Sunday, May 31, 2009

Married? Have Children? In Pennsylvania, Employers Can Still Ask

Marriage certificateIn the job hunt, employers can’t discriminate on the basis of religion, race, or ancestry. But 15 years ago, Kiki Peppard learned the hard way that employers could and did ask her if she had children and if she was married. As a single mother of two in 1994, she was asked time and time again about her familial status, and rejected from the many jobs she interviewed for. Since then, Ms. Peppard has worked in Pennsylvania to end “maternal profiling.” Despite her hard work and some legislative support, the bills continue to die in committee.

Ms. Peppard’s situation is not unique – only 22 states prohibit asking if an applicant is married or has children. She is now asking the White House Council on Women and Girls to take up the case as well. Please write to your state and federal legislators today to ensure that maternal profiling stops soon!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Media Advisory - Philadelphia Information on Overlooked and Undercounted Study (#media)

MEDIA ADVISORY - For Immediate Release - Request for Coverage
29 May 2009

PathWays PA to Hold a Forum on Latest Publication -
Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania

President/CEO of PathWays PA & Study Author to Discuss Findings,
32.7% of Philadelphians Earn Below Self-Sufficiency Standard


WHAT: Discussion of PathWays PA's latest publication:
Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania

WHO: Carol Goertzel - President/CEO of PathWays PA
Diana Pearce, PhD. - Author of Overlooked and Undercounted & Director of the Center for Women's Welfare, University of Washington School of Social Work

WHEN: Friday, May 29, 2009, 10 AM - 12 PM

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania,

7 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., Philadelphia


As the public and advocates alike continue to come to grips with the current economy and its effect on individuals and families, PathWays PA has published a study that shows how many are in need in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania.

Overlooked and Undercounted found that in Philadelphia, 32.7%, or 1 in 3 households, lack sufficient income to meet their basic needs. These basic needs include housing, child care, health care and food. With over 33,000 people in Philadelphia on the waitlist for adultBasic and another 4,370 waiting to receive child care subsidies, this presentation will discuss how additional educational and assistance opportunities are necessary to help those families that are indeed struggling to make ends meet.

One of the major findings of this study is the fact that education and job training can help all households move towards becoming self-sufficient. In Philadelphia, where two-thirds of adults do not possess the basic skills they need to succeed in higher education, compete for jobs and advance employment, this study shows the drastic need for more educational and job training opportunities. With a population of adults of which 22% do not have a high school diploma, Philadelphians need more education and training supports.

The forum event, expected to run from 10 AM until 12 PM, is open to the public. The speakers will be available for interviews before and after the event.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Reminder: Sign Up Today for Overlooked and Undercounted Forum May 29!

Please register by clicking here. Registration is required. If you have problems registering online or would like to register over the phone, please R.S.V.P. with Kate Scully at kscully@pathwayspa.org or 610-543-5022 x 255.

WHAT: Discussion of PathWays PA's latest publication -- Overlooked and
Undercounted: Struggling to Make End Meet in Pennsylvania

WHO: Carol Goertzel, President and CEO of PathWays PA
Dr. Diana Pearce, author of the study

WHEN: Friday, May 29th 10:00 - 12:00

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA

Please register by clicking here. Registration is required. If you have problems registering online or would like to register over the phone, please R.S.V.P. with Kate Scully at kscully@pathwayspa.org or 610-543-5022 x 255.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 26, 2009

May 29 - PathWays PA Presents

Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania

Seating is Limited.
Registration is Required.

WHAT: Discussion of PathWays PA's latest publication -- Overlooked and
Undercounted: Struggling to Make End Meet in Pennsylvania

WHO: Carol Goertzel, President and CEO of PathWays PA
Dr. Diana Pearce, author of the study

WHEN: Friday, May 29th 10:00 - 12:00

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
For parking information please click here.

One-fifth of the 3.4 million households in Pennsylvania lack adequate income to meet their basic needs, representing a large and diverse group of families experiencing distress. That's one of the findings from PathWays PA's latest study of the economic needs of the state's working families, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania.

The release of the report marks the first time that demographic data relating to the Self-Sufficiency Standard has been collected in the state. Previously, the Standard had simply been calculated but the number and types of households affected had not been determined.

PathWays PA partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to produce the first edition of Overlooked and Undercounted. The report was developed by Diana M. Pearce, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Come and learn about the study directly from its author and the President and CEO of PathWays PA.

Please register by clicking here. Seating is limited. Registration is required. If you have problems registering online, please R.S.V.P. with Kate Scully at kscully@pathwayspa.org or 610-543-5022 x 255.


Join the Save Our Homes Coalition in Supporting the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP)!

HEMAP is a popular and greatly needed program that offers financial assistance to help unemployed citizens facing foreclosure. HEMAP is designed to loan money to unemployed or ill homeowners to make mortgage payments until they can get back on their feet.
Due to inadequate funding the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) has been reluctant to grant ongoing assistance to the unemployed. At this time, only about 20% of HEMAP loans go for ongoing assistance. With a 74% increase in foreclosures over last year and an unemployment rate in the state that has gone from 5.6% in September 2008 to 7.8% in March, programs such as HEMAP must be expanded.

To help please call your state legislators and ask them to support funding for HEMAP to help unemployed Pennsylvanians make it through the recession without the loss of their homes. Please click here if you need your legislator’s contact information.

Also, the Save Our Homes Coalition will be holding a lobby day in Harrisburg to urge more funding for HEMAP.

WHERE: The Capitol Rotunda
WHEN: June 9 12:00

If you are interested in participating please come to Harrisburg. For more information please contact Tim Styer or John Dodds at 215-557-0822. Homeowners are encouraged to take part!!


