Showing posts from November, 2011

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on the Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court recently announced that they will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Below are the areas that the court will hear arguments on:

The constitutionality of the individual responsibility requirement: This is a requirement that all American have health insurance. It has been questions by many of the lower courts and one of the main arguments against the ACA.The severability of the individual mandate requirement from the ACA: If the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional the court will then have to consider whether that invalidates the entire law or whether the rest of the law can stand without the mandate.The ripeness of the case itself: This looks at whether the court can even hear a case about the individual mandate when it does not go into effect until 2014.The constitutionality of the expansion of Medicaid: To receive federal funding for Medicaid, states will be required to expand those eligible to include all ind…

NY Times Publishes Article on Increasing Enrollment in Free or Reduced-Price School Lunch Program

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article by Sam Dillon, discussing huge increases in the number of children nationwide who are receiving free or reduce-price school lunches since many of their parents have recently lost their jobs or homes. According to the article, the number of students receiving subsidized lunches was at 18 million in the 2006-2007 school year and peaked at 21 million last year. Fiscal year 2010 saw 1.3 million additional children eligible for free lunches, the largest increase in program participation since 1972.

Statistics from program enrollment make it clear that families in both urban and suburban areas are suffering financially due to the economic crisis. Many of the children who have recently enrolled in the program are from formerly middle-income families living in suburban neighborhoods, while urban school districts have been dominated by children who's families are poor enough to qualify for free lunches for years. Some urban school distric…

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 28, 2011

Federal Updates


The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Super Committee in Congress, failed to address the necessary amount of cuts to reduce the federal deficit, triggering automatic $1.3 trillion cuts set to begin in 2013. Many of the disagreements came over reticence on tax increases and cuts to social safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Half the cuts to come will be from defense programs, while certain federal programs – including Medicaid, Social Security and SNAP (Food stamps) – will initially be insulated from such cuts. However, other domestic spending programs may be in danger of losing funding.

To learn more about what some national groups are saying regarding the Super Committee, please visit the following links:
Super Committee Unable to Reach Deal: National Skills CoalitionSuper Committee Cannot Leap Over Ideologic…

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 21, 2011

Federal Updates

(News has come out this weekend suggesting that the Super Committee may have hit an impasse. However, until such news is definite, we must continue to reach out to them in support of programs that families rely on to stay secure throughout the year.

The Super Committee is coming close to their deadline. Many proposals are being floated, including one that would limit states’ ability to coordinate the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and SNAP benefits (food stamps). This “Heat and Eat” program allows many states, including Pennsylvania, to coordinate SNAP and LIHEAP in recognition of the fact that too many struggling Americans face an impossible choice between paying for food or paying for energy.

But Heat and Eat programs are under the threat of a $4 billion cut – meaning that many households will be left making tough choices in the coming winter months. As the Super Committe…

Poverty in Bucks County

On Friday, PathWays PA presented information on our Self-Sufficiency Standard before the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition. This Coalition works to serve women and girls and is focused on achieving economic self-sufficiency for all through advocacy work in areas of child care, health care, housing, transportation, job and workforce development; domestic violence and addiction issues affect all areas of concern.

Marianne Bellesorte spoke to the group about the high cost of making ends meet as shown by the Standard. For a family of three in Bucks County it can cost over $60,000 just to make ends meet. The cost of living directly relates to the amount of people living in poverty. In 2010, Bucks County had a 2.7 percentage point increase in the number of people living below the Federal Poverty Level. In other words, over 17,000 more people were living below poverty in the county in 2010 compared to 2009. This represents a higher percentage increase than in any county in the fi…

What Do You Know About IDAs?

IDAs, or Individual Development Accounts, are great ways for families to be rewarded for saving money.  Through the United Way, PathWays PA offers these IDA accounts so that students can get their savings matched to pay for college. At the same time, students take financial literacy classes to help learn to budget their money and continue saving for the future.

Want to learn more? Listen to this great interview that ran on Power 99 this weekend!

PathWays PA Job Postings - November 15, 2011

Part-Time Math and English Teacher (Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties)
PathWays PA is in need of a Math and English teacher to teach Healthcare Contextualized Math, English and Science to adult students preparing for the TEAS test and other careers in the healthcare sector. Classes will be held late afternoons and/or evenings and weekends in the Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery County areas. The classes will run for 6-8 weeks with 1, 2 or 3 classes per week. 6-8 hours per week and 1 hour of paid prep per week. Pay is competitive. INSTRUCTOR SHOULD HAVE EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH ADULTS. A Bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement. Please fax resumes to: LD/EVE at 610-328-2807.

