Monday, February 1, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter - 1 February 2010

As the Pennsylvania State Budget process kicks off next week, be sure to keep an eye out for PathWays PA's weekly Budget Alerts starting next Wednesday.

PathWays PA Publication Survey

In order to enhance our publications, we have put together a short survey for individuals who have received any of PathWays PA's materials in the past two years. Your response would be greatly appreciated!

If you are interested in learning more about PathWays PA's publications, you can access them online at our website.

Free Tax Preparation from PathWays PA

PathWays PA's basic tax preparation service is designed to provide free tax filing for households whose income does not exceed $50,000. We can also assist tax filers who are disabled or who do not speak English as their first language.

If you or someone you know would like to have taxes prepared by the Self Sufficiency team, please call the numbers below to schedule an appointment. You must schedule an appointment to have your taxes prepared.

Philadelphia

PathWays PA West Philly Office
3617 Lancaster Avenue Philadelphia, PA
To schedule an appointment call Linda at 215-387-1470.

Appointment times:
Mondays 10am - 2pm (starting February 1st)
Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm -6pm

PathWays PA EARN Center
926 W. Allegheny Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19133
To schedule an appointment call 215-226-2600.

Appointment times:
Wednesdays and Fridays 9:30am -12:30pm (starting January 27th)
Saturdays January 30 and February 6 10am - 2pm

Delaware County

PathWays PA Administrative Office
310 Amosland Road Holmes, PA 19043
To schedule an appointment call Ann DelCollo at 610-543-5022.

Appointment times:
Mondays and Wednesdays 2pm - 6pm
Fridays 10am-2pm (starting January 29th)

J. Lewis Crozer Library
620 Engle Street Chester, PA 19013
To schedule an appointment call 610-494-3454.

Appointment times:
Wednesdays 4pm - 7pm (starting January 27th)
The following Saturdays:
Feb 13, March 6, April 10 9:30am -12:30pm

Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union
Wharf at Rivertown- 2501 Seaport Drive, Chester
To schedule an appointment call 610-619-7000.

Appointment times:
The following Tuesdays:
January 26, February 9, February 23, March 9, March 23
10am - 2pm

Please feel free to refer your eligible friends and family to our services!

Federal

Ensure Funding for On-The-Job Training in Jobs Bill

In December, the House passed a $154 billion jobs bill, which included $1.25 billion for job training. The Senate version, while not yet passed, is expected to be much smaller ($80 billion) and to focus on tax credits. It remains unclear if any funding for workforce education and training will be included in the Senate bill.

Senators must hear from the workforce development field about the need for additional funding for training and education. Sustained job growth requires workers to acquire the skills to get and keep newly created jobs so that businesses can find the skilled workforce they need to grow and compete.

On-the-job training (OJT) is one promising model that can address the skill needs of workers and businesses alike. It can be a critical link to rapid employment or reemployment, enabling businesses to create jobs earlier in the business cycle, and leading to lasting job and career opportunities for targeted workers. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter urging Senate leadership to include $500 million for OJT.

Please ask your Senators to support this vision by signing the Shaheen "Dear Colleague" letter today.

For more information please read the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry's employer survey, and National Skills Coalition's recommendations for including OJT in the jobs bill.

State

Help Stop the Cuts to Pennsylvania's Most Vulnerable Citizens

Pennsylvanians who are disabled, blind, and elderly face cuts of 19 - 24 percent in their State Supplemental Payments (SSP) unless the legislature takes action.

To qualify for the SSP, individuals must receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal benefit for the very poor administered by the Social Security Administration. Currently, individuals receiving SSP will receive $27.40/month for an individual and $43.70/month for a couple. This supplemental payment, along with the individual's SSI payment, still does not bring the individual or family up to the federal poverty level.

Individuals living on SSI are among the most vulnerable citizens in Pennsylvania, yet the state intends to reduce the SSP for an individual by $5.30/month (down 19 percent) and by $10.40/month for a couple (down 24 percent). A reduction of $5.30 per month may seem small, but it equals a missed meal, a medical co-pay that cannot be met, or a paratransit ride that cannot be taken.

Please contact your state legislator and urge them not to prevent these cuts. News articles on the cuts are available from the Inquirer and Daily News.


Stand Up for Equity in Athletics

Take Action for PA Girls!

Contact your State Senator and State Representative and urge them to support sports equity for women and girls!

Under Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972, educational institutions are required to give equal treatment to male and female athletes. Despite great progress made in the 38 years since this law was enacted, high school girls still receive 1.3 million fewer participation opportunities than do boys, and evidence suggests that the money spent on girls' sports programs lags significantly behind the money spent on boys' programs. Two pieces of related legislation include Senate Bill 890 and House Bill 2061, which require Pennsylvania secondary schools to publicly disclose information pertaining to Title IX requirements.

