Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on the Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court recently announced that they will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Below are the areas that the court will hear arguments on:

  • The constitutionality of the individual responsibility requirement: This is a requirement that all American have health insurance. It has been questions by many of the lower courts and one of the main arguments against the ACA.
  • The severability of the individual mandate requirement from the ACA: If the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional the court will then have to consider whether that invalidates the entire law or whether the rest of the law can stand without the mandate.
  • The ripeness of the case itself: This looks at whether the court can even hear a case about the individual mandate when it does not go into effect until 2014.
  • The constitutionality of the expansion of Medicaid: To receive federal funding for Medicaid, states will be required to expand those eligible to include all individuals – not just those who are over 65, have a disability, or have children. In lower courts it has been argued that the Medicaid expansion is a threat to state autonomy. The argument is that the federal government is coercing states to participate in the Medicaid program with the funding the state would receive.

The arguments are schedule to begin at the end of March next year with a ruling likely to come out in the summer.

Thank you to our friends at Pennsylvania Health Access Network for the above information.

NY Times Publishes Article on Increasing Enrollment in Free or Reduced-Price School Lunch Program

10di1419-0013 - Flickr - USDAgov
Yesterday, the New York Times published an article by Sam Dillon, discussing huge increases in the number of children nationwide who are receiving free or reduce-price school lunches since many of their parents have recently lost their jobs or homes. According to the article, the number of students receiving subsidized lunches was at 18 million in the 2006-2007 school year and peaked at 21 million last year. Fiscal year 2010 saw 1.3 million additional children eligible for free lunches, the largest increase in program participation since 1972.

Statistics from program enrollment make it clear that families in both urban and suburban areas are suffering financially due to the economic crisis. Many of the children who have recently enrolled in the program are from formerly middle-income families living in suburban neighborhoods, while urban school districts have been dominated by children who's families are poor enough to qualify for free lunches for years. Some urban school districts even provide free breakfast to students. Now, many schools have seen fit to provide dinner to children for fear that they might go to bed hungry.

Monday, November 28, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 28, 2011

Federal Updates

SUPER COMMITTEE FAILS TO REACH A COMPROMISE; AUTOMATIC SPENDING CUTS TRIGGERED

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee in Congress, failed to address the necessary amount of cuts to reduce the federal deficit, triggering automatic $1.3 trillion cuts set to begin in 2013. Many of the disagreements came over reticence on tax increases and cuts to social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Half the cuts to come will be from defense programs, while certain federal programs – including Medicaid, Social Security and SNAP (Food stamps) – will initially be insulated from such cuts. However, other domestic spending programs may be in danger of losing funding.

To learn more about what some national groups are saying regarding the Super Committee, please visit the following links:

TELL CONGRESS TO RENEW UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS

One in four children in our country are currently food insecure during this holiday season. And, if Congress fails to act in the next few weeks on extending unemployment benefits, that number will grow.

The deadline for extending benefits is December 31st, and Mom’s Rising is organizing an action around the extension, and are seeking stories and letters to deliver to Capitol Hill this week. To sign on, please click here.

Monday, November 21, 2011

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 21, 2011

Federal Updates

LIHEAP / SNAP JOINT VENTURE ON SUPER COMMITTEE TABLE OF CUTS
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(News has come out this weekend suggesting that the Super Committee may have hit an impasse. However, until such news is definite, we must continue to reach out to them in support of programs that families rely on to stay secure throughout the year.

The Super Committee is coming close to their deadline. Many proposals are being floated, including one that would limit states’ ability to coordinate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and SNAP benefits (food stamps). This “Heat and Eat” program allows many states, including Pennsylvania, to coordinate SNAP and LIHEAP in recognition of the fact that too many struggling Americans face an impossible choice between paying for food or paying for energy.

But Heat and Eat programs are under the threat of a $4 billion cut – meaning that many households will be left making tough choices in the coming winter months. As the Super Committee considers areas of the federal budget to cut, the Food Research and Action Center is getting the word out on the benefits of the Heat and Eat program.

For more information on Heat and Eat, click here.

In addition, many other federal programs face drastic cut as the deadline tonight looms. Contact Senator Pat Toomey, who sits on the Super Committee, and tell him that programs like SNAP, LIHEAP, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security are an integral part of the well being of households nationwide.

TELL THE PRESIDENT – REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH IS WOMEN’S HEALTH

Earlier this year, Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a comprehensive guideline for women’s health that included no co-pays for contraception. It was a big win for women’s health.

However, the White House is being asked to include “religious employer” exemptions that would allow work places affiliated with a religious institution (including hospitals, social service agencies, primary / secondary schools and universities) to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees. This would mean many women would be denied coverage for birth control and other forms of contraception, and thus face steep out of pocket fees for reproductive health.