Learning Center Group Supervisor
Experience in preschool setting and knowledge of early childhood development required. Willing to adapt to the goals and philosophies of our program and provide an environment that is non-punitive and strength based. Write curriculum for each age level as well as plan and…

'Girl's SHElter' Opens in Philadelphia

Please read this article on NBC10's website and share it with your friends!
'Girl's SHElter' Opens in Philadelphia
The shelter is dedicated to helping female youths who face the dangers of living on the streets

November is National Runaway Prevention Month and fittingly, a new shelter has opened in Philadelphia to help get young girls off the streets.

The Basic Center Program or “Girl’s SHElter” is for girls under the age of eighteen who are homeless, runaways or at risk of becoming either.

"This program gives girls a chance at a good life when almost everyone else has walked away from them," said Lenora Pope, Program Manager at the Girls' SHElter. To read the full article, visit

Housing is Health: Ending Homelessness and HIV in Philadelphia with Congressman Jim McDermott

WHEN: Friday, November 18, 2011
Free dinner at 6:30PM, Speeches at 7PM
WHERE: Fagin Auditorium, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing,
418 Curie Boulevard (near Hospital of UPenn-­‐ no tickets required)

An evening with:
Congressman Jim McDermott (D-­‐WA07)
Representative, Philadelphia Dept of Public Health,
and ACT UP Philadelphia, AIDS activist group

Penn Med Global Health Group, Patient Allies, Penn Law Advocates for the Homeless, Student National Medical Association, GAPSA, Perelman SOM, Urban Studies, Penn CHAC, Male Association of Nurses, Wharton Health Care, Public Health Society

Questions? Contact Roland at

Please RSVP :

In 2009, seven Philadelphians with HIV died on the streets or in homeless shelters.Philadelphia maintains a 30-month-long waiting list for housing assistance for low-income people living with HIV.Providing housing for people …

The New Competitive Health Insurance Marketplace

The Pennsylvania Health Access Network has hosted hundreds of educational forums on the new health care law. This special one will be focused on the coming exchanges and will also touch on Medicaid integration and other public health programs.

WHEN: Thursday, November 17th 5:00 – 6:30
WHERE: 112 N. Broad Street, 2nd floor, Philadelphia, PA

About the basic framework About the latest regulations coming out of HHS Where PA is in the implementation process How the marketplace will be integrated with public programs Where consumer advocates and insurance lobbyists disagree What it all means for you, your family, organization, clients or businessThe forum is open to the public. Please RSVP to Athena if you or someone from your organization will be attending. or 267-257-6968

New Girls SHElter Reaches Out to Children Living on Philadelphia’s Streets

For more information, please contact us at

November 21st Open House/Open Mic Supports National Runaway Month

Philadelphia, PA – As we approach Thanksgiving, there is a new reason to give thanks: a new shelter for runaway girls in Philadelphia. This program, called the Basic Center Program or “Girls SHElter,” offers runaway prevention and intervention to girls under age 18 who have run away, are homeless, or are at risk of running away or becoming homeless.

“So many homeless kids in Philadelphia are living on the street – they are not even couch surfing,” said Brenda Dawson, Senior Vice President of Children and Family Services at PathWays PA. “There are significant numbers of girls who are homeless, and they face many risks by staying on the street.”

Runaway and homeless youth are more likely to commit crimes and/or be victims of crimes, including substance abuse, gang involvement, youth prostitution, vandalism, theft, and assaults. One girl…

PathWays PA Online Auction and Fund the Mission Continues!

Did you miss the PathWays PA Gala on November 1? Well, we still have some great items available for you to bid on. With the great packages available we are sure they will go fast so bid today. In addition to purchasing a trip, dinner, or experience you will also be helping to further PathWays PA’s mission of helping over 6,000 low-income women, children and families move from poverty to self-sufficiency and family well-being!

Bidding on an item is as easy as clicking on the bid links listed with each package. The link will open an email message to our auction coordinator. In your email please include the following information:
the name of the package you are bidding on, your opening bid, your final offer and your phone number.Bidding for online auction items will close on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 at noon.

