Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Governor Corbett's Mid-Year Budget Briefing 2012-2013

Budget Secretary Zogby released the Governor's Mid-Year Budget Report which gives an
overview of Commonwealth's financial state and funding programs as well as projections for the upcoming 2013-2014 budget and what programs the Governor would like to see department Secretaries focus on.

The Governor has reiterated to departments that they should prepare to level funding and that he "no new tax" pledge will continue.

This could potentially lead to increase funding roadblocks for human services which would lead to additional burdens on the working poor.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Phillies Came to PathWays PA Yesterday...

And they brought our favorite furry green creature from the Galapagos with them.

Thanks so much to the Phillies for adopting PathWays PA families this holiday season!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

South Philly Sports Bar Accused of Skimming Low Wage Workers!

A lawsuit has been filed against the sports bar Chickie’s and Pete’s airport branch for allegedly taking credit card fees out of waitstaff's tips.  These are workers who only earn $2.83 an hour plus their tips. An attorney representing a former employee said,
Any reduction in tips...has a huge impact on their ability to earn a living.
The United States Department of Labor has also started an investigation.

ROC PhiladelphiaPathWays PA, and many other organizations worked with Councilman Jim Kenney last year to pass a bill in Philadelphia ensuring that tipped workers did not have to pay credit card fees from their gratuities.

Friday, December 14, 2012


This post is from our friends at MomsRising.  Our thoughts at this time are with all those affected by the shooting in Connecticut, and with all those whose lives have been changed by violence.  
We are beyond heartbroken as we think of the kindergarteners and others that died today in Connecticut. Today is the 3rd day this week when there's been a mass shooting in our nation.

We are parents. Many NRA members are parents. And none of us want to live in a nation where children are gunned down. #Todayistheday for the NRA and for Congress to step up and start proposing laws that protect children and all people.

*Sign on to our open letter to the National Rifle Association (NRA) and to Congress urging them to make today the last day that they block common-sense gun regulations that protect all of our families:

It's time to put kids and common-sense first. One long-time NRA member just emailed us this message:

"I started crying when I heard about the elementary school shootings in Connecticut. I'm a proud grandma of two preschoolers. I look at my grandchildren and think 'there but for the grace of God go they.' "

"I'm a card-carrying member of the NRA. I'm from West Virginia. I'm a proud hunter and a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment. And I firmly believe that the NRA must act to help make sure this madness ends. No one needs an assault weapon for hunting. Period. We have to work together for common-sense solutions. We can have both a 2nd Amendment and make sure our school children are safe."
-- Dee, West Virginia

Today is the day to stand up for kids and families.

Today is the day for the NRA and for Congress to start promoting common-sense gun regulations that protect each and every member of our nation, from our smallest to tallest.

Together, we're a powerful force,

Kristin, Joan, Mary, Donna, Julie, Sarah F, Claire, Monifa, Gloria, Ashley, Anita, Ruth, Sarah H., Jane, Charlie, Anayah, Dream, and the entire team

Listen to "Good Businesses Providing a Good Place to Work" Wednesday the 19th at Noon!

Trust Across America, a national radio show on the Voice America Variety channel, will air “Good Businesses Providing a Good Place to Work” Wednesday, December, 19 at noon.

During the hour long show, hosts Stephenie Hendricks and Richard Eidlin will explore a number of strategies that help to shape a good workplace; including the emerging field of the Culture of the Workplace, and other issues such as earned sick days and minimum wage.

The guests represent businsses from across the country and include:
Andy Shallal-Owner of Busboys and Poets and Eatonville Restaurants, Member of D.C. Restaurant Industry Roundtable
Jason Michaud-owner of LOCAL and Redhill Restaurant, Member of L.A. Restaurant Industry Roundtable;
Lew Prince-Managing Partner, Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, MO.

Please listen and Call-In at (866) 472-5787 on Wednesday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Women and Children First over the Fiscal Cliff!

