Stay Connected to Hurricane Ida Updates & Resources! FEMA Deadline has been extended to December 10.
Montgomery County Resources: Individuals in need of comprehensive services are encouraged to visit the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at Montgomery County Community College, Health Sciences Center, Educational Gymnasium, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more here.
Montgomery County Hurricane Emergency Relief (HERE): Montgomery County is committed to ensuring that residents with unmet needs due to Hurricane Ida are connected with necessary support services, such as temporary housing, veterans’ benefits, and food, as well as with services for seniors and children. The County is asking impacted residents to complete this brief and secure survey as soon as possible so that the County has all of the information required to continue to support needs: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/df7fceee47a84a08a42665bd1790c103
Montgomery County has partnered with the Montgomery County Foundation to stand up an emergency disaster fund to support people impacted by Hurricane Ida. All donations to this fund will support non-profit agencies serving Montgomery County individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Ida. Funds can be utilized to support housing, food, gasoline, and household needs, such as cleaning products, hygiene products, bedding, towels, and clothing. Learn more and donate here!
ACLU has filed a federal complaint alleging Central Bucks has created a ‘hostile environment’ for LGBTQ students. The ACLU has requested the Department of Justice and Department of Education investigate and order the Central Bucks School District to take steps to support its LGBTQ youth in schools. Learn more here.
The African American Policy Forum invites you to an interest meeting for their “Books Unbanned: From Freedom Riders to Freedom Readers Book Club!” This meeting is for individuals interested in becoming conductors, or individuals who host conversations and Freedom Circles (reading circles) to move forward with momentum towards a multiracial democracy! The next interest meeting is December 8, 4pm, Zoom. Register here. Learn more about their #BooksUnBanned campaign here.
Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition. “Anyone can become an advocate – you just have to want to. Whether you are a beginning advocate or an experienced veteran, this interactive presentation is a self-directing guide for learning how to advocate and for improving your advocacy skills.” Review the PPT or PDF slides.
BUILD Initiative: Philadelphia’s Early Learning Community Speaks Out: An Action Plan for Quality Improvement. The BUILD Initiative partners with state and community leaders to promote equitable, high-quality child- and family-serving systems that result in young children thriving and learning. BUILD envisions a time when all children reach their full potential and when race, place, and income are no longer predictors of outcomes.
The Campaign for Trauma-Informed Policy & Practice (CTIPP) is offering to partner, coordinate, and set up the logistics, so you can virtually brief your U.S. Senate and House representatives on trauma-informed policies and practices in your community, sector, or system. Email the CTIPP Director of Government Affairs Jen Curt (email@example.com) to start the process.
The Central Bucks School District on Tuesday voted 6-3 to ratify a library policy that targets “sexualized content” in school library books, and that has been deemed by library experts as one of the most restrictive in Pennsylvania. The superintendent says it’s not a ban, but many parents, library advocates, and civil rights groups disagree. Read more here.
Children First (formerly PCCY):
COVID Alert PA is the official mobile app by the Pennsylvania Department of Health that uses the Exposure Notification System provided by Apple and Google. You can download the app now.
Covidtests.gov – Get free Covid tests from the government! You can order a test from COVIDTests.gov, which the federal government will send out at no cost — including no shipping fees. Learn more here.
Department of Education – Schools Have New Tool to Ease Substitute Teacher Shortage. The General Assembly recently passed Act 91 to help schools find substitute teachers to fill critical staffing shortages caused by the pandemic. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has released guidelines for schools to follow in taking advantage of the law. Act 91 provides additional pathways for quality individuals to pursue and complete certifications and enter the educator workforce. Specifically, the law creates a new Classroom Monitor Permit for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. A classroom monitor may be employed to provide coverage and deliver preplanned assignments in classrooms. Click the links to learn more. Thanks to Senator Bob Mensch for sharing this information!
Foundations Community Partnership has a new series, #FCPresents. Their launch with Chad Barger, CFRE, shares great fundraising ideas, instruction and resources! Tune in and stay connected!