You can also help fund the mission of PathWays PA and support over 6,000 vulnerable women, children and families in the community! $50 can help us buy a crib mattress, $100 can pro…

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 14, 2011

PathWays PA Information/Events


Join PathWays PA on to learn about the trials of runaways and some of the dangers they face while out on the streets.

WHEN: November 21, 2011 4:00 pm- 7:00pm
WHERE: PathWays PA Basic Center Program 5013 Hazel Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143. 215-397-4287

Open mic, singing, dancing, poetry, and spoken word will be from 5:30-6:30.


PathWays PA has recently updated our popular Financial Resource Guide. This Guide lists programs that individuals and families can use to help stretch their incomes and make ends meet.

We have information on programs in Pennsylvania such as:
Child CareFinancial Assistance, Tax Credits and ServicesFoodHealth Insurance Higher Education, Job Search Strategies and Money Management Housing Choice Voucher Program Unemployment Compensation Other Resources for You and Your FamilyIn addition to listing programs…

PathWays PA receives grant from Glenolden Wal-Mart at Grand Reopening

For Immediate Release

Glenolden, PA: PathWays PA was among the charities receiving grants from the Wal-Mart, Glenolden store for their grand reopening. Director of Development Fran Franchi of PathWays PA was there to accept the check for $1,175.00 from Store Manager Edwin Martinez.

PathWays PA was established 33 years ago to help women, children and families become economically independent and self sufficient, and has an office in Holmes, PA, not far from Glenolden. However, PathWays PA serves not just Delaware County, but the entire Greater Philadelphia region.

PathWays PA’s services to over 6,000 women, children and families include the residential Center for Families, which fosters a safe, healthy and economically stable future for women and children. In Holmes, PathWays PA offers adult education and family literacy classes to help assist adults and families in furthering their education.

Wal-Mart’s donation marks a step towards “partnering with the community,” said Edwin Marti…

Join Us at the PathWays PA Basic Shelter For a Program Supporting National Runaway Month

Join us on November 21st 2011 4pm- 7pm to learn about the trials of runaways and some of the dangers they face while out on the streets.
Open mic, singing, dancing, poetry, and spoken word will be from 5:30-6:30.

5013 Hazel Avenue. Philadelphia, PA 19143. 215-397-4287
The Venue is at PathWaysPA Basic Center Program

First Nationwide Test of the Emergency Alert System

Today at 2:00 the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Emergency Management Agency will conduct the first nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System. This test is key to ensuring the nation is prepared in the event of a natural or other disaster. It is a way the public can receive critical and vital information if it is ever needed.

The test may last up to three and a half minutes and will be transmitted on radio and television stations through out the country.

For more information about the nationwide Emergency Alert System test, please visit and

PathWays PA E-Alert: November 7, 2011

Federal Updates

Quilting to Help Ensure Pennsylvanians are Covered

Right now in Congress members of a Super Committee are working to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion.  Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey is one of the lawmakers on this Super Committee.
Help urge Senator Toomey to stand up for Pennsylvanians byjoining the Keep Pennsylvanians Covered quilting campaign. Before the November 23 deadline, the group will present Senator Toomey with a quilt crafted by volunteers.  Share your message to be featured on a patch! Email Athena to have your health care message included.
Also be sure to check out the Virtual Quilt. Hover your cursor over or click on one of the panels in the quilt to the right to read a message in support of preserving health care for Pennsylvania families.

Pennsylvania Updates


The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is the energy assistance program that helps thousands across the state afford t…

Help End Human Trafficking in Pennsylvania

Last month, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (SB 338) was unanimously voted out of the Senate Labor & Industry Committee. This state legislation would require posting of the National Human Trafficking Hotline - 1-888-3737-888 - so trafficking victims can call to get help or individuals can call if they see anything suspicious.

In order to keep SB 338 moving forward, we need to keep the pressure on by generating as many calls as possible to key members of Senate Leadership to ask them to bring SSB 338 to the Senate floor for a vote ASAP. The calls need to go to the following two Senators in particular:

• Senator Dominic Pileggi (Majority Leader) 717-787-4712
• Senator Jake Corman (Appropriations Committee Chair) 717-787-1377

Below is a script you are welcome to use:

“Hi, my name is ______________. I am calling to ask Senator ____________to swiftly bring SB 338, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act, to the Senate floor for a vote. Th…

Tenth Anniversary of National Runaway Prevention Month

This November marks the 10th anniversary of National Runaway Prevention Month. This month is designed to raise awareness about the serious problems that runaway youth must handle, and to display how important is is to prevent runaways.