According to Dr. Heidi Hartmann, President of the Institute for Women's Policy Research in Washington, it's likely to be women and kids who suffer first if sequestration is implemented. Here's what she had to say when interviewed on the Equal Time With Martha Burk radio show.
There are many, many things [that would be cut]. The Maternal and Child Health block grant, Title X Family Planning, the Child Care and Development block grant that supports Head Start, child support enforcement. Food stamps are cut to some extent, and other food supplements like school breakfast and lunch programs. There's unemployment insurance, Pell education grants, housing assistance, home energy assistance. We could go on and on.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Youth Employment Drops to Historic Low

The new Kids Count policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that 6.5 million 16- to 24-year-olds are jobless and out of school. The lack of education, opportunity and connection to school or work has long-term implications for their financial stability as adults and can present significant costs to taxpayers, as government spends more to support them.

The report emphasizes the need to provide multiple, flexible pathways to success for disconnected young people and find ways to reengage high-school dropouts. The report also advocates creating experiences that allow youth to gain early job skills through community service, internships, summer and part-time work and other opportunities.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

United Way's Third Annual Survey on the Impact of Budget Cuts to Non-Profits

The survey, conducted this fall, provides a snapshot of conditions for Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable individuals and the human service agencies that provide services to these people. Survey data is comprised from responses from over 800 nonprofit organizations that serve all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Responding groups include, but are not limited to, food banks, domestic violence agencies, libraries, faith based organizations, children services and agencies that serve senior citizens and people with disabilities.

The data clearly demonstrates that nonprofits and social services organizations have sacrificed and shared in the pain from Pennsylvania’s recent budget woes.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekly Newsletter-Monday December 10, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

Week of December 10, 2012

This Week's Issues to Watch
Today in Your Neighborhood:  Candlelight Against Cuts"
Working families across the country are holding candlelight events to urge Congress to say no to cuts to benefits for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, and to end tax cuts for the richest 2%. If you are interested, you can join an event near you. 

Find an event in your area. 
Contact your Elected Officials.

Homeless Memorial Day Rally
Wednesday December, 19 2012
4:30-5:30 PM

Thomas Paine Plaza
1401 J.F.K. Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102

This rally is to remember homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died during 2012 and call for a renewed commitment to end homelessness.

For more information, please contact Jennie Young at (215) 232-7272 ext. 3106 or  

Petition to Change DPW's Name to "Department of Human Services"
The largest percentage of DPW's consumers are the elderly and those with disabilities. 

Ninety-three percent of what DPW does falls under human services, not what people often think of as "welfare". 

We ask you to please consider sharing this petition and/or forwarding this email to people you think might be interested 

2012 Kids Count Policy Report is Out
The Annie E. Casey
Foundation has released its annual KIDS COUNT report, focused on better connecting youth to opportunity and employment. 

finds that nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce. With employment among young people at its lowest levels since the 1950s, these youth are veering toward chronic unemployment as adults and failing to gain the skills employers need in the 21st century.

PathWays PA Named Non-Profit of the Year by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce! 
Chamber of Commerce

Adult Education Classes  

PathWays PA will be holding a series of Adult Education classes for Adult Learners seeking to obtain GED Certification and improve their literacy skills. These classes will be held this fall at PathWays PA's corporate office in Holmes, PA, as well as the CareerLink in Chester, PA.

Further information can be obtained by contacting Lauren Rodino at 610-543-5022 x 258.

Today is NDDAY of Action

discretionary" or "NDD" programs refer to core functions the government provides for the benefit of all, including medical and scientific research; education and job training; infrastructure; public safety and law enforcement; public health; weather monitoring and environmental protection; natural and cultural resources;housing and social services; and international relations.  

If you support a balanced approach, including one that does not include further cuts to NDD programs, please contact Congress and let them know. These links will take you to House and Senate contact lists.

