversation will build on a keynote address delivered by Dr. Judith A. Levine, professor at Temple University College of Liberal Arts and author of Ain't No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters. Judith will share some of the research behind her conclusions and relate them to public policy options.

PathWays PA is a member of BCWAC and works closely with them on many policy issues.

Learn more and RSVP!

Pennsylvania Extends Streak of Lackluster Performance for Financial Security of its Residents

Statement from Lyn Kugel, Vice President of Workforce Development and Self-Sufficiency at PathWays PA and leader of the Pathways to Opportunities Partnership (POP), on the new Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) Assets and Opportunities Scorecard:

Despite an improving national economy, far too many Pennsylvania residents are still struggling to achieve financial security. A new report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), reveals that Pennsylvania ranks 24th overall for access to financial assets, income, jobs, housing, healthcare and education.

We know that well-targeted policies can make a huge difference in the financial security of Pennsylvania families. The Scorecard complied by CFED takes a close look at how Pennsylvania and its families are faring across multiple indices and policies.

Financial Assets and Income: Owning assets leads to improved economic stability for families as well as improved economic mobility. When families have financial assets, they can plan for future goals, such as sending their children to college. Families with assets are also in a better position to withstand unexpected financial situations such as job loss or illness.

Unfortunately, as the CFED Scorecard shows, Pennsylvania still has widespread inequality when it comes to having the assets they need. Households of color in PA are 2.4 times more likely to lack the resources necessary to meet their basic needs (known as asset poverty) than Caucasian households. Single parent households are 3.2 times more likely to be in asset poverty than two-parent households in Pennsylvania. At the national level, single parent households are only 2.2 times more likely to be in asset poverty. So Pennsylvanian single heads of household are lagging significantly behind the national average.

Housing and Homeownership: One of the best tools that low-income and minority households have to build wealth in America is homeownership. The loss of that home can have a devastating impact on a household's finances, and in Pennsylvania, homeownership ends all too frequently in foreclosure. Pennsylvania's foreclosure rate ranks 35th in the country at 3.39%.

Healthcare: When families have access to healthcare, they are less likely to have to rely on their assets or on the public safety net to pay for medical needs. When uninsured, those same families are only an accident or unexpected illness away from financial insecurity. In a medical crisis, families often have to rely on loans or credit cards that they cannot repay, which is a leading cause of bankruptcy.

In Pennsylvania, people of color are 1.8 times more likely to be uninsured than Caucasians. 8 percent of low-income children and 25.6% of low-income parents in Pennsylvania are uninsured.

Education: Access to education benefits everyone - the student, his/her family, and the community. But when families go into too much debt to pay for education, the benefits are harder to achieve.

Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country when it comes to student loan debt, with the average college graduate having $31,675 in student loans to repay.

For an additional resource detailing the basic costs of living faced by low-income families, please see the PA Economic Self Sufficiency Standard, compiled by PathWays PA, which takes a market basket look at the real costs of essential living, varying according to family composition across Counties in PA. You can find it on PathWays PA's website,


To read an analysis of key findings from the 2015 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, click here. To access the complete Scorecard, visit

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Share Your Earned Sick Days Story

Philadelphia could be the next city to win paid sick days!

Here's the sobering truth of what's at stake: For a family without paid sick days, just 3.5 days of missed work because of illness is the equivalent to an entire month's groceries for the average family. That's bad for families, and it's bad for the city's economy.

PathWays PA has been leading the charge for earned sick days in Philadelphia since 2010, and recently served on the Mayor's Task Force on Paid Sick Leave.

Join MomsRising and PathWays PA by raising your voice and sharing your thoughts with Philadelphia City Council members!

Share your story!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free Tax Preparation Begins at PathWays PA

PathWays PA will offer free tax preparation in Greater Philadelphia, Camden, and Delaware County from January 26 to April 15 2015. Schedule your appointment today!

PathWays PA's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has assisted thousands of people in Metro Philadelphia to file their tax returns for over 10 years.
PathWays PA's IRS certified volunteer preparers can prepare your taxes at absolutely no cost to you. This will help you avoid the high fees charged by commercial preparers, saving you hundreds of dollars and enabling you to keep more of your money.

Our services are available to individuals and families earning less than $53,000 per year.

Learn more!

Friday, January 23, 2015

NEW DATE! Join us on February 3 for the Hearing on Earned Sick Days in City Council!

UPDATED: Due to the snow, the hearing has been moved to February 3 at 11:30 AM.

Do workers deserve Paid Sick Time? YES THEY DO!

Join us February 3 and let your voice be heard on the Earned Sick Time bill, a bill that would affect 120,000 workers in Philadelphia. 40% of Philadelphia workers do not receive earned sick days, and 120,000 people would receive the benefits if this law were to pass.

Council needs to hear from you! Join us to send the message clear and strong, the time for earned sick days is now!

Let us know that you are attending by signing up on Facebook today!

¿Piensas que los trabajadores deben recibir tiempo pagado por enfermedad en sus trabajo? CLARO QUE SI!

Únase con nosotros el 3 de febrero para que su voz sea oída en la propuesta de ley para dias de enfermedad pagados, una propuesta ley que afectaría a 120.000 trabajadores en Filadelfia. 40% de los trabajadores de Filadelfia no reciben dias por enfermedad pagado, y 120.000 personas podría recibir los beneficios si esta ley se aprobara.

2015 será el año en que nos convertimos este proyecto en ley.

Y para tener un ley fuerte el Consejal necesita saber de usted! Únase con nosotros para enviar el mensaje claro y fuerte, el tiempo para los días de enfermedad pagados es ahora.