Please take a moment to call the President at 202-559-1164 and tell him ALL women need coverage for contraception. 

Below are some suggested talking points:
·         Contraception is a proven and essential preventive health service for women. Experts from the Institute of Medicine recognize this, and HHS made the right decision in ordering insurance companies and employers to start covering contraception without co-pays next year.
·         Letting some employers deny this new coverage to employees and their families has no basis in the law and is bad policy.  There are compelling reasons why public policy must ensure all women have contraceptive coverage.
·         The contraceptive coverage requirement will help to make the promise of health reform real for millions of women. The President should be focused on keeping that promise and not allow it to be stripped away from some women.


Poverty in Bucks County

On Friday, PathWays PA presented information on our Self-Sufficiency Standard before the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition. This Coalition works to serve women and girls and is focused on achieving economic self-sufficiency for all through advocacy work in areas of child care, health care, housing, transportation, job and workforce development; domestic violence and addiction issues affect all areas of concern.

Marianne Bellesorte spoke to the group about the high cost of making ends meet as shown by the Standard. For a family of three in Bucks County it can cost over $60,000 just to make ends meet. The cost of living directly relates to the amount of people living in poverty. In 2010, Bucks County had a 2.7 percentage point increase in the number of people living below the Federal Poverty Level. In other words, over 17,000 more people were living below poverty in the county in 2010 compared to 2009. This represents a higher percentage increase than in any county in the five county area, including Philadelphia.

The Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition is working to address poverty in the county by focusing on housing, health care, and the cliffs effect (when someone receives a dollar raise but in turn loses critical benefits).

What Do You Know About IDAs?

Graduation hatIDAs, or Individual Development Accounts, are great ways for families to be rewarded for saving money.  Through the United Way, PathWays PA offers these IDA accounts so that students can get their savings matched to pay for college. At the same time, students take financial literacy classes to help learn to budget their money and continue saving for the future.

Want to learn more? Listen to this great interview that ran on Power 99 this weekend!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

PathWays PA Job Postings - November 15, 2011

Part-Time Math and English Teacher (Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties)
PathWays PA is in need of a Math and English teacher to teach Healthcare Contextualized Math, English and Science to adult students preparing for the TEAS test and other careers in the healthcare sector. Classes will be held late afternoons and/or evenings and weekends in the Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery County areas. The classes will run for 6-8 weeks with 1, 2 or 3 classes per week. 6-8 hours per week and 1 hour of paid prep per week. Pay is competitive. INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH ADULTS. A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement. Please fax resumes to: LD/EVE at 610-328-2807.

Learning Center Group Supervisor
Experience in preschool setting and knowledge of early childhood development required. Willing to adapt to the goals and philosophies of our program and provide an environment that is non-punitive and strength based. Write curriculum for each age level as well as plan and implement daily lessons/activities. Coordinate the activities of the staff and aids in the Learning Center. Supervise all classrooms. Ensure health and safety standards are met within the learning center. Help out in the Learning Center as required to Supervise and provide physical care for children in the daycare. Encourage children to actively participate in educational and structured activities. Complete developmental screenings on children. Develop and implement individualized educational goals for children. Requires a minimum Associates Degree from an Accredited College or University, including 30 credit hours in early childhood education, child development, special education, elementary education, or the Human Services field and three years of experience with children. BSW preferred. E-mail or Fax resumes to: LD/CFF/LC at 610-328-2807.

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

Part-Time Mentoring Coordinator
The Mentoring Coordinator will have experience with issues related to older adolescents and will have some knowledge and understanding of volunteer recruitment and retention. They shall possess the ability to identify with and adapt to the goals and philosophies of the program. They shall be a mature individual with knowledge of parenting issues, community resources, and the skills necessary to live independently. They shall demonstrate insight, empathy, flexibility, perseverance, and team orientation. A BSW or bachelor’s degree in related field of study is required. Please e-mail or fax resumes to: 610-328-2807, attention: LD/KM.

Part-Time Residential Worker
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. Hours are 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Fax resumes to: LD/CFF at 610-328-2807.

PathWays PA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

'Girl's SHElter' Opens in Philadelphia

Please read this article on NBC10's website and share it with your friends!
'Girl's SHElter' Opens in Philadelphia
The shelter is dedicated to helping female youths who face the dangers of living on the streets

November is National Runaway Prevention Month and fittingly, a new shelter has opened in Philadelphia to help get young girls off the streets.

The Basic Center Program or “Girl’s SHElter” is for girls under the age of eighteen who are homeless, runaways or at risk of becoming either.