Take Action: Expand Funding for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Programs!!

Congress is currently reviewing the budget for FY 2010 - including funding for VITA programs. We are asking that Congress increase federal funding for the VITA Grant Program to $14 million. The National Community Tax Coalition (NCTC) believes that increased funding is needed to ensure that community tax preparers can meet the constant demand for our services.
NCTC is mobilizing VITA programs across the country to advocate for increased funding for the field. Click here to find out how you can help.


Senate Bill 850 Will Cut Key Service for Women and Children!

The PA Senate has passed a Bill that would substantially reduce funding for critical programs that serve women and children. In devaluing the needs of women and children, the Senate is debilitating families and the communities in which they live.

Senate Bill 850 will dramatically cut or eliminate the following services:
• PA Commission for Women
• Medical Assistance- Obstetric and Neonatal Services
• Community based family Centers
• Childcare Services
• Childcare Assistance
• Teen Pregnancy and Parenthood education
• Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening
• Maternal and Child Health
• Accessible Housing
• Public Library subsidy
• Industry Partnership

It is important to note that there is a companion Bill in the House of Representatives (House Bill 1416) which would restore funding for these essential services. We strongly urge you to contact your legislators immediately to support HB1416.

It is time to speak up on behalf of women and families in this Commonwealth. Call your legislators and make your voice heard. To find your legislators’ contact information please click here.


Support the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) Reauthorization Bill, S. 687!

The JJDPA provides grants to states to assist with juvenile crime prevention and intervention programs. In order to be eligible for these grants, states must comply with the four core protections
  • To ensure that status offenders are not detained
  • To remove children from placement in adult jails except in limited circumstances
  • In those limited circumstances to ensure sight and sound separation from adults, and
  • To reduce the over-representation of youth of color in the justice system.
S. 687 strengthens and updates critical components of the JJDPA, by making meaningful improvements that expand several of the core protections and other areas contained in the bill.
For more information and to show your support please click here

New Law Gives Renters Protection During Foreclosure

Icon of two keys on a keyringIt is estimated that 40% of households who lose their homes because of foreclosure are renters. Currently, in most states, renters get little or no notice to vacate their homes upon their landlords' foreclosures. A new law is meant to change that by giving renters living in foreclosed properties important protections.

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act contains renter protections that include a 90-day pre-eviction notice to tenants whose homes have gone into foreclosure. If the new owner of the property will not be living in the house then the tenant has a right to remain in the home for the duration of the lease and tenants with Section 8 vouchers will be able to remain with both their lease and rental assistance payments intact.

For more information on this new law, visit www.nlihc.org or contact the Outreach Team at (202) 662-1530 or at outreach@nlihc.org.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bill to Remove Waiting Periods for Uninsured Kids

American boy soccerPennsylvania’s Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers millions of children whose family incomes are too high for Medicaid and too low for affordable health coverage, as do similar programs across the country (often known as S-CHIP). To prevent people from dropping private health coverage many children must remain uninsured for months before they can enroll. All but 11 states impose waiting periods, including Pennsylvania, which for some applicants can be up to six-months.

Under the Children’s Health Insurance Accessibility Act of 2009, introduced as a bipartisan bill from with two Pennsylvania legislators, Patrick Murphy and Tim Murphy, as the main cosponsors, states could exempt the following groups from S-CHIP waiting periods:

  • children under the age of 2
  • children whose parents lost their employer-sponsored coverage because of layoffs, reduced hours, or because the employer went out of business, and
  • children whose family’s out of pocket medical expenses exceed 10% of the household income.
Please call your representatives today to ask them to cosponsor and support the Children’s Health Insurance Accessibility Act of 2009!

Food Stamps Stimulate the Economy and Your Wallet – Every $1 Spent on Food Stamps Adds $1.73 to the Local Economy

Brokolice se sýremNot everyone noticed, but last month, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, more commonly known as food stamps) expanded the amount of benefits families could receive as part of the Recovery Act. On average, families receive about $20 more per month to spend on food needs, which is then used in local supermarkets, farmers markets, and corner stores, expanding the economy.

In this economic downturn, more families have reached out to food stamps to stretch their budgets further. Nationally, food stamp use increased by 17.4% from February 2008 to February 2009; in Pennsylvania, food stamp use went up by 11.6%.

There are plenty of myths going around about the SNAP program, including the belief that only unemployed families qualify for the program. However, people can work and still qualify. To learn more about eligibility, visit Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare website.

And, if you are interested in applying for food stamps, there are several ways you can do so:

  • Apply in person at your local County Assistance Office
  • Apply online using Pennsylvania’s COMPASS program
  • In Delaware County, PathWays PA can prescreen you over the phone to see if you might qualify – call 610-543-5022 and ask to be prescreened. If it looks as though you qualify, we can also help you start the application process.
  • In Philadelphia County, PathWays PA can prescreen you over the phone to see if you might qualify – call 215-387-1470 and ask to be prescreened. If it looks as though you qualify, we can also help you start the application process.
  • If you live in another Pennsylvania county, download PathWays PA’s Financial Resource Guide to find more information about organizations in your area.

Election Day Assistance!

Stamp-US-1970-Woman-SuffrageToday, voters across Pennsylvania registered as Democrats or Republicans will cast ballots for many offices, such as State Judges and Appellate Justices, District Attorneys, City Controllers, Judges and Inspectors of Elections, and Trial Judges. Also, registered voters in some locales can vote on important ballot questions.

Need some election day assistance?

