Monday, March 15, 2010

PathWays PA E-Newsletter: March 15, 2010

Public Forum on Earned Sick Time

Thank you to everyone who came out to the Public Forum on Earned Sick Time sponsored by PathWays PA, WOMEN’S WAY, The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and the Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces! The campaign for paid sick days got a boost as more than forty people came to the Central Branch of the Philadelphia Free Library to learn about the need for earned sick time and to tell their stories.

Some important facts discussed include that:
  • 40 percent of all private sector workers lack access to job-protected earned sick time.
  • Among food service workers and child care workers, 73 percent lack any access to earned sick time.
  • 46 percent of all workers lack earned sick time.

A diverse group of panel members agreed that employees should not need to work sick. The owner of a child care center explained how she saved money by providing the opportunity for workers to earn sick time, since one sick worker at home was less costly than if that worker infected other staff.

If you would like to learn more, you can see and download the presentations for yourself on our blog! The event got great news coverage. You can read about it in The Philadelphia Inquirer, KYW1060 Newsradio (two articles); and The Examiner. To learn more about the Coalition (and sign our petition to support earned sick time in Pennsylvania), please visit our Coalition for Healthy Families and Workplaces Blog.


Federal

Help Make the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act a Priority

The Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act provides funding to ensure that low-income children have access to healthy and nutritious foods. It funds initiatives like the National School Lunch Program, which guarantees millions of low-income children a healthy lunch during their school day, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), which provides access to nutritious foods to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, infants and young children. In today's economy, more and more families rely on school lunches and WIC as their only source of nutritious food.

Please urge your member of Congress and the President to make child nutrition a priority.


State

Don’t Let CHIP End – Contact Your State Senator

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will expire this year unless the General Assembly extends it.

CHIP fills an important role for children whose families do not have access to or cannot afford coverage. It helps provide access to health care services and peace of mind for families. It makes health insurance accessible to those who need it without encouraging parents to drop private coverage. About 200,000 Pennsylvania children are currently enrolled in the program.

On March 8, the House voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill 237, which will extend the program. Now SB 237 is back in the Senate for a final vote. This is the last hurdle to keep CHIP operating.

Please contact your Senator and ask him or her to support this vital program that provides health insurance to nearly 200,000 children.

Information/Events

Why is Green Good for Women?

The U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau is pleased to be hosting a series of webinars/teleconferences for workforce practitioners, designed to offer information and an exchange of ideas to better connect women with green jobs training and green employment. This area of workforce development is an important part of preparing our nation to be competitive in the new economy.
The first teleconference in this series, "Why is Green Good for Women?" will take place on March 15, 2010 at 12:00 noon EDT. We will be discussing opportunities for women in green occupations and key reasons for women to seek employment or career advancement in green jobs, including examples from the field.

Speakers include:
  • Sara Manzano-Diaz, U.S. Department of Labor, Women's Bureau Director
  • Jason Walsh, Blue Green Alliance, Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships
  • Joan Kuriansky, Wider Opportunities for Women, Executive Director
  • Connie Ashbrook, Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., Executive Director
You can register at: http://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?eventid=836777.

Please visit the Women's Bureau Web site for more information or email womensbureaunetwork@dol.gov.


Come Rally at the Rotunda to Stop the Cuts to Pennsylvanian’s State Supplemental Payments

People with disabilities and older Pennsylvanian’s are facing cuts to their State Supplemental Payments (SSP) unless the legislature acts now.

Until February 2010, Pennsylvanians qualifying for SSI received an additional state supplement ranging from $27.00 for single person to $43.70 for a couple. In Pennsylvania 345,000 very-low-income elderly, blind, and/or disabled individuals receive SSP, including 67,000 disabled children. Recent cuts reduce that amount by $5.30 for a single person, and $10.40 for a couple. To the recipients, this cut may mean that they must go without a meal, a bus trip to a grocery store or to a child’s school event, or a co-pay for medication.

What can you do? Come to Harrisburg to rally.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 16th, 2010, 1:00 PM
WHERE: Harrisburg Capitol Main Rotunda

Handouts will be available for those planning legislative visits (please schedule these in advance). Please check in at the coalition table outside of the Capitol Cafeteria

Questions? Call Bill Chrisner at 1-800-538-8070, ext. 224 or email wchrisner@drnpa.org or Linda Anthony at lanthony@drnpa.org.

Need a ride? Limited transportation is available from the National Federation of the Blind of PA. Contact Mr. Jim Antonacci at 215-988-0888 #3 to reserve at spot. Pick-up is at 9:00 am on the 12th Street side of the Marriot Hotel at 12th and Market Streets in Philadelphia.

Register Voters with Vote for Homes!

Vote for Homes! is a non-partisan coalition registering thousands of people to vote, including those who are homeless, living with disabilities, or ex-offenders.

What you can do:
  • Learn voting rights for people who are homeless, ex-offenders, and those with disabilities.
  • Bring the information back to your group or learn how to volunteer directly with the Vote for Homes! Campaign.
  • Attend the “Train the Trainer” session to practice group facilitation and learn how to educate other volunteers

“Train the Trainer” Session:
WHEN: Friday, March 12, 2010 1-4 PM

Voter Registration Trainings:
WHEN: Monday, March 15, 3-4:30 PM
              Wednesday, March 24, 5:30-7 PM
              Tuesday, March 30, 3-4:30 PM

All trainings held at 1515 Fairmount Ave in Philadelphia. Snacks provided. Please RSVP to Jennine Miller at 215-232-7272, x3042, or email jenninemiller@projecthome.org. Call if you need help with transportation.

Careers for an Age-Friendly Philadelphia

Did you know that Philadelphia has the highest proportion of people over 60 out of the ten largest cities in the United States? From community development to the arts, law, social work, and more, each profession has the opportunity to touch the lives of older people and help our city become a lifelong community.

Join GenPhilly to learn from our members about organizations that incorporate seniors into their programs, policy, and planning. Be a part of a discussion on how you can include the needs of the older population into your current position, and if you already do, meet a group that can provide a support network for you.

WHEN: Thursday, April 8, 5.30-7.30pm
WHERE: The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, 17th and the Parkway Philadelphia

Please RSVP by Tuesday, April 6 to Kate Clark, kclark@pcaphl.org or 215-765-9000 ext. 5072.

PathWays PA Information and Initiatives

PathWays PA New Publication: Keeping it Real – Teen Finances

PathWays PA is excited to announce the completion of a new helpful handbook for managing money written specifically for teens, Keeping it Real: Teen Finances.

This guide not only discusses what teens should understand about their finances, it also assists them in planning for their future.

The guide focuses on such areas as understanding your paycheck, budgeting, banking, financial contracts, credit, and insurance. It also includes goal setting, finding a job, education, child care, and housing.


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!

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!
  • 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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