Monday, January 4, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: January 4, 2010

PathWays PA wishes everyone a very Happy New Year. We look forward to another year of working to help individuals reach self-sufficiency and beyond through our work to bring paid sick days to Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, our efforts to ensure health care reform covers all who are in need, our goal to provide more work supports and training, and so much more.

Federal

Senate Health Care Bill Includes Abortion Restrictions

In the early hours of December 24th, the Senate voted on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. While this act includes provisions that will make health care coverage possible for more Americans, it also includes restrictions on abortion coverage.
We must work together to ensure that no woman is worse off as a result of health care reform.
  • Contact your Senators and your Representative today and tell them you oppose both the House abortion coverage ban and the new Senate abortion restrictions. Tell them the final health reform bill must drop these provisions. Call them at 202-224-3121, or send an email to your Senators and Representative.
  • Call the White House at 202-456-1111 and tell President Obama that this is not the health reform we were promised. Urge him to make sure the health reform bill he signs does not set back women's health coverage by restricting or deny access to abortion coverage.
The House and Senate will soon begin a Conference Committee to form one bill. It is crucial that our legislators hear from us so they understand that health care reform should expand access for everyone, not limit coverage that half of the population may need.


State

LIHEAP Crisis Grants Available Starting Today – But How Many Will Receive Them?

The Pennsylvania Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income people pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Beginning January 4, 2010, additional money may be available for families in emergency situations who are in jeopardy of losing their heat.

Emergency situations include:
  • Broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced
  • Lack of fuel
  • Termination of utility service
  • Danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated
However, individuals applying for these grants should be aware that due to stricter guidelines and lower benefit amounts many may be turned away or receive lower grant amounts.
To apply for the Crisis grants, please click here.


Information/Events

Community Job Forums

As part of the Job and Economic Growth Forum, Community Job Forums have been established to create opportunities to gather ideas for continuing to grow the economy and putting Americans back to work. By gathering stories and ideas from working and non-working Americans and communities across the country legislators will have a better understanding what is really happening on the ground, what is working, and what is not.

The Salvation Army Learning Zone will host two White House Community Job Forums to collect community feedback to the White House.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 5th – Noon and 6:15 PM
WHERE: Salvation Army, 1340 Brown Street, Philadelphia

Refreshments will be served.


PANO Workshop: Jumping in with Both Toes – How to Immerse Your Organization in Social Media without Drowning

The Pennsylvania Association of Non-Profit Organizations (PANO) is hosting a workshop to helping non-profits learn how to effectively use social media. Like other marketing efforts, social media needs to be considered as part of a larger communication strategy. A relevant offering, a compelling message and a consistent presence are crucial elements no matter the tactic. This presentation focuses on helping nonprofits identify where there are real opportunities for integrating social media, and explores ways to move forward with limited time and budget.

WHEN: Wednesday, January 13th 10:00 AM – Noon
WHERE: Salvation Army, 1340 Brown Street, Philadelphia

For more information and to register for the workshop please click here. The cost is $59 for PANO members and $106 for non-members.


PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

Take Action on Earned Sick Time

48 percent of workers in the United States have no access to earned sick time, which means that if they are sick (or if their family members are sick) they must choose between working sick or losing their pay (or their jobs). If you are one of the 48 percent who have no earned sick time - or one of the 52 percent who do - please take our survey and tell us more!

There are bills at the federal, state, and local level to support earned sick time for everyone - here is what you can do:
  • Support the Federal Healthy Families Act! Under The Healthy Families Act, workers would have the opportunity to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to 7 days of sick time per year. This time could be used to care for workers or their families, or could be used as "safe days" in cases of domestic violence. Tell your legislators that we need paid sick days now!
  • Support the paid sick days campaign in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia! Become our friend! Show your support for earned sick time by visiting Facebook. You can support earned sick time in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia. Support both!
  • If you don't live in Pennsylvania, you can still support earned sick time. Visit The National Partnership for Women and Families website to learn more about campaigns in your area.
  • Tell us your story! Are you a parent who lost their job to stay home with a sick child? Are you a business owner who provides/supports paid sick days? Email your story to us at policy@pathwayspa.org.
  • Call your Representatives! If you live in Philadelphia, call your City Councilperson and urge them to support "Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces," which guarantees earned sick time for all working Philadelphians. Not sure who your City Councilperson is? Click on this link and type in your home address to find out which district you live in: http://www.phila.gov/citycouncil/districtform/districtform.html.
  • If you live in Pennsylvania (but outside of Philadelphia), call your state Representative. Tell him/her you support earned sick time for workers. Not sure who your Representative is? Simply type your address here: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/find.cfm.

Do You Need Help Paying for Post-Secondary Education?


PathWays PA offers Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), a matched savings program that offers financial education while helping you save for school. Through the program, your savings can be matched at a rate of three-to-one. If you save $500, we will give you an additional $1500 to go towards your school expenses.

Applicants must meet program income guidelines, be working (full or part time), and be enrolled or accepted into an accredited institution.

If you are interested or have any questions, please e-mail Kelly Binder at kbinder@pathwayspa.org.


Need Assistance With Public Benefits Applications?

PathWays PA provides assistance to those who need help applying for food stamps or other benefits. For further information, you can contact our office in Philadelphia 215-387-1470 or Delaware County 610-543-5022.

For more information about the services provided by PathWays PA please visit our website.

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