Monday, February 14, 2011

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: February 14, 2011

Federal Policy Update

URGE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SUPPORT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES THAT SUPPORT VULNERABLE AMERICANS

The House of Representatives is poised to pass a bill which will cut $100 billion from the current-year federal budget, with most reductions focused on federal support for basic health and human services for vulnerable Americans.

Below are some of the cuts in the proposal:
  • An end of funding for Title X, the federal family planning program, in this current fiscal year. Title X provides Pap tests, birth control, STD screening and treatment, breast exams, and more to millions of low income Americans. It's care that saves lives.
  • A $1.1 billion cut in Head Start, a program that provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.
  • A $758 million cut to the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, which provides supplemental food to infants, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant and postpartum women,
  • A $210 million cut to Maternal and Child Health Block Grants, which supports children with special needs, newborn screening and genetic services, lead poisoning and injury prevention, and health and safety promotion;
  • A $1.3 billion cut to Community Health Centers, $480 million of which is directed to children’s health services.
  • A $400 million cut to the Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Contingency Fund, which assists low income households in heating and cooling homes.
  • A nearly $560 million cut to IDEA (special education) grants to states.
  • A $1.07 billion cut to the Public Housing Capital Fund, which provides capital funding for Public Housing Agencies that own or operate Low Income Public Housing.
  • A $551 cut, or 67%, for Housing for the Elderly and a $210 million cut, or 70%, for Housing for Persons with Disabilities.

It is absolutely imperative that your Members of Congress hear from you today and urge them to support basic health and human services for vulnerable Americans. For a detailed list of the budget reductions included in the $100 billion budget cut proposal, go here.

SEND A MESSAGE TO CONGRESS THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

What if we could use the power of Valentine's Day to stand up for kids and get Congress to focus on preschool and quality, affordable childcare? Thanks to MomsRising it turns out, you can!

Make your own Valentine’s card to tell your Congressperson why programs for kids and families like preschool and childcare make your heart glow.
That's right, this year we're getting crafty (with a nifty high tech edge) for Congress.

MomsRising created an online valentine-creation-station where in less than 1 minute you can create a valentine for your Congressperson. You can help remind Congress what kids need for Valentine's Day this year - programs like preschool and quality, affordable childcare.

State Policy Update

HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION BEEN IMPACTED BY THE STATE BUDGET? TAKE THIS SURVEY!

The United Way of Pennsylvania, The Southeastern Pennsylvania Budget Coalition, and many other organizations are circulating a survey to gauge the impact of state budget cuts to organizations across Pennsylvania. Many programs and organizations have seen funding cuts in the past two years and it is critical to capture this information so we can show legislators just how many cuts have already occurred.

Please take a moment to answer this short, 12 question survey about the impact of cuts on your organization!


Information/Events

STRENGTHENING AMERICA’S VALUES AND ECONOMY (SAVE) FOR ALL


The Coalition on Human Needs is leading the effort to create a new campaign, Strengthening America’s Values and Economy (SAVE) for All – a coalition of national, state and local organizations working to protect important services from harmful federal budget cuts. Please read the campaign’s Statement of Principles and urge your organization to also sign on in support.

The campaign will develop materials that make the case for the involvement of federal resources, engage grassroots advocates, employ media strategies and contact members of Congress with messages consistent with the campaign's Statement of Principles.

Organizations must sign on to the principles by Wednesday, February 16.

Thank you to our friends at Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) for sharing this information with PathWays PA.

CITY SOUP PHILADELPHIA HIGHLIGHTS CITY’S HUNGER CRISIS

Areas of Philadelphia are some of the hungriest in the nation. Recent statistics show that 1 in 3 Philadelphians are on the brink of hunger. City Soup Philadelphia (CSP) was formed to mobilize the city’s residents as one community to fight this “silent crisis.”