"This program gives girls a chance at a good life when almost everyone else has walked away from them," said Lenora Pope, Program Manager at the Girls' SHElter.
To read the full article, visit http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Girls-SHElter--opens-in-Philadelphia-133889398.html.

Housing is Health: Ending Homelessness and HIV in Philadelphia with Congressman Jim McDermott

WHEN: Friday, November 18, 2011
Free dinner at 6:30PM, Speeches at 7PM
WHERE: Fagin Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing,
418 Curie Boulevard (near Hospital of UPenn-­‐ no tickets required)

An evening with:
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-­‐WA07)
Representative, Philadelphia Dept of Public Health,
and ACT UP Philadelphia, AIDS activist group

Co-­‐sponsors:
Penn Med Global Health Group, Patient Allies, Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless, Student National Medical Association, GAPSA, Perelman SOM, Urban Studies, Penn CHAC, Male Association of Nurses, Wharton Health Care, Public Health Society

Questions? Contact Roland at lro@mail.med.upenn.edu

Please RSVP :
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGpFNmZ0Vm5ERnNJM2tLdVZPeG9faVE6MQ

  • In 2009, seven Philadelphians with HIV died on the streets or in homeless shelters.
  • Philadelphia maintains a 30-month-long waiting list for housing assistance for low-income people living with HIV.
  • Providing housing for people with HIV saves lives and money by decreasing mortality, lowering the frequency of hospitalizations, and decreasing HIV transmission.
  • Twenty years ago, Congressman McDermott helped craft a life-saving federal program that provides housing assistance to low-income people with HIV. He will talk about his decades of work on this issue and the current struggle to ensure access to housing.

The New Competitive Health Insurance Marketplace

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network has hosted hundreds of educational forums on the new health care law. This special one will be focused on the coming exchanges and will also touch on Medicaid integration and other public health programs.

WHEN: Thursday, November 17th 5:00 – 6:30
WHERE: 112 N. Broad Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia, PA

Learn:
  • About the basic framework
  • About the latest regulations coming out of HHS
  • Where PA is in the implementation process
  • How the marketplace will be integrated with public programs
  • Where consumer advocates and insurance lobbyists disagree
  • What it all means for you, your family, organization, clients or business
The forum is open to the public. Please RSVP to Athena if you or someone from your organization will be attending. aford@pahealthaccess.org or 267-257-6968

New Girls SHElter Reaches Out to Children Living on Philadelphia’s Streets

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, please contact us at policy@pathwayspa.org


November 21st Open House/Open Mic Supports National Runaway Month

Philadelphia, PA – As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a new reason to give thanks: a new shelter for runaway girls in Philadelphia. This program, called the Basic Center Program or “Girls SHElter,” offers runaway prevention and intervention to girls under age 18 who have run away, are homeless, or are at risk of running away or becoming homeless.

“So many homeless kids in Philadelphia are living on the street – they are not even couch surfing,” said Brenda Dawson, Senior Vice President of Children and Family Services at PathWays PA. “There are significant numbers of girls who are homeless, and they face many risks by staying on the street.”

Runaway and homeless youth are more likely to commit crimes and/or be victims of crimes, including substance abuse, gang involvement, youth prostitution, vandalism, theft, and assaults. One girl who recently came to the SHElter was a 17-year-old exotic dancer working in an adult environment where she was exposed to drugs, sex, and physical abuse. Similar situations happen far too often to homeless youth.

The Girls SHElter offers a new opportunity to girls in the city to move away from crime and its effects. It provides a safe, stable living environment, educational programming, basic skills training, health screening referrals and assistance with family reunification or appropriate placement beyond the SHElter.

“Our aim is to approach each individual client with dignity and respect while offering various services as well as a safe and beautiful living environment,” said Lenora Pope, Program Manager at the Girls SHElter. “This program gives girls a chance at a good life when almost everyone else has walked away from them.”

Once they enter the SHElter, girls can stay for 21 days, during which time they reconnect with school, healthcare, and their families while gaining skills in maintaining healthy relationships with family members and others. Once the three weeks are up, girls return to their families or to new placements.

“One mother said that the time her daughter spent at the SHElter gave them both a chance to cool off,” said Pope. “At the same time, we were able to work with her daughter on relationship negotiation so that she could communicate better with her mother.” Like all visitors to the SHElter, even after the daughter leaves, she can continue to call and visit the program to receive counseling and referrals.

The Girls SHElter is federally funded through a grant from the Administration for Children and Families under their Runaway Homeless Youth (RHY) funding. The SHElter is licensed by Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare.


