Sunday, June 24, 2012

Last Stand for General Assistance

June 28, 2012 Update - Representative Murt has introduced an amendment that could save part of GA. If you support this amendment please call your state legislator immediately.  To learn more, visit http://bit.ly/NGz6UZ 

Our friends at PA Cares for All are taking a last stand (or several last stands) against ending General Assistance, a program of last-resort that provides a bridge to stability and self-sufficiency for over 68,000 Pennsylvanians without children who are sick or disabled; domestic violence survivors fleeing abuse; and individuals who are in alcohol and other drug programs. If you are interested in keeping GA in Pennsylvania, please consider one of the following actions:
  • Sign On to A Letter Against Cutting General Assistance:  Michael Froehlich at Community Legal Services is collecting signatures for the letter below, which will then be sent to Governor Corbett.  If you would like to sign on, please email him. The letter is below:
Dear Governor Corbett:
We are writing you today with a critical request. We understand that your administration has proposed eliminating General Assistance, the last resort program for 70,000 Pennsylvanians with disabilities. Yesterday, the Department of Public Welfare released a draft operations memorandum to stop General Assistance effective July 1 with no advance notice or warning. Most people who receive General Assistance will learn that their General Assistance has ended when they go to withdraw their money to pay their rent in July. We urge you to reconsider this action and provide at least 30 days notice to these individuals that their sole source of income will be stopped.
The abrupt termination of General Assistance without notice will cause extreme chaos and confusion. Here in Philadelphia, for example, 35,097 people will lose their sole source of income overnight. Our shelter system and network of human services providers are simply not equipped to deal with this sudden and enormous demand for their services.
Individuals receiving General Assistance have already been found to be disabled by their doctors and temporarily unable to work. It will be very difficult for these individuals to find jobs immediately, especially with 475,000 other Pennsylvanians currently out of work.
  • Join the Vigil and Rally at Senator Pileggi’s Chester Office on June 27: Women from domestic violence programs, people with disabilities, and advocates for fairness from throughout Southeast Pennsylvania will be gathering together at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, June 27, at the Senator’s Chester City office, 415 Avenue of the States, Chester, PA 19013. This location is near the SEPTA train station and on major bus routes.
  • Call and Fax Senator Pileggi’s District Office on Wednesday: Simply say who you are, and why you are looking to Senator Pileggi to take the moral high road by reinstating General Assistance. Regardless of your voting district, as Senate Leader, he can help protect those most in need. His district office telephone is 610-447-5845; the fax is 610-447-5848.

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