Add the Children's Defense Fund "Be Careful What You Cut" Campaign to Your Website

The campaign is designed to bring the real dangers of cutting child investments into sharp focus, and to build the public will and make the economic case to protect children from budget cuts. 

The ads and infographs are available for free here and CDF's communications team can answer questions or provide assistance in downloading/ posting/ sharing them.  

If you have questions, please contact Scott Jacobsen or call: (202) 662-3641

FRAC Report Finds Food Stamps "Thrifty Food Plan" Inadequate

A new Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) report, "Replacing the Thrifty Food Plan in Order to Provide Adequate Allotments for SNAP Beneficiaries," explores the shortfalls of the Thrifty Food Plan. 

Established in the 1930s, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began developing basic food plans at varying costs, all with the goal of providing consumers with "practical and economic advice on healthful eating." SNAP benefits are calculated using the Thrifty Food Plan, which is the lowest of four cost plans and has its origins in one that was developed for short-term or emergency use.    

PathWays PA in the News:
December 10, 2012:
PathWays PA Receives $10,000 Donation-Read More

December 2, 2012:
Housing Costs in Philadelphia More Than Federal Poverty Level Suggests

November 19, 2012:
Philadelphia Lawmaker Says He'll Try Again for Broad Paid Sick Leave Law-Read More

November 19, 2012:
Councilman Greenlee says Paid Sick Days Bill to be Introduced in January

November 23, 2012:
Councilman Seeks Support for Paid Sick Days

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PathWays PA Center for Families Receives $10,000 Donation from Kimberly-Clark Professional

Funds Will Help Support Residential Services for Low-income Women and Their Children
Just after Christmas in 2011, Samantha Singleton, 22, and her two-year-old daughter, Malaya, became homeless. Because of Malaya’s many medical issues, which include epilepsy, glaucoma and a feeding tube, there was a risk that she could be separated from her mother and put into foster care.
Fortunately, mother and daughter found a temporary home at the PathWays PA Center for Families (CFF) in Media, Pa., a supervised group residence for women and their children who are referred by the child welfare system. It helps vulnerable, low-income mothers stabilize their lives and keep their families intact as they move toward employment and self-sufficiency. The CFF provides a variety of services to mothers like Singleton, such as GED and math classes, computer training, resume writing and interviewing skills as well as teaching parenting and life skills, encouraging responsibility and fostering self-esteem.
Read the whole article here!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Images from Overlooked and Undercounted 2012

Figure A shows an example of the Self-Sufficiency Standard, with each monthly expense included in as a proportion of the total income necessary for a family with two adults, one preschooler, and one school-age child in Allegheny County.

By far, housing and child care combined are the most expensive costs for families.

Families with children (when one or more children are under school-age) generally spend about half their income on housing and child care expenses alone.

The map (Figure B) highlights that the cost of meeting basic needs also varies geographically in Pennsylvania. The 2012-2013 Self-Sufficiency Standard for one parent with one preschooler ranges from $25,697 to $53,410 annually.

The Self-Sufficiency Standard has stayed about the same since 2010 in each of the places shown for this family type in Figure C. The two largest budget items, housing and child care, had only modest changes since 2010.

Since the first edition of the Pennsylvania Standard in 1997, the Self-Sufficiency Wage for an adult with one infant and one preschooler has increased by over 67% in each of the four places shown in Figure C.

While considerable percentages of Pennsylvania households in all racial/ethnic groups have income below the Self-Sufficiency Standard, people of color have the highest rates below the Standard (Figure F).

The risk of inadequate income increases by more than two-thirds for households with children compared to those without children, from 20% to 35%. The number of children also varies: families with one child have an inadequacy rate of 27%, those with two children, 34%, and those with three or more 56%.

As can be seen in Figure J, married couples have the lowest rates of income inadequacy, and female householders the highest. Among households with children, there is an even greater difference by both family type and gender of the householder.

