Thursday, December 30, 2010

Make a Donation and a Difference For PathWays PA's Families

This Holiday Season has been busy for PathWays PA and the 6,000 families we serve in the Greater Philadelphia area. With your help, we can continue to serve those families in the coming year.

Thanks to the generous help of our donors, friends, and staff during
the 2010 Holiday Season, we have seen:

Yet during this season of thanks, we continue to face difficult choices due to budget shortfalls. We will face these challenges with energy and determination, and, with your help, we will continue to succeed in serving families as they move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

As we continue to serve families, we ask for you to dig a little deeper than usual and provide us with a special monetary gift. We pledge to maintain a lean, focused agency that will continue to help our clients move from poverty to self-sufficiency throughout the years to come. Thank you for all that you do for our families and for all families striving for self-sufficiency.

To donate to PathWays PA, please click here. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

Pictures from PathWays PA Holiday Parties

Recently, the Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ellis Hobbs threw two separate parties to benefit PathWays PA clients. Below are pictures from each event:

Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel, December 23, 2010


PathWays PA EARN Center, December 23, 2010

PathWays, Ramada team up to host annual holiday party


TINICUM — As Carol Goertzel scanned the Ramada Philadelphia Airport Hotel ballroom, it was impossible for her not to notice the children.

After all, they were just about everywhere.

To read the whole article and see the video, visit The Delaware County Daily Times website.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CNR: Putting the Act into Action - Second Webinar: “What You Need to Know About CACFP”

Applesauce(From our friends at FRAC)

“What You Need to Know About CACFP”
Thursday, January 13, 2011, 1 – 2 p.m. EST

In this Webinar, speakers will discuss the improvements in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) made by The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Speakers will provide details on these new CACFP provisions, their role in boosting food security and healthy eating, recently released USDA policies, key next steps, and USDA’s implementation plans. Speakers will include Tina Namian, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service; Mary Story, University of Minnesota, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Healthy Eating Research Program; and Geri Henchy, FRAC. We will have ample time for questions.

Save the dates for other upcoming Webinars:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011, 1 – 2 p.m. EST – “What You Need to Know about Afterschool Suppers”
Thursday, January 27, 2011, 1 – 2 p.m. EST – “What You Need to Know about Summer Food”

About "CNR: Putting the Act into Action"
FRAC is hosting a series of Webinars that will examine the provisions of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act that the President recently signed and steps to make the provisions of the Act a success. You can visit their website to see and hear the first in the series, which provided an overview of the provisions of the act.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nearly 1 in 3 Working Families in United States are Low-Income


During this Recession we have heard many stories and statistics about workers losing their jobs and being unable to find a new one. According to a new study released by the Working Poor Families Project, the Recession has also meant that workers who have kept or found new jobs are also struggling to make ends meet.

Below are some of the key findings from the study:
  • There were more than 10 million low-income working families in the United States, an increase of nearly a quarter million from the previous year. According to the Working Poor Families Project, a “low-income” family is one earning below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, or $43, 512 for a family of four.
  • Forty-five million people, including 22 million children, lived in low-income working families, an increase of 1.7 million people from 2008.
  • The share of working families earning less than double the official poverty threshold increased from 28 to 30 percent between 2007 and 2009.
  • Between 2007 and 2009, the share of working women with unemployed husbands more than doubled, to 5.4 percent.
  • The downturn has also been particularly difficult for workers with the least education. Unemployment for high school dropouts peaked at 15 percent during the downturn, compared with 4 percent among workers with at least a bachelor's degree.
Community colleges can be integral partners in the development of the skills workers need to move from low-income jobs to those that sustain their families, as shown in PathWays PA’s recent study, Pennsylvania’s Workforce: The Role of Community Colleges. At a time when access to good jobs and wages is more important than ever actions needs to be taken to ensure more students can afford and access community college education and the increased earnings potential it provides.

Press Release: Legislators and Advocates at Women’s Health Forum Encourage Public To Take Action on Critical Women’s Health Issues

PHILADELPHIA – Dec. 16, 2010 – Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, a women’s health coalition which PathWays PA is a member of, hosted a post-election public forum titled, What’s Next For Pennsylvania: A Public Forum on the Health and Well-Being of Women and Families. State legislators and community members from Southeastern Pennsylvania engaged in conversation about women’s health care needs as lawmakers begin to implement the new health care reform law in Pennsylvania.

Members of the public heard from and spoke with Senator Daylin Leach, Representative Tim Briggs, Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown, Representative-Elect Michelle Brownlee, Representative-Elect Tina Davis, Representative Tony Payton and Representative Josh Shapiro, lawmakers who will all make key decisions about how Pennsylvania health care reform is implemented during the upcoming legislative session.

Topics ranged from maternity care to family planning services and protecting women’s access to abortion care in the new Pennsylvania health insurance exchange. The need to protect access to these services became a reality when health care reform was signed into law in early 2010. In September, Senator Don White (R-11) introduced Senate Bill 1399, which would ban private insurance plans sold in Pennsylvania’s state exchange, created under health care reform, from covering even medically necessary abortion procedures. With an estimated 80% of private insurance plans currently covering abortion care, the forum’s host, Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania says that banning abortion coverage in the state exchange would leave women worse off than they were before health care reform began.

“While women gained many important benefits under the new health care reform law, they also lost critical reproductive health care benefits, and Pennsylvania women have the potential to lose even more,” said Rebecca Foley, Director of Education & Advocacy Initiatives at WOMEN’S WAY. “We need politicians to be working to protect and advance women’s health instead of denying Pennsylvania women access to fundamental reproductive health care services.”