Join us on November 21st 2011 4pm- 7pm to learn about the trials of runaways and some of the dangers they face while out on the streets. Open mic, singing, dancing, poetry, and spoken word will be from 5:30-6:30.
5013 Hazel Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143. 215-397-4287
All members of the community are welcome.

Monday, November 14, 2011

PathWays PA Online Auction and Fund the Mission Continues!

Did you miss the PathWays PA Gala on November 1? Well, we still have some great items available for you to bid on. With the great packages available we are sure they will go fast so bid today. In addition to purchasing a trip, dinner, or experience you will also be helping to further PathWays PA’s mission of helping over 6,000 low-income women, children and families move from poverty to self-sufficiency and family well-being!

Bidding on an item is as easy as clicking on the bid links listed with each package. The link will open an email message to our auction coordinator. In your email please include the following information:
  • the name of the package you are bidding on, 
  • your opening bid, 
  • your final offer and 
  • your phone number.
Bidding for online auction items will close on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at noon.

You can also help fund the mission of PathWays PA and support over 6,000 vulnerable women, children and families in the community! $50 can help us buy a crib mattress, $100 can provide a crib, $200 can help purchase a toddler bed and $250 can provide furniture for a family's first home!

To help fund our mission, click here.

Ski Package
  • Ski Sawmill Family Resort (2 lift tickets)
  • White Tail Ski Resort (4 Learn to Ski or Snowboard passes)
Value: $424
Min. bid: $125
To bid on this item, click here.

Western Suburbs Cultural Exchange
  • 8 tickets to the Brandywine River Museum located in Chadds Ford, PA
  • 4 tickets to Chanticleer Garden located in Wayne, PA
  • $100 off a Wolf Performing Arts Center winter or spring class. The Center has a location in Narberth, PA as well as Wynnewood, PA
Value: $200
Min. bid: $75
To bid on this item, click here.

Fitness Frenzy
  • Free one-month membership to Healthplex Sports Club in Springfield, PA
  • 3 personal training sessions at Vertex Fitness in Bryn Mawr, PA
Value: $600
Min. bid: $150
To bid on this item, click here.

Delaware Excursion 
  • Delaware’s Big Fish and Grill (lunch for 2)
  • Delaware Children’s Theatre (4 tickets)
  • Delaware Theater Company (2 tickets)
  • New Candlelight Dinner Theater (2 tickets)
  • The Grand Opera House (2 tickets)
  • Winterthur (2 passes)
Value: $399
Min. bid: $125
To bid on this item, click here.

Bucks County Cultural Exchange
  • Bristol Riverside Theatre (4 tickets)
  • Bucks County River Country (2 passes)
  • County Theater (4 tickets)
  • Sandcastle Winery (2 VIP passes)
  • Sellersville Theater ($25 gift certificate)
Value: $305
Min. bid: $100
To bid on this item, click here.

14” Portrait by Bradford Renaissance Portraits
  • Be photographed at world renowned Bradford Renaissance Portrait Studio in New York. Also includes a $3000 gift certificate for a 14” museum quality portrait. Portrait may be of a family or individual (sorry, no pets).
Value: $3000
Min. bid: $100
To bid on this item, click here.

20” Portrait by Bradford Renaissance Portraits
  • Be photographed at world renowned Bradford Renaissance Portrait Studio in New York. Also includes a $5000 gift certificate for a 20” museum quality portrait. Portrait may be of a family or individual (sorry, no pets).
Value: $5000
Min. bid: $100
To bid on this item, click here.

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 14, 2011

PathWays PA Information/Events

JOIN US AT THE PATHWAYS PA BASIC SHELTER FOR A PROGRAM SUPPORTING NATIONAL RUNAWAY MONTH

Join PathWays PA on to learn about the trials of runaways and some of the dangers they face while out on the streets.

WHEN: November 21, 2011 4:00 pm- 7:00pm
WHERE: PathWays PA Basic Center Program 5013 Hazel Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143. 215-397-4287

Open mic, singing, dancing, poetry, and spoken word will be from 5:30-6:30.

PATHWAYS PA’S FINANCIAL RESOURCE GUIDE

PathWays PA has recently updated our popular Financial Resource Guide. This Guide lists programs that individuals and families can use to help stretch their incomes and make ends meet.

We have information on programs in Pennsylvania such as:
In addition to listing programs in Pennsylvania, the Financial Resource Guide also provides a County Help Chart that lists the names and contact information of organizations that can help you apply for programs in every county.

Federal

IMPORTANT ASSETS PROGRAM FACING DRASTIC CUTS

One proven approach families use to reach self-sufficiency has been Individual Development Accounts. This program includes a matched savings account that is linked to financial education. It allows tens of thousands of families to use their own savings to attend college, buy a home or start a business.

Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman recommends a 63% cut - from $24 million to $8.9 million – to this program. .

The devastating cut proposed to the Assets for Independence shortchanges America - we could see fewer college graduates, home owners and business owners.
Please call your members of Congress today at 202.224.3121. This is the Capitol Switchboard and they can connect you to your legislators' offices. Ask for the person who handles appropriations. Below is a sample script you can use:

The Assets for Independence program at HHS is a proven strategy to enable low-income families to succeed as homeowners, college students or entrepreneurs. The AFI program enables economic mobility. Please follow the Senate's lead and keep AFI level funded at $24 million.

State

WILL YOU HELP STOP VOTER SUPPRESSION IN PENNSYLVANIA?

Legislation is advancing in the Pennsylvania legislature that would require that every voter show valid state or federal photo ID in order to enter the voting booth. Pennsylvania already has identification requirements and fraudulent voting is extremely rare. Meanwhile, this bill could cost taxpayers millions of dollars and result in major problems for many senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and non-drivers. The bill has already passed the state House and could be voted on in the state Senate early as next week.

What can you do to help:
  1. Email your PA State Senator.
  2. Collect stories from your community of people who are having a hard time obtaining photo ID.
  3. Volunteer phone bank to help get the word out about this bill. Phone banking is taking place on November 14 through 16 from 5:30 to 8:30. To sign up or find out more, please email Jeff Garis at jgaris@infoservicesgroup.net.


HELP END HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN PENNSYLVANIA 

Last month, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (SB 338) was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee. This state legislation would require posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-3737-888 - so trafficking victims can call to get help or individuals can call if they see anything suspicious.

In order to keep SB 338 moving forward, we need to keep the pressure on by generating as many calls as possible to key members of Senate Leadership to ask them to bring SSB 338 to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP. The calls need to go to the following two Senators in particular:

  • Senator Dominic Pileggi (Majority Leader) 717-787-4712
  • Senator Jake Corman (Appropriations Committee Chair) 717-787-1377

Below is a script you are welcome to use:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I am calling to ask Senator ____________to swiftly bring SB 338, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act, to the Senate floor for a vote. This important bill would help end human trafficking in Pennsylvania and assist victims of this horrific crime by requiring the hotline be posted in certain establishments so victims can call for help. This bill was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee on October 18th. Can I count on Senator ____________ to bring this life-saving legislation to the Senate floor for a vote? Thank you for your time and consideration.”


After you make the call, please email rfoley@womensway.org to report who you made the calls to and the outcome of the conversations. If you would like more information on the work to end human trafficking visit the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition's website.

URGE YOUR STATE SENATOR TO OPPOSE SB 1310 IN ITS CURRENT FORM

On November 14th, the State Senate Appropriations Committee will be considering Senate Bill 1310, an unemployment compensation bill which discourages solvency.  Your state senator plays a crucial role in this vote. Please urge your senator to OPPOSE SB 1310 in its current form.

Below is a list of talking points. You can find contact information for your senator here.

Senate Bill 1310 – Unemployment Compensation: Talking Points
  • SB 1310 in its current form will create additional hurdles in negotiating a solvency plan for the State’s Unemployment Insurance program.
  • SB 1310 is the second Unemployment Compensation bill which the State Legislature will consider this session/year. Earlier this session Senate Bill 1030 was signed into law, which has cut benefits and lowered future benefits for the currently employed.
Contact your State Senator today on this important matter.


Information/Events

SUPER COMMITTEE UPDATE CALL

By November 23rd, the “Super Committee” charged with making long-term deficit reduction plans is supposed to send a plan to Congress. Whatever they send must be voted on within a month. Passage only requires a simple majority.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 16, 4 p.m.

Please join Senator Al Franken and Deborah Weinstein from the Coalition on Human Needs to hear about proposals that are being considered by the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Details are starting to surface about plans to reduce tax rates for millionaires, while cutting Medicaid, other essential programs, and making people wait till they are 67 to get Medicare.

Register here.

This emergency update will kick off three days of calls to the Senate from November 15 to 18. On those days call 888-907-1485 to tell your Senators what you want to see the Super Committee do.

CLUW YOUNG WOMEN’S COMMITTEE: LEADING LADIES LEADING MEN EVENT

The Young Women's Committee of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (YWC/CLUW) is holding a fall workshop and networking event for women age 21 and older. The focus will be on specific skills that women possess and develop and how female leadership differs from male leadership. Fran Pierce, the former Assistant Director of Education Support Personnel for PSEA, will be in attendance

WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 2011, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
WHERE: Women’s Community Revitalization Project, 407 Fairmount Ave, Philadelphia

Free parking is available in the lot across the street

Refreshments will be provided but there is a suggested donation of $5 or bring something to share (food, drinks, etc.)

