Monday, February 8, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: February 8, 2010

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


PathWays PA Publications Survey

In order to enhance our work we have put together a short survey for individuals who have received any of PathWays PA’s publications. Your response would be greatly appreciated! Please click here to be taken to the short survey.

If you are interested in learning more about PathWays PA’s publications, you can access them online by clicking here.


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.
Philadelphia

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


State

Watch Governor Rendell’s Budget Address

Governor Rendell will be giving his budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly starting at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 9.

According to the Governor, his budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year is focused on bolstering Pennsylvania’s economic recovery, creating jobs, keeping taxes under control, continuing our investments in schools, and ensuring essential services are provided to older adults and Pennsylvanians in need.

You can view the budget address online at www.pa.gov or by watching coverage on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Below are some things it is believed the Governor will call for in the address:
  • A $29 billion spending plan, an increase of $1.2 billion, or 4 percent
  • Another hefty increase for public schools
  • New taxes on the extraction of natural gas and sales of cigars and smokeless tobacco


More Funding for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

It was announced on Thursday that low-income families facing a heating emergency or utility service termination may start to see some additional relief thanks a recent increase in federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds.

Pennsylvania LIHEAP helps low income people pay their heating bills through home heating energy assistance grants and crisis grants. A family of four with an annual income of up to $33,075 can qualify for assistance, and no lien is placed on the family’s property if assistance is granted. Last year, a family of four could have a maximum income of $44,443.

There will be an additional $26 million in federal contingency funds which will make many families eligible to receive additional crisis grant funds to supplement their original grant, up to a maximum of $400. Crisis grants are approved for families with heating emergencies such as fuel shortages or utility terminations. While additional funding to families is important, there are still a large number of families that do not qualify for LIHEAP these year but are still struggling or unable to heat their homes.


Information/Events

Campus Philly: Online Internship Fair

Campus Philly’s career matching website will be the center of online talent recruitment for the Philadelphia region during its fourth Online Internship Fair. From March 15th-26th, the nonprofit invites area employers to recruit student talent for internship opportunities on CampusPhilly.org/careers, free of charge.

As a new element to the fair, Campus Philly will post a video panel of local experts answering students’ job and internship questions as well as online workshops to build resume writing and interviewing skills.

Internship programs are an effective way to increase a company’s workforce without the cost of a full-time hire. While students gain the competitive edge of real-world experience, host companies can increase work-flow efficiency at minimal or no cost. What’s more, internship programs create an internal talent pipeline for employers interested in future recruiting.
Over 200 employers are expected to offer internships in this year’s fair with over 1000 students participating. Employers can register for free at www.campusphilly.org/careers. The online fair will go live at Noon, Monday, March 15th.


Reauthorization of Child Nutrition Act Conference Call

Please join Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J Vilsack on Wednesday, February 10, for a call about the reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act. Further details on the specific time will be forthcoming to registered participants.

This conference call with the Secretary is an opportunity to discuss the Obama Administration's priorities for Child Nutrition Reauthorization in greater depth. The call will also include an update on the First Lady's Childhood Obesity initiative, which was highlighted in the President's State of the Union address. Finally, this call will be an opportunity for the Secretary to answer your questions and explore how your organizations can best amplify the President and the First Lady's efforts to provide access to healthy food for all American children.

The Obama Administration is committed to making sure every child in America has the To receive final time details for the conference call, please register by clicking here.

To participate in the conference call, please dial 1-800-369-1790 and provide the participant pass code 3769722.


Community Forum for the Next Governor

With the Governor's primary right around the corner, it is important for us to know where the candidates stand on the issues that matter most to us - education, housing, public benefits, job development, health care, prison reentry programs, and much more. Join a broad coalition of community-based organizations, unions and advocacy projects for this important educational forum where our social and economic needs set the agenda.

WHEN: Thursday, February 18th at 7pm
WHERE: Arch St. United Methodist Church, 55 North Broad Street (at the corner of Broad and Arch Streets)

We ask the questions; the candidates tell us where they stand! For more information, call (215) 568-4990.


Connect 2-1-1

CONNECT211.org is a new web site that has information on health and human service agencies in southeast Pennsylvania where individuals can retrieve the information on services around health, jobs, school, and family. The website contains a large database of health and human services in the five county Philadelphia region – Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.

Additionally users of connect can conduct proximity searches and see their results on a graphical map and obtain accurate driving, transit and walking directions. Services that can be searched for on the website include:
  • Children, Youth and Families
  • Disaster Services
  • Employment Services
  • Food Services
  • Housing Services
  • Substance Abuse Services
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Disability Services
  • Education Services
  • Financial Services
  • Health Services
  • Legal Services
  • Transportation Services
  • Other General Services

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 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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