All PENNSYLVANIA residents can

In Philadelphia, voters can call the Philadelphia Board of Elections at 215-686-1500/1523/1590. They can also visit www.voteforhomes.org to view nonpartisan voter’s guides and posters.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Join us on May 29 as we discuss Overlooked and Undercounted in Philadelphia! (#event #media)




One-fifth of the 3.4 million households in Pennsylvania lack adequate income to meet their basic needs, representing a large and diverse group of families experiencing distress. That's one of the findings from PathWays PA's latest study of the economic needs of the state's working families, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania.

On May 29, we will discuss the findings of the report with Carol Goertzel, President/CEO of PathWays PA, and Dr. Diana Pearce, author of the report and the Director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington.

Space is limited, so please RSVP today!

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 18, 2009

May 29: Overlooked and Undercounted: Trying to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania


WHAT: Discussion of PathWays PA's latest publication -- Overlooked and
Undercounted: Struggling to Make End Meet in Pennsylvania

WHO: Carol Goertzel, President and CEO of PathWays PA
Dr. Diana Pearce, author of the study

WHEN: Friday, May 29th 10:00 - 12:00

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania
7 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA
For parking information please click here.

One-fifth of the 3.4 million households in Pennsylvania lack adequate income to meet their basic needs, representing a large and diverse group of families experiencing distress. That's one of the findings from PathWays PA's latest study of the economic needs of the state's working families, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania.

The release of the report marks the first time that demographic data relating to the Self-Sufficiency Standard has been collected in the state. Previously, the Standard had simply been calculated but the number and types of households affected had not been determined.

PathWays PA partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to produce the first edition of Overlooked and Undercounted. The report was developed by Diana M. Pearce, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

Come and learn about the study directly from its author and the President and CEO of PathWays PA.

Please register by clicking here. Seating is limited. Registration is required. If you have problems registering online, please R.S.V.P. with Kate Scully at kscully@pathwayspa.org or 610-534-5022 x 255.



Help Ensure All Pennsylvanians are Able to Attend College!

Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians are facing a financial emergency that is threatening their future as well as the economic future of the Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania is the sixth most expensive state in the nation for college costs, and the high cost of attending college means fewer students earn a degree
Only about a 1/4 of Pennsylvania adults has a bachelor’s degree – far fewer than in many competitor states
A Pennsylvanian with a bachelor’s degree will earn twice as much over the course of a lifetime as a person who has only a high school diploma – almost $1 million more
The Tuition Relief Act will help ensure that all Pennsylvanians are able to attend college and leave without the burden of tens of thousands of dollars of unmanageable college debt.

There are a number of ways you can take action to support the Tuition Relief Act.
Visit the website
Sign the online petition
Join the Facebook group
Attend a hearing on the Tuition Relief Act.


Join the Support for adultBasic and Smart Pharmacy!

The PA Health Access Network (PHAN) is seeking support in an effort to update and expand adultBasic, the subsidized health insurance program for working-age adults.

There are no General Fund dollars in this program now. It is funded by tobacco settlement funds and contributions made by the Blues insurance companies in lieu of taxes. The expansion PHAN seeks in this budget would be funded primarily by federal Medicaid dollars.

From the federal point of view, these federal dollars need to be existing Medicaid expenditures that are saved due to improvements in Pennsylvania’s management of the MA program.

Smart Pharmacy, also known as the pharmacy carve-out, would yield significant savings in the MA prescription drug benefit. These savings would be achieved by giving DPW authority to administer the drug prescription drug benefit for all 2 million MA recipients. Currently, DPW does not administer the benefit for 1.2 million MA recipients who are enrolled in managed care organizations in the southeast, south-central, and southwest parts of the state.

PHAN is sending a letter to members of the Pennsylvania Senate and House endorsing Smart Pharmacy as a way to save state funds, which are needed to avoid other cuts to Department of Public Welfare programs, and save federal funds, which are needed to fund adultBasic expansion

For more information on the letter and other issues PHAN is working on please visit http://www.pahealthaccess.org/.


Support Paid Sick Days!

Did you see the news? The swine flu is spreading so far and fast that state health officials may stop counting individual cases. The government recommends you stay home if you’re sick, but nearly 100 million workers don’t have a single paid sick day to care for a sick child, ailing parent or spouse, or other family member.

All workers in the United States need paid sick days. And this Monday, the Healthy Families Act will be introduced on Capitol Hill. The Healthy Families Act is federal legislation that would let workers earn up to seven paid sick days per year.

Please take a minute to urge your elected leaders to support paid sick days today by clicking here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Overlooked and Undercounted in the News

Our new study, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, has been the subject of news stories, blog postings, and radio interviews this week. Check the sidebar of our blog to see the stories!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1 in 5 Pennsylvania Households Lacks Sufficient Income (#media)

1 in 5 Pennsylvania Households Lacks Sufficient Income

More working families above federal poverty level cannot afford basic needs



HARRISBURG - One-fifth of the 3.4 million households in Pennsylvania lack adequate income to meet their basic needs, representing a large and diverse group of families experiencing distress. That's one of the findings from PathWays PA's latest study of the economic needs of the state's working families, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania.

The first-ever study, done in partnership with the state Department of Labor and Industry, measured the number of families in economic distress using the Self-Sufficiency Standard for Pennsylvania. The Standard calculates the wages 70 different family configurations must earn to pay for basic necessities such as child care, nutritious food, adequate housing and health care in each of the state's 67 counties.

Based on real market costs, the Standard provides a more accurate portrait of economic distress than federal poverty guidelines, which are based only on food costs. More than half of the households with incomes below the Self-Sufficiency Standard earn more than the 2009 federal poverty level of $14,570 for a single parent and a preschooler and $22,050 for a family of four.