The forum’s high attendance showed the community’s concern for women’s health, possibly due in part to the outcome of the recent election. Hoping these conversations continue, organizers of Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania urge the public to continue speaking with lawmakers – asking them to protect women’s health as they implement this new law. Groups in the region are invited to join the coalition and help stand up against the attacks on women’s reproductive health. Anyone interested should contact Rebecca Foley at WOMEN’S WAY at rfoley@womensway.org.

Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a coalition of more than 25 organizations which was formed by WOMEN’S WAY to ensure that women’s reproductive health concerns were addressed during the health care reform process. The group now advocates for health care reform implementation policies that support the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women.

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Roseann and Over 43,000 Other Pennsylvanians Cannot Afford to Lose adultBasic

Thank you to our friends at the Pennsylvania Health Access Network for putting this alert together.

Over 43,000 Pennsylvanians rely on a program known as adultBasic to cover their medical costs. These are individuals who are unable to receive or afford coverage elsewhere. Unfortunately for the 43,000 in the program and over 400,000 on the waiting list, adultBasic is running out of money and will likely expire in a few months.

Roseann, a mother of two who lives in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, is just one person on this program. Roseann suffers from a number of chronic conditions, including Crohn's disease, for which a single treatment is over $100,000. For the past six years she has relied on the low-cost insurance program, adultBasic. She makes too much for Medicaid and not enough to afford private insurance. When adultBasic expires, people like Roseann do not know how they are going to afford to live.

You can see Roseann tell her own story below. After watching the video please sign this petition which calls on state legislators and the non-profit Blues to come together and form a real solution.



People like Roseann can't afford to lose their health insurance. And Roseann's sons can't afford to lose her. Watch her story, forward it to your friends and make sure you sign the petition to Save adultBasic!

Monday, December 20, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays! This will be PathWays PA’s last E-Newsletter for 2010. Thank you all for your support this past year and we look forward to your continued support in 2011. Be sure to check this Policy Blog for information until our next E-Newsletter on January 10, 2011.

Federal Policy Update
CHILD NUTRITION REAUTHORIZATION IS NOW LAW

Last week the new Child Nutrition Reauthorization, known as the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, was signed into law. This law broadens the Afterschool Meal Program to cover all 50 states (currently it covers just 13), supports the expansion of direct certification for school meals, improves area eligibility rules so more family child care homes can use the CACFP program, makes important reforms in the nutritional quality of food served in schools and child care, and makes “competitive” foods sold or offered in schools more nutritious.

To learn more about the act and its implementation join the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) for a Webinar series – CNR: Putting the Act into Action – to explore key improvements made by the bill and outline steps necessary for implementation.

Please be sure and contact your members of Congress to thank them for passing the bill.

DENYING CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE IS HARMFUL TO WOMEN

Does your employer-sponsored health insurance cover your birth control? Most of us couldn’t have said "yes" ten years ago.

This week marks an important anniversary of a major legal advance for women: ten years ago, in response to a petition filed by the National Women's Law Center, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that it is illegal sex discrimination for some employer-sponsored health insurance plans to cover prescriptions and preventive care but not to cover contraceptives for women.

This was a major legal advance for women, but our work is not done. We still need to make sure that the EEOC is doing all it can do to enforce its landmark ruling, and that women receive the full protection of the law.

In the coming weeks, the National Women’s Law Center will be working to make sure the new health care law also fulfills its promise of guaranteeing insurance coverage of contraceptives for all women regardless of employer coverage. Today, let's honor this important anniversary by asking the EEOC to ensure that women receive the contraceptive coverage from their employers to which they are legally entitled.

State Policy Update

BUDGET UPDATE

It is expected that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will have a deficit of between $4 billion and $5 billion for the new fiscal year beginning next July. The deficit is worsened by the expected loss of about $2 billion in federal stimulus funds, most of which have filled gaps in funding for public education, Medicaid and social service programs funded through the Department of Public Welfare.

The state will also face mandated increased in costs related to Medicaid, pensions and prisons. Without new revenue to close the budget gap there will likely be huge reductions in funding for important programs that many Pennsylvanians rely on.

Please begin talking to your legislators about the programs that are most important to you. You can contact your legislators by email or phone, or visit our Action Center to send personalized emails about important programs such as adult literacy and adultBasic.


Information/Events

HOLIDAYS AND THE UNEMPLOYED: JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS NEEDED

Many are in need this holiday season as the unemployment rate in the country rose to 9.8 percent in November and in Philadelphia unemployment has been over 11 percent for 13 consecutive months. Despite the need, each week this month 4,000 -5,000 Philadelphians are exhausting their unemployment benefits.

Join Unemployed Workers, Faith and Labor Leaders and Local Lawmakers as we demand jobs and unemployment benefits for laid off workers.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 – 12:00 – 2:00
WHERE: Arch Street Methodist Church, the Corner of Broad and Arch Sts. Philadelphia

For more information, contact the Philadelphia Unemployment Project: 112 N. Broad Street, 11th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102. You can also reach PUP by calling 215-557-0822 or visiting www.philaup.org.


SOCIAL SECURITY POSTS ESTIMATOR TOOL IN SPANISH

The Social Security Administration has announced that the agency’s most popular online service – the Retirement Estimator – is now available in Spanish.

The Retirement Estimator uses a person’s own Social Security earnings record to provide immediate and personalized benefit estimates.

The Retirement Estimator is interactive and allows the user to compare different retirement options by changing retirement dates or expected future earnings. It protects the user’s personal information by providing only retirement benefit estimates -- it does not show the earnings information used to calculate the benefit estimate, nor does it reveal other identifying information.

The Retirement Estimator is the first of Social Security’s online services to be made available in Spanish. The agency plans to make its online retirement application and Medicare Extra Help application available in Spanish next year.