CSP is an interactive web-based tool designed to bring participants up to speed on the issue of hunger in the Greater Philadelphia region. Through the program, participants share a simple bowl of soup with a community of their choice - their family, co-workers, neighbors, or religious congregation, and use the City Soup weekly resource and educative guide to jump start conversation and learning about the issue of hunger and its possible solutions.

Visit the City Soup website to register, participate and make a difference.

MEETING THE CHALLENGE: EDUCATING HOMELESS CHILDREN IN PENNSYLVANIA

Please join the 2011 Meeting the Challenge: Educating Homeless Children in Pennsylvania statewide Conference. This one and one-half day professional development event is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and coordinated by the Center for Schools and Communities.

WHEN: April 28-29
WHERE: Radisson Hotel Valley Forge, 1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia PA

This conference will provide valuable information for educators, homeless liaisons, shelter personnel, educators, pupil services personnel, guidance counselors, social workers and other professionals working with the homeless population.

Conference topics will include: The Effective Use of Title I Set Asides for Students Experiencing Homelessness; Working with Unaccompanied Youth; Head Start Collaborations; Fostering Education/Child Welfare Connections; Reaching and Teaching Highly Mobile Children and Youth; How to Be an Effective School District Homeless Liaison; Meeting the Needs of the Rural; Homeless Population; Skills for Working with the Urban Homeless Student Population; Eliminating Transportation and Other Barriers for Homeless Students; and Navigating the New PAHCI Data Collection System.

Keynote addresses will be provided by Frank Kros of Upside Down Organization in Baltimore regarding "Brain-Inspired Ways to Understand and Respond to Poverty" and Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg who will speak about "Fostering the Internal Resilience of Students at Risk."

For more information and to register for this important event please go to: http://homeless.center-school.org/index.cfm?pageid=4363

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact call (717)763-1661, ext. 156 or email lbecker@csc.csiu.org.

“HOW TO GET FOOD HELP: A CONSUMER GUIDE TO FNS PROGRAMS”

The National WIC Association (NWA) and the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) are excited that the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships & Outreach of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service has developed “How To Get Food Help: A Consumer Guide to FNS Programs!” 

The low literacy, clear language brochure is targeted at consumers who may be new to navigating social services and assistance applications. FNS hopes that the brochure clearly explains all FNS programs that consumers apply to directly, and that the brochure gives them basic information to identify which programs might be right for them. The brochure also offers basic next steps to get them started in the application process, as well as links and toll-free numbers for more information. “How To Get Food Help” will be a useful tool to add to your outreach strategy.

FNS provides a PowerPoint presentation with the brochure for outreach events, volunteer/employee training, and meetings with funders/supporters.

To download a PDF of the brochure and get more information and tips on how to use it in outreach activities, please click here.

Special PathWays PA Information/Events

FINANCIAL PATH$

Financial Path$, a new program from PathWays PA, helps individuals and families build paths toward economic self-sufficiency through financial education, asset building and economic empowerment. This program provides one-on-one financial counseling and financial education workshops. Financial Path$ is committed to assisting everyone carve their path to self-sufficiency.

If you or your clients would be interested in learning more about this program please contact wrahemtulla@pathwayspa.org.

For more information become Financial Path$ friend on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Stay turned as we will also be launching a blog very soon!

FREE TAX PREPARATION

PathWays PA offers FREE certified tax preparation at our Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites throughout Philadelphia and Delaware counties. Free tax preparation is for taxpayers with an annual gross household income less than $50,000.

Keep your full refund and save your money:
  • No tax preparation fees
  • No E-filing Fees
  • No check cashing fees
  • Open a no-fee savings or prepaid debit card account
  • Purchase a risk free US Saving Bond
  • Find out it you’re eligible for SNAP (food stamps)

Taxpayers must being all necessary identification and required tax statement for taxpayer, spouse, and dependents.

Locations:
  • Philadelphia County – 3617 Lancaster Avenue Philadelphia PA
  • Delaware County – 310 Amosland Road Holmes PA

Call 610-543-5022 or 1-800-209-2914 to schedule your FREE tax appointment today!


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:Heart_icon_red_hollow.svg

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