"Many federal and state economic policies and programs address only those with incomes below or near the federal poverty level, which has created a large and diverse group of families who are routinely overlooked even though they are experiencing economic distress," said Carol Goertzel, President and CEO of PathWays PA. "These families are not considered in talks about how to support citizens in economic distress. They are falling through the cracks."

According to the study, only six percent of the households with inadequate income receive public cash assistance and 75 percent spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Nearly two-thirds have children. Other findings include:

· 26% are married couples with children

· 26% are single-female headed households with children

· 5% are single male-headed households with children

· 67% are white, 19% are black, 9% are Latino and 3% are Asian/Pacific Islander; 9 out of 10 households are headed by U.S. citizens

· 42% have a high school degree, 27% have some college or an associate’s degree, and 14%have a Bachelor’s degree or higher; 17% lack a high school diploma


The release of the report marks the first time that demographic data relating to the Self-Sufficiency Standard has been collected in the state. Previously, the Standard had simply been calculated but the number and types of households affected had not been determined.

For a single parent and preschool child, the Self-Sufficiency Standard ranges from $23,913 in lower-cost counties such as Bedford, Fulton, Fayette and Somerset to $36,208 in higher-cost areas such as Dauphin, Cumberland, Centre and Montour. The Self-Sufficiency Wage is lowest in the central southwestern part of the state. But lower-cost counties are concentrated in the interior of the state as well.

"Most of these households are in a policy gap - with incomes too high to qualify for most public assistance programs but too low to adequately meet their basic needs," said Goertzel.

"Using this report, we believe state policy makers can take steps to effectively deal with this shortcoming. A broad-based policy effort is needed to secure adequate wages, benefits and public supports, such as child care, to increase income adequacy for a large portion of Pennsylvania families," Goertzel said.

Dr. Robert Garraty, Executive Director of the State Workforce Investment Board, said efforts should include increased educational opportunities such as job training, apprenticeships, affordable community colleges and financial aid for education.

One proven method of increasing educational opportunities for workers is the state's Industry Partnership program, which brings together businesses in the same industry clusters and allows them to combine their resources to respond to human resource needs, retention/recruitment challenges, and provide training and skills advancement for employees. "Since the Industry Partnerships program began in 2005, more than 73,000 workers have benefited," said Dr. Garraty. "Workers who participated in training saw their incomes increase by an average of 6.62 percent in the first year after their training."

In addition to educational needs, most families need help with child care and housing costs, as indicated by the report findings. The overwhelming majority of families, Goertzel points out, are struggling to make ends meet without any help from work support programs. "It is not the lack of work that drives poverty, but rather the nature of the jobs and economic opportunity for those who are working," Goertzel said.

PathWays PA partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to produce the first edition of Overlooked and Undercounted. The report was developed by Diana M. Pearce, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Women's Welfare at the University of Washington School of Social Work.

To view the full report, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, visit:

http://pathwayspa.org/PW_Over_Under_lo_res.pdf

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hearings on the Tuition Relief Act

Seal of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

The Ultimate Mothers Day Gift: Insuring Healthy Births


Ink 96645mm happy mothers day(from our friends at Maternity Care Coalition:
May 4, 2009 event cosponsored by PathWays PA and other local organizations)

Many women are unaware that their insurance may not cover maternity and others will be rejected from insurance plans because their pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. All of them will pay more for their insurance because they are women.

On May 4, a rally in Harrisburg drew crowds to talk about the insurance needs of women. A slideshow of the rally can be viewed on MCC's website.

Constituents delivered MCC’s new report, Insuring Healthy Births, with a carnation in honor of Mother’s Day, to key policymakers in Harrisburg. The report is a roadmap for increasing access to insurance and maternity services throughout PA.

Sponsors: Coalition of Labor Union Women; Consumer Health Coalition; Healthcare for All Pennsylvania; Health Federation of Philadelphia; Institute for the Study of Civic Values; Maternity Care Coalition; PA Association of Community Health Centers; PA Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals; Pennsylvania Council of Churches; PA Health Access Network; PA Health Law Project; PathWays PA; PA Association of Licensed Midwives; PhilaNOW; Public Citizens for Children and Youth; United Way of Southeastern PA; and WOMEN’S WAY.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 11, 2009

May 12: Release of Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, a large and diverse group of families who may not be below the Federal Poverty Level are experiencing economic distress and are routinely overlooked and undercounted. That’s the finding from PathWays PA’s latest publication, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, which uses The Self-Sufficiency Standard of Pennsylvania to determine how many households live below self-sufficiency.
This report will be released on May 12, 2009, at www.pathwayspa.org and at our blog, http://policypathwayspa.blogspot.com.
Also, for the news media PathWays PA will be hosting a conference call with the authors of the report on Monday, May 11 at 2:00 PM. If you are interested in joining us on the call, please email policy@pathwayspa.org to obtain the conference call information.


Senate Bill 850 – Cutting Many Important Programs

Last week the Senate passed their proposed budget, cutting many important programs. In these difficult times investments in education and economic development are needed more than ever, to create jobs as we strive to get through this recession. The budget passed by the Senate ignores these needs and therefore ignores the needs of vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

It is critical legislators know that preserving funding for these vital programs is needed. Please contact your legislator to express how and why these programs are important to you. To find how to contact your local representative please click here.

If you would like to learn more about the cuts please visit our blog at http://policypathwayspa.blogspot.com.


Delaware County – Here to Help Day!

Are you in need of services and programs to help you get through the economic downturn?

Many programs and services are available from state, county as well as local governments and organizations that will help Pennsylvanians get through these tough economic times. People attending will receive information about health care coverage, utility assistance, financial planning, re-employment and more.