Married-couple households have the lowest rate of income inadequacy at 24%. Income inadequacy increases for single father households, with 41% lacking adequate income. As stated above, the highest rate is that of single mother households, nearly two thirds of whom lack adequate income (65%).

The combination of being a woman, having children, and solo parenting are associated with some of the highest rates of income inadequacy. At the same time, as we have seen above, rates of income inadequacy are quite high among some race/ethnic groups. When these factors, household type (including gender and children) and race/ethnicity, are combined, there is an even greater disparity between groups in rates of income adequacy. That is, within racial groups, household type differences remain, with single mother households consistently having the highest rates of income inadequacy. At the same time, among households of the same composition, racial and ethnic differences remain, with Latinos consistently having the highest rates of income inadequacy

Although increased education raises income adequacy levels for all race and gender groups in Pennsylvania, four patterns are apparent when we examine the impact of education broken down by race and gender. 
  1. As education levels increase, income adequacy rates increase more dramatically for women than for men, especially women of color. Thus, the relationship between higher education and relatively higher levels of income adequacy are greatest for women of color, followed by White women. In fact, when the educational attainment of the householder increases from a high school degree to a Bachelor’s degree or higher, income adequacy levels rise from 33% to 76% for women of color, and from 67% to 87% for White women. In contrast, men have higher rates of income adequacy at the lowest levels, with men with less than a high school education, already at an income adequacy rate of 51%—compared to 25% for women lacking a high school degree—and thus men experience less of an increase with increased education.
  2. As educational levels increase, the differences in income adequacy rates between men and women of the same race/ethnicity narrow. This is most apparent for White women: Figure L shows that 36% of White women with less than a high school degree have adequate income whereas over half (57%) of White males with less than a high school degree have adequate income. This gap decreases as education increases, so that the difference in income adequacy between White women and White men who hold a Bachelor’s degree or higher declines to only about four percentage points. A similar pattern is apparent for people of color: the gap between men and women of color declines as education increases, from a 27 percentage point gap between non-White male and female householders with less than high school degree to only a 5 percentage point gap for non-White male and female householders with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.
  3. Although less dramatic, within gender there also is a race-ethnicity-based pattern that is similar, with the gap in adequacy rates between White and non-White householders below the Standard narrowing as education increases. While the income adequacy rate for men of color remains about half that of White men at each educational level, the percentage point gap decreases from 21 percentage points between men of color and White men with a high school education to 10 percentage points between White men and men of color with a Bachelor’s degree or more. For women there is a similar decline in the difference between White women and women of color as education increases to a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Interestingly, within both genders, the percentage point gap between White and non-White householders with less than a high school degree is smaller than for those with a high school degree.
  4. The disadvantages experienced by women and/or people of color are such that these groups need more education to achieve the same level of economic self-sufficiency as White males. While 79% of White males with only a high school diploma are above the Standard, only 33% of women of color with just a high school degree have adequate income. Obtaining some college or an associate degree increases that rate to 43%, and getting a Bachelor’s degree increases it to 76% or higher for women of color. In short, even attaining a Bachelor’s degree or more, women of color still have a lower rate of adequate incomes than White males with only a high school degree.

    Three out of four Pennsylvania households with no employed adults (households in which no one over age 16 has been employed in the past year) lack sufficient income. On the other hand, only about one in three households with one worker, and one in seven households with two or more workers, have an income that falls below the Standard. This pattern is the same across race/ ethnic groups but the impact of no workers in a household is magnified for people of color.

    Figure N compares the 20 most frequently held occupations of householders below the Standard to the 20 most frequently held occupations of those who are above the Standard. The first finding is that householders below the Standard are somewhat more concentrated in a few occupations: the top 20 occupations cumulatively account for 40% of all householders below the Standard, compared to 33% for the top 20 occupations of those above the Standard.

