Over 22 million U.S. households are enrolled in the The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), that is equal to roughly one in six of all Americans. ACP is a federal benefit that helps low-income households that qualify pay for internet services and devices.
The one-time funding for the program that was appropriated by Congress is set to run out by April 2024. Congress may approprate additional funds but it is not guaranteed so the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must operate as if the program will end.
Dates to know:
The official last fully-funded month will be announced in late February. ACP households will receive further instruction after this confirmation. Providers must offer additional opt-in to continue service if the consumer had not already been an active customer prior to applying the ACP benefit or if the ACP benefit covers the entire cost of a customer’s bill.
Notifications To Look For:
2) 15 days after FCC announcement of last fully-funded month of ACP
3) During the customer’s last bill or billing cycle using the ACP benefit
*Provider Notifications 2 & 3 must state the ending date of ACP and date of the last bill it will be applied to, bill amount without the ACP benefit OR statement that the customer will be subjected to undiscounted rates per term conditions, and give them the ability to change their service and/or to opt out continuing service at the end of ACP.
HR 219 is a resolution in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives that, if approved by the full House and the Senate, directs the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a study of emergency childcare and provide recommendations.
HR 219 was reported out of the Children and Youth Committee with a vote of 24 to 1. The Committee colleagues from Philadelphia – Representatives Bullock, Bellmon, Krajewski – voted ‘Yes’ on the resolution. The bill now goes to the House for a full vote. If it succeeds, it would then be sent to the Senate for agreement.
HopePHL manages the Baring House, one of the three crisis nursery centers in Pennsylvania. We know first-hand the needs of parents who are in a crisis and in need of emergency childcare. Many of our families are seeking emergency health care and come to us via CHOP or Jefferson. Other parents are homeless and trying to attend job fairs or job interviews. The city and the state need more crisis nursery centers.
ACTION STEPS: Contact your state representative and urge them to support HR 219.
Find your Representative here: PA House of Representatives (state.pa.us)
We thank our Pennsylvania Congresspersons Dwight Evans (Philadelphia, left), Chrissy Houlahan (Chester, middle), and Mary Gay Scanlon (Delaware, right) for signing onto a letter pressuring the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to respond to data showing the decline of support for families and children experiencing homelessness.
Led by Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Morgan McGarvey (D-KY), our three Congress persons joined 22 of their colleagues in drawing attention to the decline in federal housing assistance programs for families with children.
The information they are sharing is shocking! The letter asserts that the Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, one of the largest federal housing programs that can help prevent homelessness, shows that families with children have received a smaller share of voucher recipients over the last decade.
Read the press release here.
Action Steps: Don’t agonize, Organize! We joined SchoolHouse Connection in supporting a set of actions to address the declining support.
Read SCH’s analysis here.
HopePHL organized a coalition to venture to Harrisburg to educate key staff and legislators on October 10 and November 15. For the later event, we joined in with two related efforts for a full day of advocacy for the November event.
We joined in the staff from various ‘Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness’ networks led by the indefatigable Sonia Pitzi, Regional Coordinator from the Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12. Sonia organized a rally and press conference held in the Main Capitol Building and attended by more than 75 advocates.
The second effort was organized by a number of Allegheny-county based agencies, including the Homeless Education Fund, in partnership with the National Network 4 Youth. They joined the rally and also met with state legislators on four different proposals on various aspects issues relating to youth homelessness.
HopePHL was given the opportunity to provide data at a public hearing of the House Education and Human Services Committees, organized by Philadelphia’s Representative Donna Bullock. More than twenty-five legislators heard a number of shocking challenges confronting the 40,000 children and youth experiencing homelessness in the Commonwealth.
Joining the day were HopePHL Board members Mike Verrill and Brandon Weber (picture above) with Rep. Bullock.
The American Rescue Plan directed a one-time $32 million infusion of support to the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Pennsylvania budget for the Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) program. ECYEH expanded its capacity, as did many school districts and charter schools, to provide staffing, train school personnel, and provide direct services like uniforms, transportation, motel stays, mentoring, summer programming, school supplies, and more.
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