Showing posts from December, 2011

New Tool to Find SNAP Community Characteristics

From our friends at the USDA.
FNS has created a new online tool to help partners like you identify and analyze the characteristics of SNAP in your community. The SNAP Community Characteristics webpage allows users to search for fact sheets by Congressional District. The tool looks at demographic data of all households in the district and then does some comparison of those on SNAP versus those who are not. Demographics presented include: age groups, poverty level, race/ethnicity, median income, and work status. Also included is the total amount of SNAP funds, total recipients and SNAP participation rate for each State.

Many facts can be gleaned from this tool. For example, most SNAP households have working adults, and a majority also have children. In some districts, one may find that there are more demographic similarities than differences between SNAP households and non-SNAP households, except income level.

This resource will be useful to local communities wanting to see th…

PA Budget: State Facing Shortfall Means Cuts for Programs

Yesterday, Pennsylvania Budget Secretary Charles Zogby announced that he anticipates at least a $500 million shortfall for General Fund revenues at the end of the fiscal year. The Commonwealth currently shows a shortfall of $345 million, and mandatory spending for items such as pensions and debt services will increase that amount going into the 2012-2013 budget.

With the lower-than-expected revenue, Governor Corbett is looking at options for a budgetary freeze. The freeze will actually be more like a cut to programs already facing shrinking funding, as frozen funds are generally not returned. According to the Secretary, everything is on the table to be cut, including reductions to education and public safety. This cuts only approach to the budget does not include discussion about any revenue options at this time.

As noted by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, recent tax cuts, both enacted and planned, are contributing to the short- and long-term problem. The Governor's…

Philadelphia Homeless Memorial Day

From our friends at Project HOME Wednesday, December 21, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Broad Street Ministry (Outside), 315 South Broad Street, Center City Philadelphia

Remember * Hope * Heal

On the shortest day of the year, hundreds of Philadelphians will gather to remember those homeless and formerly homeless Philadelphians who died in 2011 and to call for an end to homelessness.
As we gather this year, we recognize that our nation continues to struggle through a time of economic hardships: Unemployment and poverty are increasing, foreclosures continue at a record rate, and shelters and food pantries cannot meet the increased demand. But we cannot forget our most vulnerable citizens, those who pay the greatest price for our economic and political failures.

We use this occasion to call on all Philadelphians and all Americas to wake up and recommit ourselves to ending homelessness.

Warm beverages and ASL interpretation will be provided.

For more information …

PathWays PA E-Alert: December 19, 2011

We at PathWays PA wish you a happy holiday season! This will be out last E-Newsletter for 2011 but we look forward to bringing you updates in the new year! In the meantime, please check our Policy Blog for any updates.

Federal Updates


Recently, the House of Representatives established the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth, a 36 member caucus which aims to give a voice to children in the child welfare system.

In 2012, many members will embark on a listening tour for those directly involved in the system. The Child Welfare League of America is encouraging people to share with Representatives in the Caucus their own stories of firsthand experience and knowledge to help shape debate on the issues.

For more information please click here.


As part of ongoing negotiations to extend unemployment benefits, a recent proposal in the House of Representatives calls for cutting the Additio…

Harrisburg Update

This week the Senate passed a Congressional Re-apportionment plan by 26-24 (SB1249) and sent to the House where it was assigned to the House State Government Committee. That committee voted to report as committed the legislation which provides the boundaries for Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts. An attempt by the committee Democrats to postpone a committee vote until Monday failed on a party-line vote. The proposed 7th congressional district and the changes in the districts in the Lehigh Valley were the main areas of contention during the lengthy meeting which was interrupted by a power outage in the Capitol Complex. The legislation will now go to the House floor for further consideration.

PathWays PA's Adopt-a-Family a Huge Success!

From The Delaware County Daily Times RIDLEY TOWNSHIP — Volunteers gathered at the office of Pathways PA on Saturday to wrap gifts for needy families as part of the organization’s Adopt-A-Family holiday program. “The goal of the program is to have our families — clients in our programs — adopted so they have a Christmas for themselves and their children,” said Fran Franchi, director of development at Pathways PA. Pathways, headquartered in Holmes, Ridley Township, has offices throughout southeastern Pennsylvania and provides advocacy services on behalf of low-wage workers statewide, in addition to programs committed to the development of client self-sufficiency. About 154 donors, including individuals and corporations, adopted 314 families this year through the program, according to Franchi.Bull Market Toys brought a donation of 200 toys to PathWays PA on Saturday, and PECO adopted 37 families this year.

Thanks to everyone who donated even one toy, one dollar, or one gift to a family …

It Has Been a Tough Week for Women’s Health in PA – Help Stand Up for Women!

The bad news started on Monday, when the PA House of Representatives passed HB 1977 by a vote of 146-45. This bill would ban private health insurance plans sold in the yet-to-be established Pennsylvania health exchange from covering abortion services - even if the woman's health is at risk! This bill is now awaiting action by the PA Senate.