HOMELESS MEMORIAL DAY

Each year Project H.O.M.E and supporting agencies hold an annual candle light vigil known as Homeless Memorial Day, in which persons who are homeless or formerly homeless and passed away during the year are commemorated. This vigil will remember homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died during 2010 and CALL for an awakened commitment to end homelessness.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 21 4:30-5:30 PM
WHERE: LOVE Park, 15th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia

For more information about the event: Contact Sonja Dobbins-Gillis at 215-232-7272 or sonjadobbins-gillis@projecthome.org.

To help someone who is homeless: Call the Philadelphia Homeless Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984.

Special PathWays PA Information/Events

PATHWAYS PA’S VOLUNTEER INCOME TAX ASSISTANCE (VITA) PROGRAM

You can bring cash back to families in need! Volunteer time during this tax season to bring BIG cash returns back to low-income working families & communities!

PathWays PA’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax preparation so low-income filers can access valuable tax refunds and credits. By volunteering only 3 to 4 hours a week, you can personally return over $30,000 to local working families! No tax experience is required, and free tax training provided. You can volunteer during the daytime, afternoons, evenings or weekends.

As a PathWays PA volunteer you will:
  • File tax returns, bringing thousands of dollars back to low-income working families
  • Become an IRS-certified tax preparer to complete simple tax returns
  • Volunteer at sites throughout Philadelphia & the Delaware County region
  • Have your own tax return filed for free!

Investing your time in our VITA program is an investment in your local families and communities! To get involved, please contact Sean Monahan at smonahan@pathwayspa.org or (610) 543-5022 ext. 258!

PATHWAYS PA OFFERS LANGUAGE/CIVICS COURSES

PathWays PA is offering a course meant for those interested in learning and improving their English while also covering:
  • United States History
  • Work Skills
  • Citizenship Process
  • Employment
  • Math
  • Reading

WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays - 9:30 - 12:00 OR Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30
WHERE: Darby Borough Hall, 821 Summit Street, Darby PA

For more information about the class, please contact Kelly Binder at 610-543-5022 X 227 or kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Images courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:PAState_Capitol_Back_a_Bit.JPG

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Census Widget Shows Population Changes

Census Bureau seal
A new widget from the Census gives you an opportunity to look at population changes over the years.  This interactive tool shows population change in the US and in each state as well as changes in population density and apportionment (the number of people per representative).  You can view the widget below, or get your own copy at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CNR: Putting the Act into Action

School Lunch(From our friends at FRAC)

Making Child Nutrition Reauthorization Work for Your Community

First Webinar – “What You Need to Know Now”
Friday, December 17, 2010
1 – 2 p.m. EST


FRAC is excited to launch a series of Webinars, titled CNR: Putting the Act into Action, that will examine the provisions of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act that the President signed yesterday and steps to make the provisions of the Act a success.

Join us for the first Webinar in this series, “What You Need to Know NOW,” on Friday, December 17 from 1 – 2 p.m. EST. In this Webinar, speakers will provide an overview of The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (Child Nutrition Reauthorization), outline improvements to the child nutrition programs, and highlight parts that are immediately in effect or need immediate work by stakeholders.

During the calls, you will:
  • Get the information you need to move implementation forward in the best possible way and move it quickly in your state and community.
  • Develop a checklist of things to do.
Please share this invitation with your colleagues and networks. Many changes to child nutrition programs with positive potential for children are coming; together, we can ensure they are implemented quickly and robustly.

Future calls in the CNR: Putting the Act into Action series will delve into the details of the new provisions by program, including the expansion of the Afterschool Meal Program, new provisions for child care food program access and nutrition improvements, summer food provisions and the need to ratchet up for summer 2011, changes to school meal eligibility and certification processes, and the school nutrition environment.

Don’t delay! Register for the December 17th call today.

Monday, December 13, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: December 13, 2010

Special Event

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PENNSYLVANIA: A PUBLIC FORUM ON THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF WOMEN AND FAMILIES

Hosted by Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern PA and WHYY

Please join Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania and WHYY for a critical dialogue with your elected officials on women’s health care needs as the health care reform law is implemented in Pennsylvania.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Networking: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
Program: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

WHERE: WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA

* Light refreshments will be served*


All state legislators, including newly elected legislators, from Southeastern Pennsylvania as well as the Governor-Elect have been invited to speak and answer questions from the audience. You will have the chance to hear directly from those making important decisions about what to expect in the coming years as this important law is implemented.

Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, of which PathWays PA is a member, is a coalition formed to ensure that women’s concerns were addressed during the health care reform process. We now advocate for health care reform implementation policies that support the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women. While women gained many wonderful benefits under the new health care reform law, they also lost and have the potential to lose even more benefits, especially reproductive health care rights.

Come out and let legislators know what is important to YOU as they move forward in implementing health care reform!

For questions or additional information, please contact Kate Scully at kscully@pathways.com.


Federal Policy Update

URGE YOUR SENATORS TO SUPPORT FUNDING TO HELP HOMELESS AND RUNAWAY YOUTH

The best studies available indicate that over 1 million youth are homeless each year in America. In 2009, over 7,500 youth were turned away and denied shelter and housing due to lack of resources. Communities would like to serve homeless youth but often lack the necessary options of outreach, drop-in centers, shelters, and housing to intervene.

Last Wednesday, the House passed a fiscal year (FY) 2011 funding bill that would provide $116 million for Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA). This is the same funding the programs received in previous years.

Now, attention turns toward the Senate, which will try to pass its own version of the legislation this week. Over the summer, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved legislation that would provide $124 million in FY 2011 for RHYA programs. If the Senate cannot pass its version of the FY 2011 legislation, known as an omnibus, it will try to pass the House bill.

