The Affordable Connectivity Program is a benefit program that provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households. Many people who are receiving SNAP, WIC, SSI, or Medicare are eligible.
Comcast specialists will be at this event to sign you up for this important benefit. You do not have to be a Comcast customer - the benefit can be applied to any provider.
Sign up with this link or scan the QR code
Sessions are limited, sign up today! Questions?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 267-777-5811
Matthew Heckles, the Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Region III, and his team met with the HopePHL staff. The goal was to provide the HUD representatives with information to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges related to housing instability, homelessness, and community development: particularly concerning families, youth, and other Philadelphia residents.
The HopePHL team provided a tour of Gloria's Place in West Philadelphia, which is renowned as Pennsylvania's pioneer structure to encompass emergency, transitional, and permanent housing units within a single location.
Before concluding the meeting, the HopePHL team and HUD representatives engaged in discussions concerning inventive approaches to addressing housing insecurity. These included strategies like proactive prevention and diversion initiatives, aid for rentals, and funding to uphold affordable housing options.
School Districts across the state identified 40,000 homeless children and youth in Fiscal Year 2022, enough to fill most every seat at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia School District identified its highest number of children and youth experiencing homelessness – 8,383 in 2022! This is a 7% increase from 2019 and a 94% increase since 2014.
Thankfully, the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) provided $36 million to the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s ‘Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness’ (ECYEH) program, which subcontracted more than $3 million to the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). SDP expanded its capacity to provide staffing to train school personnel in 300 public district and charter schools and provide direct services like uniforms, transportation, mentoring, summer programming, school supplies, and more.
The Homeless Children and Youth Act (HCYA, H.R.5221) was reintroduced by U.S. Representatives Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11,) Bill Posey (R-FL-08), Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03), and Don Bacon (R-NE-02), and co-sponsored by Pennsylvanians Evans (Phila), Boyle (Phila), Scanlon (Delaware), Dean (Montgomery), and Fitzpatrick (Bucks).
A positive step forward for families experiencing homelessness would be a unification of the federal definition of who is homeless and who is not. The Homeless Children and Youth Act would unify the definition, qualifying thousands of families and children for housing supports.
In this edition: Back to School, Heritage West Archaeology Partnership, Upcoming Events, & More!
Children Cannot Wait: Counts of Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness in Pennsylvania by County
New reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) show that in School Year (SY) 2021-2022, 40,003 children and youth were identified as homeless throughout the Commonwealth, an all-time high. This paper summarizes the PDE data, which they have sorted by county and region.
HopePHL works to inform practitioners and policy makers about children and youth experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania.
HopePHL’s series called the “Children Cannot Wait Campaign” (see https://bit.ly/3qAQGIX) aims to increase awareness of children and youth experiencing homelessness. Part 1 explored the data for Pennsylvania; Part 2 explored the data for Philadelphia; and Part 3 examines homelessness in Pennsylvania by county.
Some of the families in HopePHL’s emergency housing today are struggling to find childcare in order to participate in programs and employment. This is one reason why we have joined numerous coalitions to fight for more funding for childcare. The advocate group Children First has permitted us to include a recent email informing the public on how the state budget woes affect childcare.
“The political waters in Harrisburg over the budget are rockier than wave surfing on the Jersey shore. But some sectors are experiencing a hardcore wipeout.
Fortunately, families receiving the childcare subsidy can keep their heads (just) above water through the budget impasse. The state government will continue to fund childcare subsidy payments so parents and providers won’t take a hit. Plus, the child care subsidy was the only early learning program to get any additional funds – $100 million – to fill the loss of federal dollars.
However, providers who serve children through the state’s publicly funded pre-k and Head Start programs are not protected from the crashing waves. The state will suspend those payments, forcing these small business owners with already razor-thin budget margins to take out loans to keep them afloat. And with today’s exorbitant interest rates, many providers will be financially underwater quickly. This could have dire consequences for children.
PA Head Start and HopePHL Release “A State-Level Brief: Participation of Infants and Toddlers Experiencing Homelessness in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania”
This brief builds on the earlier "A State-Level Brief: Participation of Young Children Experiencing Homelessness in Early Childhood Programs in Pennsylvania" (PA Head Start State Collaboration Office, January 2022) and provides a more focused examination of the experience of homelessness for infants and toddlers and their participation in early childhood programs. One is more likely to be in a shelter as an infant or toddler than at any other age.
Key findings include:
HopePHL has summarized homeless education reports from the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the School District of Philadelphia to draw attention to critical needs. Our summary is meant to inform practitioners and policymakers about children and youth experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.
HopePHL is continuing its series called the “Children Cannot Wait Campaign” (see https://bit.ly/3qAQGIX). The report offered today is Part 2; it explores the data specifically on Philadelphia. Last month’s newsletter delivered Part 1, showing data for Pennsylvania. Part 3 will come next month and look at homelessness by county.
By Sarah Vrabic, Project Manager, Everyday Learning Play Spaces
As the Everyday Learning Play Spaces team is busy constructing play kitchens, painting chalkboard walls, and meeting with families to design interactive murals, we are thrilled to simultaneously benefit from the generosity of a new partnership with Barbershop Books!
Barbershop Books aims to expand reading opportunities for young Black children, particularly Black boys, by bringing books with protagonists of color into everyday spaces. Our team became acquainted with the Barbershop books team through another one of our partners, Read by 4th. We realized we had similar missions and a shared goal of enhancing young children's everyday environments so they inspire reading and learning through play for the entire family.
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