When: Thursday, May 21, 2009 - 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon

Where: Thomas Bruder Life Center
Neumann College
1 Neumann Drive
Aston, PA 19014

Who: Sponsored by the Pennsylvania departments of Labor & Industry, Public Welfare and Insurance; Delaware County Council, Delaware County Workforce Investment Board, PA CareerLink Delaware County, Pathways PA, United Way of Southeast Delaware County, Neumann College.


Urge Your Legislator to Support Direct Care Workers!

Ask your legislators to support an initiative to ensure that Direct Care workers will no longer be excluded from the Fair Labors Standards Act.

Direct Care workers help millions of elder Americans and people with disabilities remain in their own homes. Their support enhances the quality of life for people they assist, allowing them to maintain their independence, yet many home care workers struggle to support themselves, caught in the poverty cycle as a result of substandard wages and benefits.

These crucial workers have taken care of our parents, grandparents, children, friends, spouses, and neighbors. We owe it to them to change the "companionship" exemption that excludes them from Fair Labor Standards Act coverage.

Please click here for more information and to sign the letter.


It’s Your Turn – Take the 2009 Health Care Survey!

The AFL-CIO wants to know more about how the health care system affects you and your family.

Do you and your family have health care coverage? Does your health insurance cover all the care you need at a price you can afford? Has an insurance company initially refused to cover a medical treatment for you or a family member that should have been covered? And what do you think overall about today’s health care system?

With Congress focusing on health care reform right now; it is more important than ever that you make your voice heard. The AFL-CIO’s 2009 Health Care for America Survey will ensure that leaders at every level understand what working families are experiencing.
Please click here to take the survey.


Support Loan Forgiveness for Child Welfare Social Workers and Early Childhood Educators
The Child Welfare league of America (CWLA) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAECY) are seeking support of loan forgiveness.

The loan forgiveness program would cover key human service professions including child welfare social workers and early childhood educators. The new program was enacted by Congress last year but it needs some initial funding before rules and regulations are issued.

Show your support by writing a letter to your Members of Congress. A sample letter can be found by clicking here or visit CWLA’s website for more information.


PA 7th Congressional District Hosts Veterans Summit
With 6,000 men and women from the PA National Guard returning to the current economic conditions, one in four homeless men and women are Veterans. Veterans of all ages and their families are facing numerous difficulties, this summit will be vital to coordinating efforts to address these problems

When: Monday, May 11th, 6 PM - 9 PM

Where: Ridley High School, 901 Morton Ave, Folsom, PA 19033

What: Direct access for Veterans, Active Duty Military members, and their families to the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies, organizations, and companies that serve them.

Panelists:
Congressman Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania 7th Congressional District
Mr. John R. Gingrich, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs
Rear Admiral T. McCreary, President, Military Advantage and Vice President, Monster Worldwide
Mr. Michael Moreland, VISN-4 Health Director
Mr. Thomas Lastowka, Director Philadelphia VA Regional Office Insurance Center
Mr. Richard Citron, Mr. Gary Devansky, and Mr. Charles Dorman, Directors, Philadelphia, Coatesville, and Wilmington VAMCs
PA State Senator Andrew Dinniman, 19th Senatorial District
PA State Representative Bryan Lentz, 161st Legislative District
Professor Thomas Reed, Widener Veterans Law Clinic
Ms. Andrea Giles, Business Development Specialist, United States Small Business Administration
Mr. Doug MacPherson, Educational Liaison, Newark Regional Office
Mr. Matt Murphy, Senior Vice President, RecruitMilitary.com
Mr. Glenn McAllister, Director, Widener Small Business Development Center


Please register online at http://www.sestak.house.gov/veterans_summit.shtml
or by phone by calling the Congressman's District Office at (610) 892-8623.


Support Earned Sick Days in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!
Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. Visit this link to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania, and visit this link to support earned sick time in Philadelphia. Support both!

Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org. Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.

If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here:http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

PathWays PA Paid Sick Time Letter to the Editor in Delaware County Daily Times (#sickdays)

Letter to the Editor: Ill workers deserve some paid time off


To the Times:

With outbreaks of a potentially pandemic swine flu spreading across the United States, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control gives some logical advice: If you are sick, stay home from work to avoid infecting others. Staying home from work, however, is not an option for the 46 percent of Pennsylvania workers who have no opportunity to earn sick time.

Ironically, the workers who most come in contact with the public are those least likely to have paid time when they are sick. Ninety-two percent of wait staff and 79 percent of child-care workers cannot earn paid sick days. These individuals go to work sick, risking the spread of infection to others, because they currently have no other option.

PathWays PA serves more than 6,000 women, children, and families in the Greater Philadelphia area, many of whom struggle to support their families. In this recession, no one can afford to lose even one day’s pay to stay home when ill, but when infection is spreading, no one can afford to work either. To combat this dilemma, we in Pennsylvania and across the country need a minimum standard of earned sick time for workers.

CAROL GOERTZEL

President/CEO

PathWays PA

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Brighten up the day for the great moms in your life with this video e-card from MomsRising!

And Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

SB 850 – To Heal Budget Cuts, We Will Need Many Voices

ScissorSenate Bill 850 passed in the Senate and is now on to the House. This bill eliminates many programs and commissions important to Pennsylvanians. Below are just some of the many items SB 850 would cut or eliminate. The programs listed fund many child and education services, as well as Commissions, that ensure the voices of Pennsylvanians are heard in Harrisburg.