More information can be found on the Women's Law Project's website.

National Girls and Women in Sports Day News Conference

Join State Representative Tim Briggs, State Senator Mary Jo White, and the Pennsylvania Commission for Women's Executive Director, Leslie Stiles, as they recognize National Girls and Women in Sports Day, an annual celebration honoring the achievements of girls and women in sports and encouraging the continued expansion of opportunities for girls and women to play sports.

WHEN: Wednesday, February 3, 2010 1:00pm
WHERE: Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg, PA

During this event, speakers will take the opportunity to discuss the importance of state legislation (SB 890 and HB 2061) that would require Pennsylvania secondary schools to disclose to the state information pertaining to Title IX requirements.


Information and Events

Summer Food Service Program Webinar

Each summer, 18 million students are at risk of going hungry when the school year ends and school lunches are no longer available. For many children, school meals are the only complete and nutritious meals they eat, and in the summer, they go without even this source of food. In the summer of 2010, the need for meals will likely increase. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) can help to fill the summer meal gap for low-income children.

Faith-based, community and private non-profit organizations can make a difference in the lives of hungry children by serving meals with SFSP, a federally funded program administered by states that reimburses organizations for meals served to children during the summer. Schools, churches, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks and camps can serve meals in neighborhoods with high percentages of low-income families. These venues are safe and familiar locations where children naturally congregate during the summer. There are two ways to get involved with SFSP. Your organization may become a SFSP site where meals are served, or a SFSP sponsor that both serves meals and keeps track of the accounting and paperwork. Sponsors are reimbursed for all meals served that meet USDA's nutrition standards.

Join this webinar to learn more and hear the benefits to being a part of the Summer Food Service Program!

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm EST

To register please click here.

Already working with SFSP?: The USDA wants to hear from you! If you are already participating as a sponsor or a site, and would be willing to share your story on a live webinar or a webcast recording, please contact Emily Buckham Buday, USDA FNS Outreach Strategist, at Emily.buckham@fns.usda.gov.

Additional SFSP Information: Additional information on the Summer Food Service Program can be found on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Website: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/summer/

If you have any questions, please contact: Emily Buckham Buday at Emily.buckham@fns.usda.gov or 703-605-0772


Work/Life and Kids: What Do Kids Really Think About Their Working Parents?

When both mom and dad work, it can complicate parenting and marriage. What is the impact of social pressures and media coverage on working couples and their children, what the research tells us, and what we can do to make things better for both kids and their working parents?

WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, 1 PM EST

Join Fem 2.0, as Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute and author of Ask the Children and Mind in the Making, moderates a discussion about what kids really do think about their working parents.

The discussion will include Lisa Belkin, New York Times writer and author of the Motherlode blog on nytimes.com, and clinical psychologist Joshua Coleman, author of The Marriage Makeover and The Lazy Husband, and co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families.

Below are a list of other upcoming programs on the Fem 2.0 Blog Radio:
  • Work/Life and Latino Families: How Are Latino Families Changing as Latinas Bring Home the Bacon? | Monday, February 1, 1:00 PM EST |details
  • Work/Life and Older Americans: Taking Care of Oneself and Take Care of Others | Tuesday, February 2, 1:00 PM EST | details
  • Work/Life and the Military: What It's Really Like to Work and Serve | Wednesday, February 3, 1:00 PM EST | details
  • Working Title: Work/Life and African-American Families | Thursday, February 4, 1:00 PM EST
  • Fighting Words! Creating Change for Working Families | Friday, February 5, 1:00 PM EST | details
  • Work/Life and Kids: What Do Kids Really Think About Their Working Parents? | Wednesday, February 10, 1 PM EST | details

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

Change a Life: Become a Mentor to Foster Youth


The Achieving Independence Center (AIC) wants caring and supportive adults willing to build a friendship with a foster care youth. You can be that big brother or sister a youth in foster care needs by sharing your life experiences, time, and friendship. Having a shoulder to lean on when times get tough helps young people stay focused and not lose hope.

Whether it is providing them with caring support, friendship, or helping them with their aspirations (personal and professional), the AIC Mentoring Program can match you with a young person between the ages of 16-21 who could benefit from your knowledge and experience.

The AIC is a "one-stop" center designed to assist young people ages 16-21 achieve their future goals of self-sufficiency. The AIC is dedicated to providing support and real life tools for youth who want to make an investment in their future!

Help a youth build their self-esteem and achieve their personal goals. You make a difference by simply getting involved.

For additional information please call 215-574-9194.


Take Action on Earned Sick Time


48 percent of workers in the United States (46 percent of workers in Pennsylvania) 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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