The mission of the YWC is to educate young women about unions, while creating networking opportunities and support for working women, and to empower, train, and prepare the next generation of feminist and union leaders. You don't have to belong to organized labor to come.

THE POWER OF VOLUNTEERS AND NATIONAL SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS TO PROMOTE SCHOOL SUCCESS BY REDUCING CHRONIC ABSENCE

Register now to join Attendance Works for a fascinating panel discussion webinar exploring how volunteers and national service organizations can be a powerful force in helping reduce chronic absence.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm

The panel includes:
  • Heidi Stevens, coordinator of the Schools Every Day campaign in Baltimore, who will share about the campaign’s grassroots approach.
  • Jason Waite, Director of Impact Development, and Bethiel Girma Holton, National Manager of Student Engagement, of City Year who will talk about how young adult City Year corps members spend a year in national service to tackle the national dropout crisis through addressing the ABCs of Attendance, Behavior and Course Performance.
  • Sarah Jonas, Director of Regional Initiatives at the Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools, who will discuss how community-based organizations are supporting New York City’s initiative to reduce truancy and chronic absenteeism.
  • John Gomperts, Director of AmeriCorps, who will discuss the potential for leveraging national service programs to improve student achievement by reducing chronic absence.
HOW HUMAN SERVICES PROGRAMS AND THEIR CLIENTS CAN BENEFIT FROM NATIONAL HEALTH REFORM LEGISLATION

The Coalition for Access and Opportunity invites you to join Stan Dorn, Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, and Claudia Page, Co-Director of Social Interest Solutions, to learn about the remarkable opportunities for state health and human service integration under the Affordable Care Act.

WHEN: Monday, November 14, 2011 2:00pm -3:00pm

Click here to register

Stan will be discussing his important new paper on innovative ways states can build modernized systems, improving efficiency and client-needs, under the legislation. Claudia is working with various states on these initiatives and will share her knowledge of promising steps and common challenges from around the country.
For those interested in this call below are some additional materials that might be helpful:

PHILADELPHIA HOUSING AUTHORITY SURVEY

The Vote for Homes! Coalition and the Family Service Providers Network invite you to take part in a survey that will provide feedback for the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

As new leadership launches the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) into a new era, the Vote for Homes! Coalition and the Family Service Providers Network are taking this opportunity to share some of the community's priorities with PHA.

This survey will collect feedback from individuals across Philadelphia who interface with the PHA – applicants, tenants, and service providers. The name of your agency will not be shared with the survey results.
You can access the survey at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NR5VYHY

The survey deadline to complete the survey is Monday, November 21st. If you have questions or need more information please email voteforhomes@gmail.com.

PathWays PA receives grant from Glenolden Wal-Mart at Grand Reopening

For Immediate Release

Glenolden, PA: PathWays PA was among the charities receiving grants from the Wal-Mart, Glenolden store for their grand reopening. Director of Development Fran Franchi of PathWays PA was there to accept the check for $1,175.00 from Store Manager Edwin Martinez.

PathWays PA was established 33 years ago to help women, children and families become economically independent and self sufficient, and has an office in Holmes, PA, not far from Glenolden. However, PathWays PA serves not just Delaware County, but the entire Greater Philadelphia region.

PathWays PA’s services to over 6,000 women, children and families include the residential Center for Families, which fosters a safe, healthy and economically stable future for women and children. In Holmes, PathWays PA offers adult education and family literacy classes to help assist adults and families in furthering their education.

Wal-Mart’s donation marks a step towards “partnering with the community,” said Edwin Martinez, store manager of the Glenolden Wal-Mart. This check represents Wal-Mart’s desire to “not only service customer be to work with the community itself.”

With the help of companies like Wal-Mart that give generously to the community we both serve, PathWays PA can continue to offer services to the women, children and families who need it the most.

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PathWays PA began in 1978 as the Women's Association for Women's Alternatives, one of Pennsylvania's first residential programs to keep low-income, vulnerable women together with their children. It has grown to become one of the Greater Philadelphia region's foremost providers of residential and community-based services with a focus on serving women, teens and children. Each year PathWays PA serves over 6,000 clients with a full complement of social services; job training and employment assistance; as well as residential programs.