Industry Partnerships funding is eliminated. This program was created under the Job Ready PA initiative in 2005 and provides grants for technical assistance and other support to seed-fund additional industry partnerships in the Commonwealth.
Children and Families – SB 850 would
  • Cut $23 million from Keystone Stars and Child Care Works,
    7,700 children fewer children would be served
    Cuts would cause PA to lose $60 million in stimulus funding
  • Cut $19.7 million from Head Start Supplemental Assistance
    2,800 fewer children would be served
  • Cut $13.9 million from Infant/Toddler Early Intervention
    1,700 fewer children would be served
    However, PA is required by law to serve every child eligible for the program
  • Cut $3.8 million from the Nurse-Family Partnership
    850 fewer at-risk families would be served
  • Cut $51.8 million from the Governor’s proposed appropriation for Pre-K Counts
    6,500 fewer children would be served
Commissions – SB 850 would eliminate the
  • Pennsylvania Commission for Women
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian American Affairs
  • Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs
  • Governor’s Commission on Children and Families
  • Governor’s Commission on Training America’s Teachers
  • Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
  • Governor’s Advisory Council on Rural Affairs
  • Funding for Grants for the Arts
These are just a few of the many cuts that would occur if SB 850 is enacted. It is imperative for Senators and Representatives to understand just how important all of these programs are. If these programs are important to you or your clients, please write your Senators and Representatives today to help prevent cuts to these vital services. Please click here to find your local representative.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Voice for Paid Sick Days: Michelle Obama's Latest Speech (#sickdays)

Michelle Obama official portraitStill haven't found the whole text online anywhere, but there are a few great write-up's of the First Lady's speech to Corporate Voices for Working Families here, here, and here.

Among the quotes:

"Twenty-two million working women don't have a single paid sick day. That means they lose money any time they have to stay home to take care of their kids. You know, imagine making that choice. And we do it all the time. And even when I had sick leave, I found myself, you know, hoping that the kids would stay well, just I couldn't afford to take the day off because there was a meeting, or something was going on."

Now is definitely the time to ask your legislators to co-sponsor and vote for the Healthy Families Act. Think of it as the Mother's Day present (and Father's Day, and Grandparents Day...) that keeps on giving.

Sneezing, Coughing, Runny Nose, Fever - but Still Working? (#sickdays)

TissueSwine flu or no swine flu, when you or your family are sick, you need to be able to stay home. That holds doubly true for employees who work with vulnerable populations in nursing homes, day cares, and other health care sites, as well as employees who work with food.

Yet in Pennsylvania, 46 percent of all workers laid paid sick days, preventing these workers from staying home to recover.

Tonight, the House of Representatives will hold a Special Order to talk about the need for sick time (you can watch it on C-SPAN!!) and next week the Healthy Families Act, which allows workers to earn up to 7 days of paid sick time per year, will be re-introduced.

In Pennsylvania, Representative Allyson Schwartz and Representative Bob Brady have already signed on, as has Senator Bob Casey (feel free to call them to say thanks!). But some of the representatives who cosponsored the bill in the past from Pennsylvania need to hear from you about the importance of earned sick time.

In Pennsylvania, you can call or email the following legislators and say:

"Thank you for your previous support of the Healthy Families Act. Sick time is incredibly important to me and my family, and I am calling/writing today to ask you to sign on to cosponsor this important bill." If you have a story about sick time, share it with the staffer, and with us!
If your legislator hasn't signed on in the past, you can still call today and ask for his or her cosponsorship! Just find your legislator's contact information and explain what earned sick time means to you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

State Investment in Housing Pays Solid Returns

Back to Back HouseFor every dollar invested in housing the state sees a return of $1.62 to $2.28, producing a double benefit: housing for neighborhoods that need it and jobs for those doing the construction and related work.

At an event in Harrisburg yesterday, the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania unveiled an economic study showing that state investment in housing pays solid returns. This study proves that it makes economic sense for the state to invest in rehabilitating and creating more housing within reach of those who need it.

The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania supports the creation of a Housing Trust Fund, similar to what has been established in 38 other states. Legislation to create the fund is currently in Committees in the state House and Senate.

For more information please visit the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania’s website.

More articles on Earned Sick Time (#sickdays)

Columbus Telegram machines

PathWays PA will Release Overlooked and Undercounted on May 12! (#pressrelease)

In Pennsylvania, a large and diverse group of families are experiencing economic distress and are routinely overlooked and undercounted. That’s the finding from PathWays PA’s latest publication, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, which uses The Self-Sufficiency Standard of Pennsylvania to determine how many households live below self-sufficiency.

PathWays PA, a service and advocacy organization for women, children and families, is releasing this report to examine the impact of education, gender, and race on the overlooked and undercounted in Pennsylvania as they relate to the Self-Sufficiency Standard. The report also shows how many households in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties live below the Self-Sufficiency Standard, along with other important information.

The release of Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania marks the first time that demographic data relating to the Self-Sufficiency Standard has been released in the state. The Self-Sufficiency Standard, which is released every two years by PathWays PA, defines a county-specific self-sufficiency wage at which a family can cover its costs without choosing between necessities such as child care, nutritious food, adequate housing and health care.

As a measure, the Standard provides a more accurate picture than federal poverty guidelines on the economic needs of working families. For example, the Self-Sufficiency Wage for a family with two adults, one preschooler, and one schoolage child in Dauphin County is $50,750, which was 239 percent of the Federal Poverty Level in 2008.

PathWays PA has partnered with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to produce the first edition of Overlooked and Undercounted. The report was developed by Diana M. Pearce, Ph.D., director for the Center for Women’s Welfare, University of Washington School of Social Work. It was prepared by university staff along with Carol Goertzel and Marianne Bellesorte of PathWays PA.

On May 12, the report will be made available on the PathWays PA website, www.pathwayspa.org, and on our blog, http://policypathwayspa.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Letter to Senators Re: Senate Bill 850

Seal of the Senate of PennsylvaniaDear Senators:

We write today to urge your opposition to Senate Bill 850, a state budget bill that will severely cut programs critical to children and families.