Please contact your Senators’ offices TODAY and ask them to fight to keep at least the Senate’s recommended funding level of $124 million in any final FY 2011 legislation the Senate passes.


Local Policy Update

HELP SUPPORT EARNED SICK TIME IN PHILADELPHIA

Did you know that 41% of workers in Philadelphia are forced to choose between going to work sick, or sending a child to school sick, or losing their pay or possibly their job? The majority of workers without paid sick days are those preparing and serving our food and caring for our children.

Philadelphia's City Council has the opportunity to ensure that all workers in the city have access to earn paid sick days. Please urge your members of City Council to support workers their families and their communities, by supporting the Promoting Healthy Families and Healthy Workplaces Act (Bill No. 080474).

Workers should have the opportunity to earn a minimum amount of paid time. Please take a few moments to write a letter to your members of City Council. For more information visit the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces Blog.


Information/Events

NATIONAL PREVENTION, HEALTH PROMOTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH COUNCIL LISTENING SESSION

The creation of a National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy represents a historic opportunity to bring prevention and wellness to the forefront of our national conversation on health. The overall purpose of the strategy is to improve the health and quality of life for individuals, families, and communities by moving the nation from a focus on sickness and disease to one based on wellness and prevention. To achieve this goal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in collaboration with the National Prevention, Health Promotion and Public Health Council, is in the process of developing this Strategy.

The HHS Region III Office of the Regional Director, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network, are hosting a listening session on December 17, 2010, from 11am -1pm, at the Gouley Auditorium at the Braemer Education Center of Albert Einstein Medical Center, 5501 Old York Road, Philadelphia, PA 19141. At the session, you will hear about prevention and health promotion strategies under the Affordable Care Act and you will be asked to provide us with your thoughts.

To register, please send your name (and your organization, if applicable) to Aryanna Abouzari at: aryanna.abouzari@hhs.gov. If you are unable to attend in person on December 17, you can also submit your comments online.

HOMELESS MEMORIAL DAY

Each year Project H.O.M.E and supporting agencies hold an annual candle light vigil known as Homeless Memorial Day, in which persons who are homeless or formerly homeless and passed away during the year are commemorated. This vigil will remember homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died during 2010 and CALL for an awakened commitment to end homelessness.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 21 4:30-5:30 PM
WHERE: LOVE Park, 15th & Arch Streets, Philadelphia

For more information about the event: Contact Sonja Dobbins-Gillis at 215-232-7272 or sonjadobbins-gillis@projecthome.org.

To help someone who is homeless: Call the Philadelphia Homeless Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984.


WEBINAR ON INTERNATIONAL ASPECTS OF TRAFFICKING

The Broward Human Trafficking Coalition, in conjunction with American Intercontinental University, will host a webinar that examines human trafficking as it affects foreign national populations.

WHEN: December 15 - 10:00 AM

The webinar will cover the differences between smuggling and trafficking, services available to victims, key elements of what constitutes a human trafficking case, and T and U visas. Visit the organization’s website or register here.

16TH ANNUAL GREATER PHILADELPHIA MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY OF SERVICE

On January 17, 2011 please join the 16th annual Greater Philadelphia King Day of Service.
You can get involved in a variety of different ways:

Register your project! Organize a service project in your community or partner with an organization that needs volunteers. You will receive help to make a plan for what you want to do and recruit volunteers. Download the Project Development Kit for advice on how to get started.

Apply to host a project at the Signature Site! Apply to join group at Girard College, the 2011 King Day of Service Signature Site. Nonprofit organizations can host a Signature Site and participate in the Kids’ Carnival, Health & Wellness Fair and Civic Engagement Expo.

Sign up to volunteer! Don’t want to organize your own project? Register as a volunteer and search a database of available King Day volunteer opportunities. With over 1100 projects last year, you’re sure to find something that meets your interests and abilities.


Special PathWays PA Information/Events

PATHWAYS PA OFFERS LANGUAGE/CIVICS COURSES

PathWays PA is offering a course meant for those interested in learning and improving their English while also covering:
  • United States History
  • Work Skills
  • Citizenship Process
  • Employment
  • Math
  • Reading

WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays - 9:30 - 12:00 OR Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30
WHERE: Darby Borough Hall, 821 Summit Street, Darby PA

For more information about the class, please contact Kelly Binder at 610-543-5022 X 227 or kbinder@pathwayspa.org.

Friday, December 10, 2010

PathWays to the Stars 32nd Anniversary Celebration Sports-tacular Recap

L to R: Carol Goertzel; 2010 Trailblazer Honorees - The Rt. Rev. Rodney R. Michel; Joan Meyers Brown; Linda McAleer; Mellanie Lassiter; Pamela Godwin; along with Pamela Browner White and PathWays PA Board Chair Bruce Oestreich.

On Tuesday, November 9, PathWays PA celebrated its 32nd Anniversary with a Sports-tacular event at the Radisson Hotel in King of Prussia. Nothing short of inspirational, this year’s PathWays to the Stars Anniversary Celebration was truly one to remember. Pamela Browner White, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs & Government Relations for the Philadelphia Eagles, served as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening, and guests were treated to a special appearance by Philadelphia Eagles’ Jason Avant. The night was a fun-filled display of support for the devoted service and hard work that PathWays PA does year round.

