Weekly Newsletter-October 22, 2012

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PathWays PA Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List
Release of the 2012-2013 Standard
LIHEAP Application Online
Human Trafficking Bill Sent to Governor
Shared-Work Program comes to PA
FREE Business Workshop
Lost GA-PA Cares for ALL SURVEY
SIGN-UP Human Trafficking Webinar
October 11, 2012 - PathWaysPA releases 2012-2012 Self-Sufficiency Report

October 17, 2012
Study: 1 in 4 Pennsylvania households struggle to make ends meet 

October 18, 2012
25 percent of Pa. households below poverty standard
Smiles for Life Logo

These items and more are available for sale, with all proceeds benefiting PathWays PA! For more information and to make your purchase, visit www.pathwayspa.org! 

Opportunity Knocks announced that PathWays PA is a winner of the 5th Annual Peoples' Choice Best Nonprofit to Work For Awards. For more information, click here.
You can purchase items for PathWays PA families by visiting our new online wishlist here.
There are five ways to support PathWays PA through your workplace giving program:    

1. United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey: 01619       
2. United Way of Southeast Delaware County: PathWays PA  
3. Combined Federal Campaign: 16357 
Pennsylvania SECA: 4113-0006 
4. Penn's Way Campaign: Designate UWGPSNJ and our United Way number, 01619  5. Don't have a workplace giving program? You can donate directly to PathWays PA through JustGive.org by visiting this site.
PathWays PA has just posted some new job openings! Come see what you can do to help families reach self-sufficiency with PathWays PA!  

October 22, 2012

PathWays PA Releases the 2012-2013 Pennsylvania Self-Sufficiency Report: Overlooked and Undercounted
While the likelihood of experiencing inadequate income in Pennsylvania is concentrated among certain families by gender, race/ethnicity, education, and location, families with inadequate incomes are remarkably diverse.

In terms of race and ethnicity,
* 67% of households in Pennsylvania with inadequate income are White,
* 19% are Black,
* 10% are Latino, and
* 4% are Asian/Pacific Islander.

Of the households below the Standard in Pennsylvania:
* 25% are married-couple households with children,
* 24% are single-women households with children,
* 5% are single-male households with children, and
* the remaining 46% of the households below the Standard are family households without children and nonfamily households (also without children).

Among Pennsylvania householders in families with inadequate income,
* 14% lack a high school degree,
* 39% have a high school degree,
* 31% have some college or an Associate's degree, and
* 16% have a Bachelor's degree or higher.
About 79% of Pennsylvania households with inadequate income have at least one employed adult.

Over half (51%) of Pennsylvania households with insufficient income have one worker, and 27% have two or more workers.

Only 8% of households with inadequate income receive public cash assistance. However, nearly one in three (31%) households below the Standard participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), reflecting the broader experience of this program during the Great Recession.

About three out of four Pennsylvania households below the Standard spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

Of Pennsylvania households below the Standard, more than one in four (27%) do not have health insurance coverage.


The Standard calculates the true cost of living facing American families, illuminating the economic "crunch" experienced by so many families today, with each Standard calculated over the last 15 years documenting the increasing real cost of living.

Unlike the federal poverty measure, the Standard is varied both geographically and by family composition, reflecting the higher cost needs of some families (especially child care for families with young children). The Self-Sufficiency Standard measures how much income a family of a certain composition in a given place needs to meet their basic needs-without public or private assistance.

The Standard calculates the costs of six basic needs plus taxes and tax credits. It assumes the full cost of each need, without help from public subsidies (e.g., public housing, Medicaid, or child care assistance) or private/informal assistance (e.g., unpaid babysitting by a relative or friend, food from food banks, or shared housing).

The resulting Self-Sufficiency Standards are basic needs, no-frills budgets created for all family types in each county in a given state. The Standard does not include retirement savings, education expenses, debt repayment, or emergencies.