PathWays PA serves more than 6,000 women, children, and families in the Greater Philadelphia area. Our programs endeavor to keep families together and to work with families so they can attain self-sufficiency. Many of the programs critical to the stability of these families would be cut by SB 850.

Compared to the governor's proposal, SB 850 would slash Pre-K Counts by 55% and state Head Start funding by 50%. The bill would slash critical funding for CHIP, child care funding, and county child welfare. With unemployment numbers rising daily, the need for all children to have access to healthcare through CHIP is increasing. Childcare funding is also important, since without it, many parents cannot afford to go to work. Meanwhile, child welfare funding remains critical, especially during recessions, when added familial stress often shows itself in domestic violence.

SB 850 also makes a significant cut in state funding for basic education and seeks to fill the hole with federal stimulus funds instead of building upon the school funding formula under the federal stimulus provisions. In the wake of flat-funding schools, many districts will be left with no other option than to raise local property taxes or cut programs, neither of which are good choices for parents or their families.

In good times and in bad, there should be no greater priority than strengthening investments in programs that benefit Pennsylvania’s children and families. We urge you to oppose SB 850.

Very truly yours,
Carol Goertzel
President/CEO
PathWays PA

New PathWays PA Report: Pennsylvania at a Glance

“The United States today faces a basic challenge.” (to view the full report, click here)

Just three years ago, our report on the needs of working low-income families in Pennsylvania focused on this simple premise. Yet as 2009 continues, the situation for families seems anything but simple.

Investing in Families, written in late 2006, illustrated some of the stark contrasts between workers’ low wages and benefits and business’ high productivity and profits. Three years later, workers still find themselves struggling to make ends meet with insufficient wages on top of slim, or nonexistent, benefits. To make matters worse, today’s families are struggling to get by amidst a growing foreclosure crisis, a tightening credit market, and increasing layoffs.

The situation seems to change from week to week, ranging from corporate bailouts to bankruptcies, with workers often stuck in the middle. Government at all levels is looking for ways trim budgets, including cuts in programs that are more important than ever to the families facing these obstacles.

In this report, we focus on Pennsylvania at a glance, through the lens of education, economic development, and work supports. We ask the overarching question where is our economy going next? This report will also look at a selection of the 29 recommendations made in the original Investing in Families report to show where Pennsylvania has made progress and where we still need to make progress.

As we continue working towards these recommendations, we do so with the knowledge that Pennsylvania is still positioned to do great things. Our state includes a national model for Industry Partnerships, a history of prosperity and equality, and, most importantly, a population that is ready to embrace new opportunities for self-sufficiency. In this time of economic crisis, all of Pennsylvania must come together to create opportunities for families to support themselves through work and education.

To view the full report, click here.

One Year Since the Elder Economic Security Standard Index – Still A Lot of Work to be Done

It has been one year since we released the Pennsylvania Elder Economic Security Standard Index, a study looking at the cost of housing, food, health care, transportation, and home and community based long-term care services for elders throughout Pennsylvania. For all elders, particularly women, there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve retirement security.

Women in Pennsylvania have less income than men, and therefore are more likely to face challenges just to make ends meet. Over their lifetime, women earn 38% of what men earn. Despite the fact that women tend to live longer and therefore need their money to go further, women tend to be concentrated in and recruited for jobs without pensions. Meanwhile, investment and financial counseling programs tend to target high earning men.

Here are some of the policy solutions we recommend:

State Income Policies:
- Support Housing Programs - Without affordable housing, attaining economic security is nearly impossible for the majority of older low-income renters and for many senior homeowners.
- Remove Application Barriers - Elders face numerous barriers to a successful application and receipt of public supports, including those caused by low income limits, misunderstanding or lack of knowledge about programs, and the stigma of using some programs.
- Support Home and Community-Based Options - Policy in Pennsylvania must be changed to allow people who spend down their assets to receive home and community-based long-term care under Medicaid.

National Income Policies:
- Increase the Survivor Portion of Social Security - A widow’s income drops substantially after the loss of their spouse. With Social Security providing 58% of the income of widows 65 and over, an increase in the survivor portion will help ensure that widows are not hurt financially by the loss of their spouse.
- Enforce Current Anti-discrimination Laws - By enforcing anti-discrimination laws, such as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, women move closer to achieving equal pay for equal work.
- Reform Paid Family Leave - Paid family leave policies need to be revisited and reworked so that women are not financially penalized for caretaking.
- Increase Federal Housing Supports - Housing is the number one cost for elders, and supports such as property tax reform will help alleviate the burden of housing costs for retired women.
If you would like to read the study please visit, http://www.pathwayspa.org/EESS.pdf.

Earned Sick Days and Swine Flu in the News (#sickdays)

H1N1 May 9 2009In the past week, more and more people are talking about the link between earned sick time and swine flu - and no surprise, since the CDC and the President recommend that people stay home when they are sick, yet 47% of Americans have no paid sick time to rely on. Here is a sampling of some of the stories we have been seeing.
What can you do about earned sick time today? Ask Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, ensuring that everyone who works has paid sick time to care for themselves and their families. Please write an email, sign a petition, Tweet your friends (use the hashtag #sickdays if you can, and direct them to sign the petition at http://is.gd/uTvx), or make a phone call today.

You can also join us on Facebook to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia, or become part of our coalition of advocates and businesses working to ensure all Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to earn sick time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: May 4, 2009

May 12 Release
In Pennsylvania, a large and diverse group of families who may not be below the Federal Poverty Level are experiencing economic distress and are routinely overlooked and undercounted. That’s the finding from PathWays PA’s latest publication, Overlooked and Undercounted: Struggling to Make Ends Meet in Pennsylvania, which uses The Self-Sufficiency Standard of Pennsylvania to determine how many households live below self-sufficiency. This report will be released on May 12, 2009, at www.pathwayspa.org and at our blog, http://policypathwayspa.blogspot.com.