This year’s event featured a silent auction that surpassed all previous years, boasting an exciting assortment of alluring items. Ranging from vacation packages to Las Vegas, Florida and Lake Tahoe, to autographed memorabilia from the Philadelphia Eagles and Flyers, this year’s auction was a total success. In addition to the ever-popular auction, PathWays PA recognized five individuals in our community who are making a difference, presenting them with the 2010 Trailblazer Award. These honorees included: Pamela Godwin, President of Change Partners, Inc.; Mellanie Lassiter, Corporate Contributions Manager of PECO; Linda J. McAleer, President of the Melior Group; Joan Meyers Brown, Founder of the Philadelphia Dance Company; and the Rt. Rev. Rodney R. Michel, Assisting Bishop, Episcopal Diocese. Thanks to the Sports-tacular, nearly $150,000 has been raised and pledged for the women, children and families that we serve yearly.

Since 1978 PathWays PA has been helping transition the most vulnerable members of our community to safety and self-sufficiency. By employing a number of comprehensive programs that address the wide variety of needs of our clients, PathWays PA has been able to expand our breadth to the Greater Philadelphia Region, helping over 6,000 women, children and families each year. Whether it is providing a shelter for homeless families, financial education, transitional living, mentoring for foster care youth or simply free tax preparation, PathWays PA is devoted to helping ensure self-sufficiency for its clients. PathWays PA wishes to thank all of those who attended and supported this year’s 32nd Anniversary Celebration and those who work everyday of the year to help make a difference in the lives of those who are in great duress.

To view more photos from our Sports-tacular, courtesy of Carol Bates Photography, click here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

PathWays PA Job Postings - December 8, 2010

Residential Worker
Part-time and Full-time - need caring and motivated individual to provide support and supervision for Delco group home serving women and children; HS/GED, Associates Degree and experience preferred; driver’s license required. Includes nights and weekends. Fax resumes to: LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

Childcare Worker
Child Learning Center at Delco Group home. Must have knowledge of early childhood development and ability to nurture and promote positive growth in pre-school age children. AA in Early Childhood Ed. Preferred. Salary $12/hour. Fax resume to LD/CFF 610-328-2807.

ESL Instructor
Part-Time – PathWays PA is currently seeking English as Second Language (ESL) instructors with BA/BS degree and 2 + years of teaching experience. Knowledge of ESL in healthcare field preferred. You must travel independently in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Lesson planning, attendance recordkeeping, and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Bilingual a plus. Classes forming now, anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

Math Instructor
Part-Time – PathWays PA in Delaware County is looking for a math instructor to work with adult workers preparing for skills building and college-level entrance exams. The applicant must have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in math or education and would be responsible for teaching class in different locations, potentially in Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery and Bucks Counties. Lesson planning, attendance recordkeeping and assessments required. This is a part-time, hourly position. Classes forming now; anticipate completion by the end of December. Fax resumes to LD/LK 610-328-2807.

Live-in Advisor
Full-time and Part-Time positions available. To provide guidance, direction and supervision to older adolescent teen mothers and teen girls residing in our Supervised Independent Living Program including conducting some life and parenting skill groups. Live in a house with 3 to 4 girls and their children. Must be available during critical hours-5:00 PM to 8:00 AM- can work part-time during off hours. Must be mature and have an understanding of teen parent and teen girl issues and must have knowledge of basic life skills. Rent and utilities paid by agency plus small stipend and scheduled time off. Location: Philadelphia; Fax resumes to LD/SIL at 610-328-2807.

Part-Time Administrative Assistant
Administrative Assistant needed 5 afternoons per week (1-5 pm) for West Philadelphia social service office. Must possess data entry and Microsoft Office skills, requires strong organizational skills, and excellent telephone communications ability. Must possess good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment. High School Diploma required. Please fax resume to: LD/LK/ADM at 610-328-2807.

Financial Educator
Innovative program that promotes economic well-being in low-income families seeks a BS/BA level Financial Educator. You must be comfortable with people, computers and TANF system and have the ability to discuss basic financial planning and budgeting. Must be able to work some evenings and Saturday mornings. Independent transportation required to multiple work sites. Bilingual a plus. 4 year degree required - no exceptions - prefer BSW, background in education, understanding of personal finance, or related field. Counseling experience also preferred. One position will be based in Philadelphia and one in Delaware County. Please indicate which location you are interested in. Grant-funded position. Fax resumes to LD/LK/FE at 610-328-2807. EOE

ARRA OLDER YOUTH WORK READINESS
PathWays PA offers an eight week Work Readiness program for young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who are out of school and looking for an opportunity to earn a salary while receiving on the job training. Once a week each applicant is responsible for attending a skills building class at 310 Amosland Road Holmes Pa, where the applicant will receive educational support in the areas of reading, writing, math and computer skills. Each applicant will have the opportunity to build a professional resume. Class time will also consist of soft skills building and Key Train lessons in preparation for a certificate in Work Keys at the end of the program. PathWays PA will provide counseling and resources for reaching career goals. The cost of transportation is covered by the program.
Eligibility criteria for participation:
  • Young Adult – ages 18 to 24 years of age
  • Out of school
  • Delaware County resident
  • Proof of income for meeting program entry requirements
  • Paid work experience, 35 hours a week for 8 weeks
  • Must Complete an application
  • Responsible, Reliable, and Dependable!