    In contrast, the more striking observation is the degree of overlap in occupations above and below the Standard: nine occupations are shared between the top 20 above and below the Standard (occupations that are most common among households below and above the Standard are shown as overlapped in the figure). At the same time, the wages are quite different.

    Overall, the earnings of householders above the Standard average more than three times those below the Standard.

    The top 20 occupations of women householders below the Standard account for more than half (51%) of employed women householders below the Standard. At the same time, women householders below the Standard share 12 occupations with women householders above the Standard, reflecting the higher levels of gender segregation in the economy as a whole; these shared occupations (of women above and below the Standard) account for close to two-thirds (63%) of women householders below the Standard. Additionally, women below the Standard share only five of the top 20 occupations with men below the Standard, and women only share seven occupations with all householders above the Standard.

    Food Stamp Usage Rises-Even Among Affluent Areas

    The number of people on food stamps has gone up in most mid-state municipalities over the past year, according to figures provided to The Patriot-News by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

    According to an analysis done by Mark Price, an economist with Keystone Research Center, the number of people on food stamps in high poverty municipalities in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Perry and northern York counties grew from 51,972 in July 2008 to 82,704 in August 2012, an increase of 59 percent. But the number of people on food stamps in low poverty municipalities in the same region climbed from 5,723 in July 2008 to 12,081 in August 2012, an increase of 111 percent. And according to Price's analysis, this trend is a result of unemployment.
    “Although college graduates still have lower unemployment rates and are much less likely to live in poverty than other educational groups, even they have faced increased difficulty finding work and thus it is not surprising to see more people even in affluent communities seek out food assistance....”

    Thursday, December 6, 2012

    National Push to Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws

    The International Labor Organization, a U.N. organization, estimates there are 1.5
    million victims in developed economies worldwide, many of them children. In the United States, many of the crackdown efforts have focused on young girls forced into prostitution.

    Lawmakers are making a renewed effort to strengthen human trafficking laws. As The National Conference of State Legislatures gathers in D.C, the selection of human trafficking as a topic for one of the two meetings legislators will have at the White House shows how crucial the once-ignored issue has become to state lawmakers, who have "seen a surprisingly sparse number of prosecutions" under existing laws.

    See Polaris Project's State Rating Map on Combating Human Trafficking

    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    City Council approves funding for 100 additional shelter beds for survivors!

    City Council has approved $3 million in funding to support 100 additional shelter beds and other housing resources for victims of domestic violence in Philadelphia!

    In 2008, WAA (Women Against Abuse) alone was forced to turn away 1,705 requests for safety in shelter due to limited capacity. Less than four years later, this number skyrocketed to more than 8,400 turned away requests. This figure represents thousands of women and children in imminent danger who must find alternative sources of emergency housing - sometimes in other emergency shelters that are not intended to maintain the safety, privacy and confidentiality of residents, and other times in domestic violence shelters in neighboring counties.

    Read the UPenn Ortner Center Report: Violence Against Women in Philadelphia
    Philadelphia Domestic Violence Emergency Hotline

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    50 Facts about Domestic Violence You Didn't Know

    1. Number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq: 6,614:
    2. Number of women, in the same period, killed as the result of domestic violence in the US: 11,766
    3. Number of people per minute who experience intimate partner violence in the U.S.: 24
    4. Number of workplace violence incidents in the U.S. annually that are the result of current or past intimate partner assaults: 18,700
    5. Number of women in the U.S. who report intimate partner violence: 1 in 4
    6. Number of men in the U.S. who report intimate partner violence: 1 in 7*
    7. Number of women who will experience partner violence worldwide: 1 in 3
    8. Order of causes of death for European women ages 16-44: domestic violence, cancer, traffic accidents
    9. Increase in likelihood that a woman will die a violent death if a gun in present in the home: 270 percent
    10. Number of women killed by spouses who were shot by guns kept by men in the home in France and South Africa: 1 in 3

    Read the Entire List Here