For Further Information Contact:
Fran Franchi
Director of Development
PathWays PA
310 Amosland Road
Holmes, PA 19043
610-662-9004 (cell)
ffranchi@pathwayspa.org

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Join Us at the PathWays PA Basic Shelter For a Program Supporting National Runaway Month



Join us on November 21st 2011 4pm- 7pm to learn about the trials of runaways and some of the dangers they face while out on the streets.
Open mic, singing, dancing, poetry, and spoken word will be from 5:30-6:30.

5013 Hazel Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143. 215-397-4287
The Venue is at PathWaysPA Basic Center Program

First Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

Today at 2:00 the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. This test is key to ensuring the nation is prepared in the event of a natural or other disaster. It is a way the public can receive critical and vital information if it is ever needed.

The test may last up to three and a half minutes and will be transmitted on radio and television stations through out the country.

For more information about the nationwide Emergency Alert System test, please visit www.FEMA.gov and www.FCC.gov.

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 7, 2011


Federal Updates

Quilting to Help Ensure Pennsylvanians are Covered

Right now in Congress members of a Super Committee are working to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion.  Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey is one of the lawmakers on this Super Committee.
Help urge Senator Toomey to stand up for Pennsylvanians byjoining the Keep Pennsylvanians Covered quilting campaign. Before the November 23 deadline, the group will present Senator Toomey with a quilt crafted by volunteers.  Share your message to be featured on a patch! Email Athena to have your health care message included.
Also be sure to check out the Virtual Quilt. Hover your cursor over or click on one of the panels in the quilt to the right to read a message in support of preserving health care for Pennsylvania families.


Pennsylvania Updates

LIHEAP NOW OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is the energy assistance program that helps thousands across the state afford their winter utility bills. The cash grants go directly to the energy provider and defray the costs of home heating.

Because of budget cuts to the program and an expected increase in demand, those seeking assistance this winter season are urged to apply now. Funding for the program will be first come, first serve. Applications can be done online here.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Help End Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania

Last month, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (SB 338) was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee. This state legislation would require posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-3737-888 - so trafficking victims can call to get help or individuals can call if they see anything suspicious.

In order to keep SB 338 moving forward, we need to keep the pressure on by generating as many calls as possible to key members of Senate Leadership to ask them to bring SSB 338 to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP. The calls need to go to the following two Senators in particular:

• Senator Dominic Pileggi (Majority Leader) 717-787-4712
• Senator Jake Corman (Appropriations Committee Chair) 717-787-1377

Below is a script you are welcome to use:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I am calling to ask Senator ____________to swiftly bring SB 338, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act, to the Senate floor for a vote. This important bill would help end human trafficking in Pennsylvania and assist victims of this horrific crime by requiring the hotline be posted in certain establishments so victims can call for help. This bill was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor and Industry Committee on October 18th. Can I count on Senator ____________ to bring this life-saving legislation to the Senate floor for a vote? Thank you for your time and consideration.”


After you make the call, please email rfoley@womensway.org to report who you made the calls to and the outcome of the conversations. If you would like more information on the work to end human trafficking visit the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition's website.

Tenth Anniversary of National Runaway Prevention Month

This November marks the 10th anniversary of National Runaway Prevention Month. This month is designed to raise awareness about the serious problems that runaway youth must handle, and to display how important is is to prevent runaways.

The Family and Youth Services Bureau, the National Runaway Switchboard, and the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth have joined together to organize a series of events to educate and increase awareness of runaway youths. Throughout the month, they encourage people to take to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to start a discussion on the problems facing runaway youths. The NRS website offers tips on how to get started. Finally, they encourage workplaces to set up a "Green Sock Day" during November, and send pictures of all of their employees wearing bright green socks to the NRS, to raise awareness.

If you'd like any more information or would like to know more ways to particpate in National Runaway Prevention month, you can visit www.1800runaway.org/national-runaway-prevention-month or ncfy.acf.hhs.gov/topics/runaway_and_homeless_youth.

Get Out the Vote!

VotingboothToday is Election Day, and a chance for your voice to be heard on the issues that matter to you. Please vote today so that our families, friends, and workforce can have more opportunities to succeed tomorrow!

Below is some information on voting that might be helpful for those of you who live in Pennsylvania.

If you are registered in a state other than Pennsylvania, please visit http://www.smartvoter.org/ to find your polling place, determine if you are registered, and to answer other questions.

Who is running for office today?

In Pennsylvania, we are electing elect members of local government, such as mayors, council people, township supervisors and district judges. To see exactly who will be on your ballot, visit http://www.smartvoter.org/pa/state/ and type in your information.

Do I have to register to vote?

In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered 30 days prior to each election. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can confirm your registration status in the Pennsylvania voter registration database.

If you are not registered to vote in today's election, fill out a voter registration form now so you will be ready for the next one!

Where is my polling place?