Fax your eligibility criteria information to: LD/PR 610-328-2807

Fund Development and Communications Coordinator
PathWays PA, a non-profit Social Services agency seeks a Fund Development and Communications professional sought by PathWays PA to work with a small team of dedicated professionals to manage special events, donor procurement and relations, and communications. Ideal position for a mature professional who is seeking a long-term secure position with a well-regarded non-profit. Public speaking experience and excellent writing skills are mandatory. Flexible hours are fine and there are occasional speaking engagements/events on weekends and evenings, but this is an office-based position based in Ridley Township so work from home will not be possible. Please respond in confidence with resume, cover letter and two press releases developed by you. Also we request that you provide salary requirements that reflect the reality of working in a non-profit environment during a protracted economic downturn. Please fax resumes to: LD/DEVELOP at 610-328-2807

Employment Advisor Assistant
North Philadelphia Workforce Development Agency seeking an Employment Advisor Assistant to:
  • Provide support to Employer Advisors in initial and extended interviews and assessments with customers to identify customers’ needs, interests and abilities.
  • Maintain accurate case notes on all client interactions within timeframes set forth by management.
  • Provide consistent daily follow-up with clients to ensure each customer is meeting the Activity Compliance Rate (ACR);
  • Offer information to customers about the types of programs and services for which they may be eligible.
  • Assist in providing referrals addressing barriers to job search and employment including accessing the local TANF agency and community support services for child care, transportation, housing, clothing, medical care substance abuse, counseling, and domestic assault.
Job Requirements include:
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to effectively interact with customers and provide short term counseling intervention;
  • Knowledge of community social services support/supportive services;
  • Commitment to providing friendly customer centered services;
  • Knowledge of word and data processing;
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred;
  • High school diploma required with at least 1 year of prior work experience in a similar environment.
Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Employment Advisor
North Philadelphia Workforce Development Agency seeking a qualified Employment Advisor to provide:
  • Initial and extended interviews and assessments with customers to identify customers’ needs, interests and abilities.
  • Information to customers about the types of programs and services for which they may be eligible.
  • Crisis intervention counseling and referrals addressing barriers to job search and employment including accessing the local TANF agency and community support services for child care, transportation, housing, clothing, medical care substance abuse, counseling, and domestic assault.
Job Requirements include:
  • Excellent communication skills;
  • Ability to effectively interact with customers and provide short term
  • counseling intervention;
  • Knowledge of community social services support/supportive services;
  • Commitment to providing friendly customer centered services;
  • Knowledge of word and data processing;
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred;
  • Bachelor’s Degree preferred, 2 years of prior work experience in a similar
  • counseling role.
Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Employer Account Representative Assistant
Assist Employer Account Representatives in establishing relationships with the regional business community and matching customers to permanent, family-sustaining career-track jobs.
Job Requirements include:
  • High school diploma required; with at least 1 year of related experience in human resources, job development, marketing and/or sales
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer literate (Word/Excel)
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred.
  • Identify, cultivate and maintain relationships with employers that offer appropriate jobs and internship opportunities for customers.
  • Ensure that a majority of these jobs offer living wages and benefits.
  • Establish contact with customers in order to determine previous work history and employment interests to help customers chart an employment course.
Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Employer Account Representative
To develop employment opportunities for participants by networking and establishing relationships with the regional business community and matching customers to permanent, family-sustaining career-track jobs.
Job Requirements include:
  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree preferred with at least 4 years of experience in human resources, job development, marketing and/or sales
  • Strong Analytical Skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Computer literate (Word/Excel)
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred.
  • Identify, cultivate and maintain relationships with employers that offer appropriate jobs and internship opportunities for customers. Ensure that a majority of these jobs offer living wages and benefits.
  • Establish contact with customers in order to determine previous work history and employment interests to help customers chart an employment course.
Fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attn: LD/JP/EARN

Data Clerk
Perform accurate, timely data entry for the following systems:
  • Comprehensive Workforce Development System (CWDS),
  • Connecting All Partners for Success (CAPS)
  • Kronos
Job Requirements include:
  • Experience with Word, Excel, Outlook online tools and data entry;
  • Ability to handle pressure;
  • Flexible and detail-oriented with excellent organizational skills;
  • Ability to handle ever-changing deadlines;
  • High School Diploma with additional computer training courses required.
Fax resumes to LD/JP/EARN at 610-328-2807.

Workforce Instructor
North Philadelphia Workforce Development Agency seeking dynamic, detail-oriented instructor to each work-readiness topics in the classroom, Job Club and the Computer Lab.
Job Requirements:
  • Must have the communication skills required to help customers prepare for family-sustaining jobs;
  • Must have knowledge of job-readiness topics, including resume preparation and online career exploration;
  • Computer literate (Word/Excel);
  • Bachelor’s degree required with at least 2 years of experience in facilitating groups;
  • Bilingual in English/Spanish preferred.
Fax resumes to LD/JP/EARN at 610-328-2807

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How Can You Predict A Child's Math and Reading Achievement?

Stories of beowulf mother and son readingA new joint study by the University of Michigan and the University of California Los Angeles recently did a statistical analysis of 2,350 children to learn some of the best predictors of their math and reading achievement. What they learned is that the best predictor is not family income, or the child's neighborhood, or even the mother's amount of schooling.

The best predictor, according to the study, is the mother's reading level.

This outcome is no surprise to educators and participants of adult literacy classes, who have long seen the value in providing educational opportunities to adults.  However, in Pennsylvania, that value is not always backed by funding.  Over the past two years, the budget allocation for adult literacy has decreased by 50%. Meanwhile, GED classes are filling more quickly than ever. Even though the fiscal year just began in July, many counties have run out of space in their programs and begun waiting lists.

Eighty percent of jobs in today’s economy require some form of education beyond high school. Since more than 750,000 adults in Pennsylvania (age 18-64) lack a high school diploma or GED, the only means they have of attaining these jobs is through adult education classes.  Please take a moment to contact your legislators today to explain the importance of these classes and the need for increased funding in the near future.

Monday, December 6, 2010

PathWays PA Youth Program Students Honored As Health Care Heroes

From The Delaware County Daily Times:
Council also honored Chris Jallah of Penn Wood High School and Joshua Powell of Academy Park High School Tuesday as Student Health Care Heroes after they participated in a Pathways PA summer work experience program.