Join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces!
PathWays PA is working with a number of organizations, including ACORN, Maternity Care Coalition, SEIU, and Women’s Way, to support earned sick days for all workers in the City of Philadelphia, by forming the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces. The Coalition is endorsing the Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces, Bill No. 080474.

If you would like to become a member of the Coalition please click here to fill out the Sign-On Form.


Free Women’s Health Information!
Women now have a new, easy to access tool to help them live healthier lives. Free Women’s Wellness Guide Kiosks are now available.

With just the touch of a screen, the Women’s Wellness Guide kiosk provides information on diseases and conditions common to women. The Women's Wellness Guide kiosks can be found across Pennsylvania including in grocery stores, county assistance offices, Women Infant and Children (WIC) offices, health care clinics, and prison waiting rooms. All of the information on the kiosk is available in English or Spanish.

For Kiosk locations call 1-888-615-7477 or click here.


Swine Flu Closes More than 100 Schools in the U.S. What Are Parents to Do?
Across the country at least 74 schools have closed because of confirmed or probable cases of swine flu and 30 more have closed as a precautionary measure. For schools that remain open, both President Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan advised parents to have their children stay home if they are sick.

For nearly half of the U.S. workforce, who do not receive a single paid sick day, missing work to care for their children is simply not an option. These parents are faced with the impossible decision to either leave their children unsupervised, send them to school sick (if the school is open), or lose the income that is desperately needed to buy food, pay rent, pay bills, etc.

No worker should have to face such an impossible decision, especially when there is another option that is more beneficial for workers, families, and society. The Healthy Families Act will ensure that all workers have paid sick time to care for themselves and their children. This will allow workers to necessary breathing room to be able to care for their children and stop the spread of diseases, such as the swine flu.

Please write an email, sign a petition, Tweet your friends (use the hashtag #sickdays if you can, and direct them to sign the petition at http://is.gd/uTvx), or make a phone call today.


Community Legal Services Presents – The Road to Recovery: Implementing the Stimulus in Philadelphia and Beyond.
The federal stimulus money, provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers unprecedented opportunities to get our local economy moving and to improve the lives of struggling Philadelphians. But while the money comes with a roadmap from the federal government, critical decisions must be made at the state and local levels.

Decision-makers must invest the stimulus money strategically so that its impact can be maximized, especially for low income Philadelphians. This forum will examine the key decisions to be made. It also will explore how advocates may work with decision-makers to ensure that the opportunities presented by the stimulus money are realized fully.

When: Friday, May 22nd 9:00 – 12:00
Where: Independence Visitors Center, 6th and Market Streets, Philadelphia
Who: Mark Alan Hughes, Policy Director, City of Philadelphia
Linda Blanchette, Deputy Secretary, Pa. Department of Public Welfare
Fred Dedrick, Deputy Secretary, Pa. Department of Labor and Industry (invited)
Mark Schwartz, Executive Director, Regional Housing Legal Services

To register please go to http://phillystimulus.eventbrite.com. Seating is limited. Registration is required. If you have problems registering online, please R.S.V.P. with Kavita Nayar at knayar@clsphila.org or 215-981-3732.


Support Earned Sick Days in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia!

Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. Visit this link to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania, and visit this link to support earned sick time in Philadelphia. Support both!

Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org. Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.

If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here:http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.


Announcement: Free Online Resource Network for Unions
The Labor Project for Working Families announces LEARN WorkFamily, a free online labor education and resource network to help unions build a family friendly workplace culture. LEARN WorkFamily features the nation's only online database of contract language on work family issues such as family leave, childcare, elder care, flexible work options, adoption, bereavement leave and much more.

You can register for free at www.learnworkfamily.org. If you would like more information, please email info@working-families.org or call (510) 643-7088.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pennsylvania Elder Economic Security Presentation




To give you a better sense of the Elder Economic Security Initiative, we wanted to show our presentation on the initiative. You can also find documents for the initiative at www.pathwayspa.org.

Applauding Older Workers and Their Employers


The Christian Science Monitor yesterday reported on employers who actively seek out workers 50+ for the skills and experience they bring to the workplace.


While not every older worker wants to stay in the workforce, we need to remember that many older adults don't want to sit at home either. Their experience in the workforce, whether on a full-time, part-time, or even volunteer basis, can be invaluable to an employer and to clients.

Is It A Happy Older Americans Month?



I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Older Americans month, but it may not be so happy for some. Anyone planning for retirement – especially those relying on infamous investors – feels less secure than they did a year ago.

On May 6, 2008, PathWays PA, along with Wider Opportunities for Women, CARIE, and the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, released the first edition of The Elder Economic Security Initiative for Pennsylvania. In it, we showed that in Pennsylvania, one out of four elders relies upon Social Security as his or her sole source of income, even though Social Security comes nowhere close to covering the needs of elders.

Our Policy Brief goes into more detail, but the needs of Pennsylvanians boil down to saving for retirement when possible and knowing about the programs available to retired Pennsylvanians. Low-income housing takes care of the biggest need in retirement, but food stamps, prescription assistance, and medical assistance help a lot too.

For those of you who want to take action, there are many ways to do so, but one bill stands out: Representative Mundy reintroduced a bill to increase the scope of a grant to caregivers to cover the costs of respite care, supportive services, and everyday needs (such as incontinence pads). Please write to your representative today and ask them to support the Family Caregivers Support Act. And take a minute to call, hug, and/or visit with your favorite Older Americans too.