The bad news continued into Tuesday and Wednesday when the House and then Senate passed SB 732, the incredibly burdensome regulations bill that threatens to shut down safe abortion providers in Pennsylvania - leaving women without access to this important medical procedure! The bill, which isn't supported by a single medical group, is now sitting on the Governor Corbett's desk awaiting his signature.

This is where YOU come in!
You can tell the Governor what you think about the bill by calling him at 717-787-2500. Below is a sample message you are welcome to use or you can send a message in your own words:

My name is _________ …

Tis the Season for Giving

The holiday season is upon us! It is a time of great joy as families gather to create lasting memories, the warmth of the season filling their homes. But for many homeless women and children in our community, the holidays are like every other day - filled with uncertainty and fear.

At this special, gift-giving time of the year, we are asking for your help. Please assist us in supporting the women and children in our care, who will spend the holidays without a home or loved ones to keep them warm.

Many of our clients have been neglected, abused and have nowhere to go. PathWays PA gives them the stability and security they need to begin to rebuild their lives and care for their children. Often, young moms with babies and small children come into our program broken, scared and confused.

Our caring staff promotes education, teaches parenting and life skills, fosters self-esteem and moves the women towards attaining their life goals, family well-being and self-sufficiency. PathWays PA …

PathWays PA Job Postings - December 9, 2011

Controller/Finance Director (Delaware County, PA)
PathWays PA is seeking an experienced hands-on financial leader to oversee all finance and IT functions. Must have five or more years accounting/financial management experience, preferably in a mid-size non-profit. Bachelor's degree in Accounting required; MBA or CPA a plus. Fax resume with salary requirements to JLM 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 implement daily lessons/activities. Coordinate the activities of the staff and aids in the Learning Center. Supervise all classrooms. Ensure health and safety standards are met within the learning center. Help out in the Learning Center as required to Supervise and provide physical care for children in th…

Join the National Skills Coalition for a Federal Policy Audio Update

From our friends at the National Skills Coalition.
There’s still time to register for National Skills Coalition’s upcoming Federal Policy Audio Update on Thursday, December 15 at 1:00pm EST.

A flurry of year-end congressional activity is likely to have significant impacts on our nation's workforce development system. Congress is expected to take up this week an omnibus spending bill for Fiscal Year 2012 that may include more than $2 billion in cuts to workforce development programs under the Department of Labor, and major restrictions on the ability of working students to receive federal Pell Grants. Congress will also take up a year-end “extenders” bill that may dramatically impact funding levels and participant eligibility—creating new education requirements—for unemployment insurance (UI), and creating new restrictions on the use of TANF funds. And if that weren’t enough, last week saw the introduction of House and Senate bills to eliminate dozens of federal job training program…

PathWay PA E-Newsletter: December 12, 2011

Federal Updates


The Pathways Back to Work Act (S. 1841, H.R. 3425) is meant to address the ongoing jobs crisis that has left over 13 million people out of work, millions more underemployed and a disproportionate number of individuals that experience barriers to employment without access to employment opportunities. The measures within the bill are based on successful and widely implemented state and local efforts and would create employment and training opportunities for adults and youth, benefit employers, and promote economic growth. This is a critical step forward in meeting the employment needs of Americans struggling with high unemployment and for those experiencing hardship.

Please join in telling Congress that helping Americans get back to work must be their priority. Three things you can do today:
Tell your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Pathways Back to Work Act.Keep the pressure on - Tweet Congre…

Maternal Mortality is Up in the US, Yet Fighting Continues Over Birth Control and Abortion

Amnesty International recently released a study showing that maternal healthcare in the US is in crisis. Where other countries have seen declines in the number maternal deaths the US has seen an increase and now ranks worse than most countries in Europe as well as Canada and some countries in Asia and the Middle East.
Some of the highlights, or I should say lowlights, from the study include:
The maternal mortality in the US has worsened, falling from 41st to 50th in the world. In other words, women in the US face a greater risk of maternal death than in 49 other countries.Over 4 million women in the US give birth each year, and the hospital bills for this care reached $98 billion. The US spends twice as much as any other country surveyed on the fees charged by maternal health care providers.Women living in low-income areas across the US were twice as likely to suffer a maternal death as women in high income areas. Why is the US doing so poorly when it comes to caring for women giv…

PathWays PA E-Alert: December 5, 2011

Federal Updates

The latest figures from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) have found that economic recovery has been slower coming to women:
According to the most recent Quick Figures on the topic (released in November), men have regained 30 percent of the jobs they lost since December 2007; while women have only regained 17 percent. In sheer numbers, the job gap between men and women stands at 1.5 million.

The IWPR/Rockefeller survey showed that many women and families are facing hardships in the recovery. In some cases, women and mothers are being forced to cut back on items such as insurance or visits to the doctor for themselves and their children. For more information on the IWPR/Rockefeller Survey, please visit the website

For more information, visit the IWPR website.


Congress is currently debating the content of the next Farm Bill – which, among othe…