The Health Care Heroes awards, sponsored by the county Workforce Investment Board, had been presented based on an essay contest in past years, but this year’s winners had to be nominated.

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: December 6, 2010

Special Event

ENJOY FREE COFFEE WHILE URGING LEGISLATORS TO ENSURE ALL WORKERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO EARN PAID SICK DAYS - PLEASE RSVP TODAY!

Join the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces for a Letter Writing Party.

In addition to networking, free coffee, and an opportunity to learn more about earned sick time, we will be asking each person to put pen to paper and let their members of City Council know why earning paid sick days is important.

WHEN: Tuesday, December 7th - 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM

WHERE: United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia PA

PLEASE RSVP, EVEN IF YOU ARE JUST STOPPING BY: http://letterwriting.eventbrite.com

Come for the entire event or just stop in to send a letter. Free coffee and a light breakfast will be provided.

Even if you have paid sick days it is likely that people you come into contact with every day do not. Did you know that 41% of workers in Philadelphia are forced to choose between going to work sick, or sending a child to school sick, or losing their pay or possibly their job? The majority of workers without paid sick days are those preparing and serving our food and caring for our children.

For more information about the event please email policy@pathwayspa.org. To learn more about the need for earned sick time visit http://earnedsicktime.blogspot.com.


Federal Policy Update

CHILD NUTRITION ACT PASSES

Last Thursday the House approved for final passage the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (S. 3307) by a vote of 264 to 157.

The legislation includes increased reimbursements for school lunch, new national nutrition standards, and categorical eligibility for foster youth. The final bill did include cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) to offset some of the cost. So while the passage of this bill is a great victory, work will need to be done to try to reverse those cuts. Please stay tuned for information about those efforts.

Please contact your members of Congress today and thank them for ensuring children do not go hungry this school year. Please also mention the need to restore the cuts to SNAP.

TANF EXTENSION PASSES

On November 30, 2010, the House of Representatives passed the bill that includes the extension of the TANF Block Grant through federal fiscal year 2011. This is the bill that passed the Senate before Thanksgiving. It will now go to the President for signature.

Please contact your members of Congress today and thank them for passing this important extension.


State Policy Update

ADULTBASIC IN JEOPARDY

Health insurance coverage for 43,000 Pennsylvania residents covered under the state’s adultBasic program may end as soon as February. The program, which is funded through contributions from the state’s tobacco settlement funds and through an assessment on the state’s four Blue Cross plans, was slated to end in December 2010. A temporary reprieve, in the form of a voluntary commitment by the Blues to continue its contributions through June 2011, has fallen short.
Without additional funding, the program will end early, and without a permanent funding solution. Notices to enrollees may need to go out as soon as January.
Ways you can help:
Information/Events

WHAT’S NEXT FOR PENNSYLVANIA: A PUBLIC FORUM ON THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF WOMEN AND FAMILIES

Hosted by Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern PA and WHYY

Please join Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania and WHYY for a critical dialogue with your elected officials on women’s health care needs as the health care reform law is implemented in Pennsylvania.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Networking: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
Program: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

WHERE: WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, 150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA

* Light refreshments will be served*


All state legislators, including newly elected legislators, from Southeastern Pennsylvania as well as the Governor-Elect have been invited to speak and answer questions from the audience. You will have the chance to hear directly from those making important decisions about what to expect in the coming years as this important law is implemented.

Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania, of which PathWays PA is a member, is a coalition formed to ensure that women’s concerns were addressed during the health care reform process. We now advocate for health care reform implementation policies that support the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women. While women gained many wonderful benefits under the new health care reform law, they also lost and have the potential to loose even more benefits, especially reproductive health care rights.

Come out and let legislators know what is important to YOU as they move forward in implementing health care reform!

For questions or additional information, please contact Kate Scully at kscully@pathways.org.

NATIONAL WEBINAR ON PAID SICK LEAVE: THE IMPACT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF PAID SICK LEAVE LEGISLATION

The Women of Color Policy Network, in conjunction with Legal Momentum, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Center for Social Inclusion, the Applied Research Center, and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development, will be holding this event on paid sick leave.

WHEN: Thursday, December 9, 2010 3:00 - 4:00 PM (Eastern)

Please RSVP here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/387021520

Panelists include:

  • Brandy Davis, Policy Coordinator, California Labor Project for Working Families
  • Jose Oliva, National Policy Coordinator, Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United

For more information, visit: http://wagner.nyu.edu/wocpn/news/

POPVOX – NEW ADVOCACY TOOL

POPVOX is a new tool that can help advocacy organizations increase their visibility before Congress and the public. Organizations can set up a profile on the site, which is searchable by issue area, so that Congressional staff can reach out to them when new legislation is introduced or when a committee needs to reach an issue expert.

Individuals on POPVOX can weigh in on legislation and communicate directly with their Members of Congress. They can also learn about which organizations have endorsed or oppose legislation and what others are saying about the issue before deciding on a position. To see which bills are "hot" on the site right now, visit www.popvox.com/bills. From there, an organization can post their position on the bill for individuals to read.

POPVOX is free and available to nonprofits inside and outside the Beltway that want to influence policy making. Check out PathWays PA’s profile.

PROPERTY TAX/RENT REBATE PROGRAM

The deadline for senior citizens and other residents to apply for a state rebate on rent or property taxes paid in 2009 is December 31st.

The Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program provides a rebate of up to $650 to income-eligible senior citizens and other residents. The program is open to Pennsylvania residents who are 65 or older, 50 or older and widowed, or 18 or older with a permanent disability. To qualify, household income must be $35,000 or less for homeowners, or $15,000 or less for renters.

Homeowners and renters only have to count half of their Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or federal railroad Tier 1 retirement benefits when applying.