The Foundation of Our Economy Pennsylvania Educator Workforce Strategy 2022-2025 – Pennsylvania faces an educator workforce crisis. While the overall numbers of new educators entering the profession continues to decline, the rate of educators leaving the profession continues to accelerate. As a result, schools are facing a harder time filling critical staff positions than ever before. These staffing shortages are felt most acutely by schools serving the highest proportions of low-income students and students of color—the children bearing the brunt of our inequitable educational system, its policies, and practices.
HealthSpark Foundation. State of the Safety Net: 2020-2021 Report. Over 60 respondents to the Montgomery County State of the Safety Net Survey, conducted in 2020 and again in 2021, provided their feedback on the impact of the pandemic on their nonprofit’s operations, programs, staff, and board. The survey was fielded by HealthSpark Foundation and included a representative group of the county’s social safety net providers. Read the 2-page fact sheet or full report.
Housing Alliance of PA has updated its county fact sheets that provide a brief look at the housing challenges experienced by families in each county of the commonwealth and shows a few of the ways counties are overcoming those challenges. Review the fact sheets here (March 2021).
Monkey Pox – Here’s how to find monkeypox vaccines in Philly, Pa., N.J., Philadelphia Inquirer. In Montgomery County, vaccine is available to people who have had close contact with someone who has monkeypox or people who have a high risk of having been exposed. The county is offering vaccination by appointment only. For more information contact (610) 278-5117. Chester, Delaware, and Bucks counties do not have information posted specifically about availability of vaccines, though Bucks County’s health department noted it does not have enough vaccine to provide doses for people who have not been exposed to the virus.”
Montgomery County announces a Recovery Office to manage funds received through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The County is committed to utilizing the $161 million it will receive through this act in a bold, innovative, equitable manner. Learn more! Review the July 1, 2021 Commissioners Board Meeting overview here. Share your ideas and feedback for County funding priorities! Complete the form here.
The Montgomery County Recovery Office released draft funding recommendations for use of $161.4 million in Pandemic Recovery Funds for public comment. The Draft Recovery Plan recommends investment into priorities identified by the community and consistent with the allowable uses of these funds, including:
Learn more: https://www.montcopa.org/3821/Recovery-Office
For the town halls on the MontCo Pandemic Recovery Funds draft recovery plan, please see this presentation overview or visit www.montcopa.org/
The Open Link is excited to introduce you to their new Executive Director, Monique Hendricks! Monique, who began her role on July 5, brings a myriad of public service experience to the position including 28 years’ experience working for local and state government agencies, for-profits and other non-profit organizations. Learn more, and stay tuned for more info on upcoming meet-and-greet events with Monique at The Center!
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding residents that enforcement of the federal REAL ID Act will begin May 3, 2023. As of that date, you will have to present a federally accepted form of identification to board a commercial domestic flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. Federally accepted forms of identification include a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. passport or passport card or a military ID.
To date, approximately 1.6 million Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID product. However, REAL ID is not mandatory. PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs. Full enforcement of the law has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was hindering efforts to process REAL ID applications across the country.
To learn more about REAL ID and how to obtain one, visit penndot.gov/REALID or contact our offices. Thanks to Rep Pennycuick for sharing!
The PA Link has employed Folklorist Darcy Fair to conduct conversations with seniors and those living with a disability in Bucks, Chester & Montgomery counties to document their experiences. Are you interested in talking about your life and leaving a legacy for your descendants? Imagine, 100 years from now, somebody could hear your story in your voice! The recorded interviews will live online on the Story Corps Archives, a part of the Library of Congress. Learn more! Contact Elizabeth Doan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pennsylvania’s Pre-K Counts Program. Kindergarten Impacts of the Pennsylvania Pre-K Counts Program: A Statewide Evaluation, Principal Investigator, Ellen Peisner-Feinberg. “The results of this evaluation demonstrate positive benefits on language and math skills in kindergarten for children who attended PA PKC compared to similar children with no prior ECE experience in the 2 years before kindergarten.” Read the evaluation report here and click here to read the Pre-K for PA Report: Invest in Quality: A Case for Paying Closer to What High-Quality Pre-K Costs
Policy Map: Dig deeper into place-based data, gain insights to issues, and monitor trends and reports. The PolicyMap combines extensive data indicators with a state-of- the-art mapping platform and expanded analytics.