The Family and Youth Services Bureau, the National Runaway Switchboard, and the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth have joined together to organize a series of events to educate and increase awareness of runaway youths. Throughout the month, they encourage people to take to social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to start a discussion on the problems facing runaway youths. The NRS website offers tips on how to get started. Finally, they encourage workplaces to set up a "Green Sock Day" during November, and send pictures of all of their employees wearing bright green socks to the NRS, to raise awareness.

If you'd like any more information or would like to know more ways to particpate in National Runaway Prevention month…

Get Out the Vote!

Today is Election Day, and a chance for your voice to be heard on the issues that matter to you. Please vote today so that our families, friends, and workforce can have more opportunities to succeed tomorrow!

Below is some information on voting that might be helpful for those of you who live in Pennsylvania.

If you are registered in a state other than Pennsylvania, please visit to find your polling place, determine if you are registered, and to answer other questions.

Who is running for office today?

In Pennsylvania, we are electing elect members of local government, such as mayors, council people, township supervisors and district judges. To see exactly who will be on your ballot, visit and type in your information.

Do I have to register to vote?

In Pennsylvania, voters must be registered 30 days prior to each election. If you are not sure if you are registered, you can confirm your registration status in the Pennsylv…

November 18, 2011 - The Homeless Advocacy Project & PECO Present a Free Birth Certificate Clinic

The Homeless Advocacy Project and PECO Present a Free Birth Certificate Clinic

When: Friday, November 18, 2011 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Where: Project H.O.M.E., 1515 Fairmount Avenue, (Backspace), Philadelphia, PA 19130
Who: Open (and free of charge) to homeless individuals and families and those at risk of homelessness

Birth certificates are often needed to receive medical assistance, housing and other public benefits, to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s or nondriver’s license, for access to many public buildings, for general identification and for many other purposes.

Homeless individuals who attend this free clinic will meet with an advocate who will request birth certificates for them and their minor children free of charge.

For additional information, please contact Homeless Advocacy Project at 215-523-9595 or visit us at

Harrisburg Update

Last week, the Senate sent two major pieces of legislation to Gov. Tom Corbett’s desk, aimed at boosting safety for Pennsylvanians on the road and for students on the playing field. Lawmakers gave final approval to a measure that prohibits motorists from sending, receiving or reading text messages while driving. That measure passed the Senate on Tuesday with a 45-5 vote, one day after the House also overwhelmingly approved it. Mr. Corbett has spoken harshly about seeing drivers navigating their vehicle while their eyes are glued to a cell phone screen, and plans to sign the bill. Click here to read the Pittsburgh Post Gazette article.

PathWays PA 33rd Anniversary Celebration Honors 2011 Trailblazers

On November 1st, PathWays PA celebrated its 33rd Anniversary, by hosting an evening “PathWays to the Stars” and honoring Trailblazers in the community whose lives and leadership make an impact in our community.

In commemorating over three decades of helping low-income women, children and families in the Greater Philadelphia region achieve self-sufficiency, PathWays PA honored six local community leaders and organizations with the 2011 Trailblazer Award.

Honorees receiving the Trailblazer Award included: The Delaware County Daily Times; Kyra McGrath, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, WHYY; Juliet Welker, President, Coldwell Banker Welker Real Estate; Laney Vogt, Adopt-a-Family Advocate; QVC; and Yvonne Norris, President and Co-Founder of LimNorris Consulting Group. These individuals and companies have been chosen for their contributions to helping those in need as well as improving the quality of life in the community.

From the Delco Times "Heron's Nest"- "A honor from an honorable group: Pathways PA"

I had the good fortune to represent the Daily Times last night as the newspaper was honored by Pathways PA with one of their Trailblazer Awards.  It was us, and in fact all of Delaware County, who should be honoring them.  For 33 years, Pathways, based in the Holmes section of Ridley Township, has offered crucial services to needy women, children and families.  They provide the glue that very often holds shattered families together. To read more, please visit