The term "poverty" often refers to households living below the official Federal Poverty Level, which is viewed by most economists and policy makers as an insufficient method of measuring need in a community. Focusing on families living below the Federal Poverty Level results in a certain blindness to the very real economic distress being experienced by many Pennsylvanian households. That is, many are struggling in these difficult economic times with incomes inadequate to meet even their basic needs, yet because they are not officially designated as "poor" they are routinely being overlooked and undercounted. In this report, families that are "overlooked and undercounted" are those who live below the Self-Sufficiency Standard but above the Federal Poverty Level.  

The Department of Public Welfare is encouraging Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) recipients to 
apply online this year for assistance in paying home heating.
The department is sending all LIHEAP clients who applied online last year a postcard notice encouraging them to reapply online. bills, a new process that will make the application process faster and will save taxpayer dollars. 
"Paper applications will always be available to our clients who prefer them," Secretary of Public Welfare Gary D. Alexander said. "But, in order to reduce administrative costs within the LIHEAP program, we are taking a different approach this year by encouraging clients to apply for the program online." 

Clients who received LIHEAP last year will have the opportunity to apply prior to the LIHEAP program opening on Nov. 1. By way of the new postcard, clients will be provided with a pre-registration number giving them access to an online application that has already been filled out using last year's data. Clients will simply have to make sure their online information is correct and update anything that may have changed, saving both clients and the department valuable time. 

All online applications are sent straight to the county office to determine eligibility, thereby eliminating mail and hand processing time. In addition, the department will save approximately $75,000 by sending postcards instead of full application packets in the mail. 

"The LIHEAP program is a critical component to helping Pennsylvania families make ends meet by keeping them warm and safe during the winter months," Alexander said. "This is also an example of how the department has looked at each and every program and identified both big and small ways that we can reduce government waste." 

LIHEAP is a grant program that offers home heating assistance to eligible low-income households or families in crisis. Each year, the LIHEAP program serves 392,349 Pennsylvania households. 

New applicants can begin applying for the program on Nov. 1. Previous clients who applied online last year, and those participating in a pilot postcard application program in Lancaster County, should be receiving a postcard. The rest will receive paper applications in the mail. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis.
LIHEAP benefits will be issued beginning Nov. 1. Clients interested in applying online can visit www.compass.state.pa.us
For more information on LIHEAP, visit the Department of Public Welfare's website at www.dpw.state.pa.us.  

Tax Credits and VITA are in Danger!

Policymakers in DC are debating tax policy and budget issues that could have a devastating effect on millions of working families. The Senate represents one of our best hopes to avoid the weakening of important tax credits - but Senators are under pressure and need to hear from you today.
Critical provisions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit will expire after Dec. 31 if Congress doesn't act. The American Opportunity Tax Credit could cease to exist all together. These credits help tens of millions of struggling families make ends meet and stay out of poverty, and - in the case of the AOTC - access higher education opportunities for their children. 
In addition, automatic federal budget cuts are scheduled to take place on Jan. 1, and threaten a wide variety of important supports for working families - including the possible loss of nearly $1 million for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance. Struggling households need Congress to stop those cuts from taking place - and to do so in a way that doesn't, in turn, take new aim at vital priorities such as the EITC, CTC, and AOTC. 

Human Trafficking Bill Sent to Governor
PathWays PA and our Coalition partners are thrilled to announce that the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline Act (HB 235/SB 338) has been passed and is on its way to the Governor's desk to await his signature.   
Human trafficking is when individuals are forced or coerced against their will into labor or sexual exploitation. It is the second largest criminal industry in the world, with an estimated 27 million people in modern-day slavery around the globe, and it is a crime that predominantly affects women and girls. It is happening right here in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 235 will mandate the advertisement of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline in various establishments across the state where victims are most likely to be found. 

Pennsylvania Introduces Shared-Work Program
Pennsylvania recently introduced a Shared-Work Program. This program lets employers considering a lay-off to instead temporarily cut back workers hours and have those workers collect Unemployment Compensation benefits for the reduced hours. Hours must be cut at least 20%, and not more than 40%. To learn more about this program, or to apply for participation, please click here. 

