PathWays PA E-Newsletter: April 12, 2010


Urge Congress to Extend Unemployment Benefits

The Senate failed to extend unemployment benefits before they left for recess. As of Friday, the vote was rescheduled for today April 12.

According to the National Employment Law Project, there are now 14.9 million unemployed Americans. Unemployment insurance is a lifeline for millions of families most in need--and also moves forward economic recovery for us all. Without unemployment insurance, more homes will be lost to foreclosure, bringing down the value of all homes, less money will flow through communities, and families in need will have to find other public supports. This downward cycle hampers the overall economic recovery that will bring jobs and economic security to all of us.

Please urge your members of Congress to act now to make sure that millions of our most vulnerable families have access to unemployment insurance benefits that will keep them in their homes and able to continue looking for work and caring for their children.

National Call-In Day for VITA Funding

VITA, or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, is a program sponsored by the IRS to help low- and middle-income people file their income tax returns. Through the program, community partners engage and train volunteers and set up sites where clients can come to have their basic returns completed.

With April 15th around the corner, VITA sites are crucial to ensuring low- and middle-income filers see their full returns. Please join the National Community Tax Coalition on April 15th for a National Call In Day to ensure VITA sites can continue to help communities.

Support Funding for Homeless Child and Youth Programs 

The Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA) programs are the only federal programs targeted exclusively to homeless children and youth. The EHCY program removes barriers to the enrollment, attendance, and success of homeless children and youth in school. RHYA programs provide critical outreach, shelter, and transitional living resources to the nation’s unaccompanied homeless youth. Funding for both programs fall far short of the amounts necessary to meet needs, particularly in the wake of the economic recession.

Congressional appropriations committees are currently gathering input from all Members of Congress about their spending priorities. A popular method for Members of Congress to express support for particular federal programs is to circulate “Dear Colleague” appropriations sign-on letters asking their fellow Members of Congress to join them in recommending a funding level for the program(s).

U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) just put into circulation a Dear Colleague appropriations sign-on letter recommending $140 million for EHCY programs and $165 million for the RHYA program. The letter closes at close of business on Thursday, April 15, 2010.

Please contact both of your U.S. Senators immediately and ask them to sign on to the Menendez Dear Colleague appropriations sign-on letter recommending increased funding in FY2011 for EHCY and RHYA programs.

For more information please contact Barbara Duffield, Policy Director, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, 202.364.7392,


Pennsylvania Lobby Day to End Human Trafficking

Please join WOMEN’S WAY as they head to Harrisburg to raise awareness around the horrific crime of human trafficking, and build support for important state legislation (SB 1227 and SR 253/HR 630) that would assist victims and help end human trafficking.

State legislators may not be aware that human trafficking is a huge crisis taking place right here in Pennsylvania, and that traffickers are exploiting women, men, and children, both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, in commercial sex or labor through the use of force, fraud, and coercion. It is an issue that drastically impacts women as 80 percent of transnational human trafficking victims are women and girls.

This lobby day will provide an opportunity for constituents to educate legislators about this brutal crime and urge them to take steps to address it. You do not need to be an expert or have lobbying experience to take part in this day. We will provide you everything you need to advocate for this important issue.

WHERE: Hearing Room 2, North Office Building, 401 North St., Harrisburg, PA
WHEN: Tuesday, April 13, 2010, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Please RSVP Today! You can find more information here. If you have any questions, please contact Rebecca Foley.


Investing in a Prosperous Pennsylvania: A Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on the Future of Our Workforce and Economy

WHEN: April 19, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
WHERE: The National Constitution Center, 525 Arch Street Philadelphia PA

The event is split into two parts. For the first hour there will be an interactive Workforce Open House where you can learn about innovative program that are moving youth an adults into learning and career pathways. The remained of the evening will consist of a forum with Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates regarding how the Commonwealth can best meet the needs of workers, businesses, and local economies in the 2010s and beyond. The discussion will focus on the candidates’ proposals for stimulating job creation and for ensuring that Pennsylvanians receive the education, training, and support they need to secure the jobs of the future.

For more information and to register for the forum please visit

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.


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
  • 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:
  • 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:

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

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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