Ready Nation. Female Labor Force Participation is Key To PA’s Economic Recovery. Policymakers must address the commonwealth’s child care crisis and help women return to work. Read the report here. Watch the October United Way of Bucks County webinar on this report and topic, “Working Women UNITED for Child Care.”
Safe Haven Center of Laurel House is officially open, after a nearly 10-year campaign! Congratulations to this team and thank you for this safe haven in our community! Learn more and watch the ribbon-cutting ceremony, with information included on their final campaign and registry needs!
SEPTA Bus Revolution – Stay connected to the SEPTA Bus Revolution! Read their newly-released report on the state of the system and market analysis. An executive summary offers a synthesized review of the underlying market and need for transit services together with network-level opportunities for improvements. https://www.
Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity – Highlights the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA), which is promoting more productive narratives around poverty that support different perspectives and lived experiences. In the first video in a three-part series, Tracy Wareing Evans, president and CEO of APHSA; Karen Heller Key, founder of Heller Key Management Consulting; and Rodney Adams, CEO of R. Adams & Associates and former director of the Mecklenburg County (NC) Department of Community Resources share what they think can be done to change narratives. What are some practical ways to change narratives? According to Adams, it is important to “unpack the lived experience of families, how they see things, how they evaluate success and begin to evaluate the work … through that lens.” See the video series here.
USDA’s Household Food Security in the United States in 2020. Read the newly released report here, with this data snapshot provided by the Coalition Against Hunger: “While the rate of food insecurity for US households as a whole was unchanged since 2019 (10.5%), the data once again reveal the disparate impact of the pandemic upon Black and Hispanic households, and all households with children. Rates of food insecurity were statistically significantly higher for: Black (21.7%) and Hispanic (17.2%) households; all households with children (14.8%, and even higher for households with children under age six at 15.3%); and households with children headed by a single woman (27.7%) or a single man (16.3%).”
United Way of PA. ALICE Reports and Data. “ALICE represents the 27% of Pennsylvanians who work, but struggle to survive. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.” Click here for the latest ALICE Report, released early 2021 and Click here for ALICE data by County, COVID-19 Impact, and other resources.” Or, explore ALICE data in the United Way of PA Research Center with various mapping tools available.
Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce has a New Executive Director! The UPV Chamber Board unanimously voted in November to name Leanne Engle as the new Executive Director of the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, effective immediately. Leanne is a life-long member of the Upper Perkiomen Valley. After growing up in the community and graduating from Upper Perk High School, she went on to study photography and open her own small business, a business she still operates today. Leanne currently resides in Pennsburg with her husband Scott, also a business owner, and their three children. “Entrepreneurship runs in our family,” said Engle. “My family and my husband’s family both operate various local businesses. I am confident I can use my experience and knowledge to deepen my connections with our membership and community. I have a passion and drive for promoting and ensuring that local business owners are able to thrive and make the community a great place live, work and raise a family.” Congratulations, Leanne! Learn more.
Women’s Way hosted a Closing the Gender Wealth Gap forum to discuss the intersections of reproductive justice and economic justice. In that forum and the follow up community conversation, we discussed the very real possibility that Roe could be overturned sometime this year. Watch (or rewatch!) the Women’s Way recording of Closing the Gender Wealth Gap: Intersections of Reproductive and Economic Justice to learn from local experts about how economic and reproductive justice go hand-in-hand. Read about the relationship between white supremacy and abortion access in this op-ed by Elicia Gonzales, Executive Director of the Abortion Liberation Fund of PA.