Online Vote Planning
Working America has seen it proven again and again that when voters walk through the process of voting, and thinking about how they're going to do it, they are more likely to actually vote.

So to work towards replicating this trend online, we've launched iamworkingamerica.org, which is an online vote planning tool:

  •   This powerful tool allows anyone to walk through the process of voting, and brings in state-specific informationabout poll hours/ early voting/ absentee voting, etc.
  •   Then, once the plan is made, custom Facebook post text is generated, based on the information that was provided.
  •   About a week before the election, we are going to send an email to plan-makers reminding them of their voting plans.

Haverford Township Free Library Events
Click Here for Library Events
The Haverford Township Free Library is offering two workshops specifically for Delaware County business interested in increasing their presence online. "Technology Tools to Help Your Business" will provide a basic overview of home business technology. It will be held on October 25 at 7:30 AM. To sign up,please click here. 

PATCH Free Tools: Marketing Your Business to Your Community" will be offered on November 1st at 7:30 AM. A representative from Patch.com will cover ways to use their free resources to promote your business. To sign up for this workshop, please click here. 

Both workshops will be held at the Haverford Township Free Library (1601 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083).  

Know Someone Who Lost GA?-Tell PA Cares for ALL
PA Cares for All is collecting data and stories about what has happened to people who lost General Assistance on August 1.  We'll use these stories and any data that we can glean in next year's advocacy.

Here is the survey for individuals 
(or case managers working with them) to complete:
Click Here.  This is the same survey that has been on the PA Cares for All web site since July.  We got a lot of entries the first few weeks, but they've trickled off. 

And here is a survey for providers to complete:  
Click Here.  We hope this will help us paint a fuller picture of the consequences of elimination of General Assistance.  This survey will go up on the PA Cares for All site shortly. 

The United Way provider survey to be sent out this month will also ask about GA elimination, but we hope you'll complete both surveys.  This one is a little more detailed (but still short).

Upcoming Human Trafficking Webinar-Nov 14th, 1PM
Register Now
Registration Fee Applies
Hear former Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) explains how to prepare for the Human Trafficking FAR Regulations.

During this 90 minute webinar, Julie Myers Wood, former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the Bush Administration will provide an overview of the pertinent components of the Executive Order that will be applied to contractors and their subcontractors. In the ensuing months, while the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy and the Chief Acquisition Officers for federal agencies work on the implementation of this order, there is much that federal contractors can do to prepare for the rules to be propagated.


The Delaware County Literacy Coalition Presents:
Read. Write. Works-Adult Literacy in Delaware County
We all know the role that education plays in preparing children for their future - but were you aware that more than 35,000 Delaware County adults need additional education to prepare for the present?
Please join us on November 16 to connect with other community leaders while learning about literacy services currently provided, how well they meet the demand of our residents and what this may mean to our local workforce and economic future.   
Attendees will hear first - hand the impact having access to literacy services has had on residents' lives, their ability to find and maintain meaningful work and the value providing these services may have to local employers,  future economic growth and opportunity.
Please join us on November 16 to connect with other community leaders while learning about literacy services currently provided, how well they meet the demand of our residents and what this may mean to our local workforce and economic future.   

Click to RSVP or by calling/emailing Debbie Callahan at 610-713-2202.   


PathWays PA is celebrating 34 years of service to the Greater Philadelphia community. Join us as we celebrate our mission and our 2012 trailblazers. The event will take place on Friday, November 2nd, 2012, from 6:30 to 10:30 pm at the Union League of Philadelphia's Lincoln Hall, 140 South Broad St, Philadelphia. Enjoy a live auction and silent auction! All proceeds raised at the event will help over 6,000 low-income
families in the Greater Philadelphia Region. 

For more information on sponsorship and ads, contact Fran Franchi at ffranchi@pathwayspa.org or 610-543-5022 x205. Tickets may be purchased online at http://pathways.ticketleap.com. 


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.

This email was sent to policy@pathwayspa.org by policy@pathwayspa.org  
PathWays PA | 310 Amosland Road | Holmes | PA | 19043


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