LEAD SAFE BABIES – FAMILIES IN TRANSITION

Join the People’s Emergency Center for a workshop on lead poisoning prevention education to homeless families with young children and pregnant women. The workshop will feature Todd Zeigler of Lead Safe Babies program and Peter Palermo of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention program.

WHEN: Thursday, December 16, 2010 10:00 A.M. - 11:30 A.M.
WHERE: Wanamaker Building, Room 12C (12th floor), at 100 Penn Square East in Philadelphia

Attendees can expect to learn about “Lead Safe Babies – Families in Transition” and how it can benefit families residing in emergency or transitional housing. The program will offer primary lead poisoning prevention education to homeless families with young children and pregnant women. In addition, families will receive a free home visit once they move into permanent housing. Two AmeriCorps volunteers will provide the education, either through workshops or one-on-one education, whichever works best for the client or the site. The National Nursing Centers Consortium, which manages “Lead Safe Babies,” will work with additional program partners to provide one free “Healthy Homes” workshop per site to educate staff on reducing additional environmental health hazards including asthma triggers, pests, mold and moisture, and safety hazards.

RSVP by sending an email to PPTFWorkshops@pec-cares.org. Please include your name, job title, organization, and email address.

LOOKING AHEAD: NEW HUD RESEARCH AND HUD/VA PARTNERSHIPS

WHEN: Thursday, December 9, 2010 3:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
WHERE: The Wanamaker Building Room 12C (12th floor) 100 Penn Square East, Philadelphia, PA 19107

The forum will feature Mr. Mark Johnston, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Mr. Vincent Kane of the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans. Agencies serving singles, families, children, and veterans will be interested to hear about the latest policy developments from Washington DC.

RSVP by sending an email reply to PPTFWorkshops@pec-cares.org. Please include your name, job title, organization, and email address.

This forum is a collaboration between People’s Emergency Center, the Philadelphia Office of Supportive Housing, and Project H.O.M.E.

Special PathWays PA Information/Events


PATHWAYS PA’S ADOPT-A-FAMILY PROGRAM

With the holidays right around the corner, it is time for PathWays PA's Adopt-a-Family. The Adopt-a-Family program offers the families who receive PathWays PA services many of the joys of the holiday season they may otherwise be without.

Thanks to the generous contributions of local donors, special memories of holidays past have been created for the families we serve. Thousands of client families have benefited from this program through the years!

This year, client families will again be partnered with donors based on their size and the ages of their children. After being paired up with a client family, a wish list will be sent to the donors with the receiving family's genders, ages, clothing sizes and their holiday wishes. The donor family chooses to purchase any or all of the items on the clients' list, or substitute items that they feel the client may enjoy. Non-perishable food baskets are also welcomed.

This program is a source of happiness, joy and satisfaction for all involved, and with your help it will once again be a huge success!

Download donor form here.

Questions? Please call Pam Przybylski @ 610-543-5022 x234.

NEW CLASS TIMES: PATHWAYS PA OFFERS LANGUAGE/CIVICS COURSES

PathWays PA is offering a course meant for those interested in learning and improving their English while also covering:
  • United States History
  • Work Skills
  • Citizenship Process
  • Employment
  • Math
  • Reading

WHEN: Mondays & Wednesdays - 9:30 - 12:00 OR Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 - 7:30
WHERE: Darby Borough Hall, 821 Summit Street, Darby PA

For more information about the class, please contact Kelly Binder at 610-543-5022 X 227 or kbinder@pathwayspa.org.



Images courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Coffeee_img451.jpg, http://thevolunteacher.wordpress.com/2009/08/.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Take Action on adultBasic

Clavicle fracture
As we mentioned a few weeks ago, nearly 43,000 adults in Pennsylvania may be losing their health insurance early next year when adultBasic, an affordable health care option for adults who have recently lost health coverage and meet certain income guidelines, runs out of money.  In addition to writing a letter to legislators in support of the program, there is also an opportunity to sign on to a letter asking the Governor-elect to take action on adultBasic.  People using the adultBasic system can also tell their stories to Athena Ford so that those stories can be shared with legislators and the news media.

adultBasic is close to running out of money due to a cut in funding from the state Tobacco Settlement and lower-than-expected payment rates from insurance companies who fund the programs.  As The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, most adultBasic funding comes from the state's Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies, who in past years have contributed between $81.9 million and $102.6 million per year to the program. This funding was due to come to an end in December 2010, although The Post-Gazette says "there long has been an expectation that it would be renewed."

People in every county in the state rely on adultBasic for healthcare.  In addition to the 43,000 Pennsylvanians using the program at a subsidized rate, another 3,600 pay $600 per month for healthcare through adultBasic, and more than 464,000 are on a waiting list to receive care.  Please take a moment to take action, whether through writing your legislators, writing to the governor-elect, or telling your story.  Your action can make a difference.

Come out and let legislators know what is important to YOU as they move forward in implementing health care reform!

What’s Next for Pennsylvania:
A Public Forum on the Health and Well-Being of Women and Families

Hosted by Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern PA and WHYY 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010 from 5:30 - 8:00 PM
Networking: 5:30 - 6:00 PM
Program: 6:00 - 8:00 PM

WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons
150 N. 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Please join Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania and WHYY for a critical dialogue with your elected officials on women’s health care needs as the health care reform law is implemented in Pennsylvania.

Raising Women’s Voices of Southeastern Pennsylvania is a coalition formed to ensure that women’s concerns were addressed during the health care reform process. We now advocate for health care reform implementation policies that support the full range of comprehensive reproductive health care services for women.

RSVP Required: http://whatsnextforpennsylvania.eventbrite.com or contact Kate Scully at 610-543-5200 x 255.