The Pennsylvania Department of State offers an online guide to help find your polling place on their website.

How do I use the voting system at my polling place?

Different counties use different types of polling systems. Visit Votespa.com to see the type of voting system you will use and to watch a demonstration of how it works.

What should I bring with me to the polls?

If you are a first-time voter or if you are voting at a new polling place, you should bring an approved form of identification. To see all approved forms, visit the PA Department of State voting website.

All voters may bring a list of candidates on the ballot and who they plan to vote for and/or a list of key issues or specific proposals that are on the ballot. The Department of State's Election Assistant gives you the opportunity to print a one-page sheet listing your polling place and items to bring (or not to bring) to the polls.

What are my rights as a voter?

To see your voting rights, visit the Committee of Seventy website for voting rights guides in several languages. The PA Department of State also has helpful information for older voters, voters with disabilities, and voters who have been convicted of a crime.

What if I have questions or problems on Election Day?

If you have questions or problems on Election Day, please call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE.

Remember, if you are registered in a state other than Pennsylvania, please visit http://www.smartvoter.org/ to find your polling place and to answer other questions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

November 18, 2011 - The Homeless Advocacy Project & PECO Present a Free Birth Certificate Clinic


The Homeless Advocacy Project and PECO Present a Free Birth Certificate Clinic

When: Friday, November 18, 2011 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Where: Project H.O.M.E., 1515 Fairmount Avenue, (Backspace), Philadelphia, PA 19130
Who: Open (and free of charge) to homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness

Birth certificates are often needed to receive medical assistance, housing and other public benefits, to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s or nondriver’s license, for access to many public buildings, for general identification and for many other purposes.

Homeless individuals who attend this free clinic will meet with an advocate who will request birth certificates for them and their minor children free of charge.

For additional information, please contact Homeless Advocacy Project at 215-523-9595 or visit us at www.homelessadvocacyproject.org

Harrisburg Update

US texting driving laws
Texting while driving laws as of 2010.
States in red ban texting while driving for
all drivers, while those in yellow ban it for
new drivers.
Last week, the Senate sent two major pieces of legislation to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk, aimed at boosting safety for Pennsylvanians on the road and for students on the playing field. Lawmakers gave final approval to a measure that prohibits motorists from sending, receiving or reading text messages while driving. That measure passed the Senate on Tuesday with a 45-5 vote, one day after the House also overwhelmingly approved it. Mr. Corbett has spoken harshly about seeing drivers navigating their vehicle while their eyes are glued to a cell phone screen, and plans to sign the bill. Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

PathWays PA 33rd Anniversary Celebration Honors 2011 Trailblazers

Photo from left to right: Jen Boyett, Emcee, Comcast; Carol Goertzel, Executive Director, PathWays PA; Trailblazer Honoree QVC (accepting Suzanne Quigley, Director of Community Relations); Trailblazer Delaware County Daily Times (accepting Phil Heron, Editor); Trailblazer Honoree, Julie Welker, President, Coldwell Bank Welker Real Estate;Trailblazer Honoree, Laney Vogt; Trailblazer Honoree, Yvonne Norris, Founder, CEO LimNorris; Trailblazer Honoree, Kyra McGrath, Executive Vice President & COO, WHYY, Inc.; Bruce Oestreich, System Engineering and Integration, Boeing

On November 1st, PathWays PA celebrated its 33rd Anniversary, by hosting an evening “PathWays to the Stars” and honoring Trailblazers in the community whose lives and leadership make an impact in our community.

In commemorating over three decades of helping low-income women, children and families in the Greater Philadelphia region achieve self-sufficiency, PathWays PA honored six local community leaders and organizations with the 2011 Trailblazer Award.

Honorees receiving the Trailblazer Award included: The Delaware County Daily Times; Kyra McGrath, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, WHYY; Juliet Welker, President, Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate; Laney Vogt, Adopt-a-Family Advocate; QVC; and Yvonne Norris, President and Co-Founder of LimNorris Consulting Group. These individuals and companies have been chosen for their contributions to helping those in need as well as improving the quality of life in the community.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

From the Delco Times "Heron's Nest"- "A honor from an honorable group: Pathways PA"

I had the good fortune to represent the Daily Times last night as the newspaper was honored by Pathways PA with one of their Trailblazer Awards. 
It was us, and in fact all of Delaware County, who should be honoring them. 
For 33 years, Pathways, based in the Holmes section of Ridley Township, has offered crucial services to needy women, children and families. 
They provide the glue that very often holds shattered families together.
To read more, please visit http://delcoheronsnest.blogspot.com/2011/11/honor-from-honorable-group-pathways-pa.html.