United Way of Pennsylvania          


UWP Update - September 13, 2019
UWP and DHS co-present legislative training on how to find resources in communities

On September 12, the Department of Human Services hosted a webinar training for legislative staff to learn more about different ways to locate community resources online. This was in response to requests for DHS to provide printed directories of community resources in communities across the state. About 50 legislative staff registered from 36 different members of the House and Senate, representing part or all of 38 counties in PA. 

Kristen Rotz led off the webinar with an explanation of PA 211, and a demonstration of how to search for resources. She showed the capacity that is currently available, while explaining that we will be making significant improvements in the next six to nine months, and that in the future, we will have a PA 211 web site that houses an access point for searches statewide. Currently, UWP has aggregated the regional search access points into one map so that legislators can click on the county they serve, and be pointed straight to their regional 211's search page. That map is available here. She pointed out guided search functions, and the various ways in which 211's data can be sorted. She also told the group how PA 211 is based on authentic local connections to agencies who provide resources in the community. 211 is also available by phone to help staff who are trying to find resources for constituents. 

Special Advisor to the DHS Secretary, Nora Carreras, then presented on several other access points for information, including the search page offered by Aunt Bertha, and connections to Community Action Agencies. 

A full powerpoint of the presentation can be downloaded  here

UWP submits comments on proposed rule changes for SNAP 
As most of you are aware, t he USDA proposed rule changes to SNAP's Broad-based Categorical Eligibility (BBCE) would limit access to benefits for households with savings and other assets. UWP submitted comments this week, and they can be viewed here

Current rules give states latitude to raise SNAP income eligibility limits so that low-income families with housing and childcare costs, which consume a sizable share of their income, can continue to receive help affording adequate food. This option allows states to adopt less restrictive asset tests so that families, seniors and people with disabilities can have modest savings or own their own home without losing SNAP benefits. A brief with more details can be found here. USDA estimates over 3 million Americans would lose SNAP benefits and over 500,000 children will lose eligibility for free school lunch programs with this rule change.

If you are interested in submitting a comment, please use this template as a guide, which can be customized. You can submit your final comments here on the Federal Register. The federal comment period is open until September 23. To help support your advocacy, please visit our members only section here for SNAP Messaging, a SNAP Eligibility white paper, as well as UWW's comment letter.  Please share this opportunity with your advocates, donors, community partners, and boards! 


UWP's 2018 PHARE Award
UWP is pleased to announce the approval of a $65,000 award of  PHFA PHARE funds  to support the Eastern PA Continuum of  Care Coordinated Entry Service Program, also known as  Connect to Home .   Funds from this award are destined to five Access Sites  that have been identified as high-volume  resources  for Pennsylvanians experiencing homelessness.
The organizations who will receive funding are:
  • BIair County Community Action in Altoona, PA
  • Community CARES in Carlisle, PA
  • Lehigh Council of Churches in Allentown, PA
  • RHD Crossroads in Stroudsburg, PA
  • TBA in Williamsport, PA
At the Access Sites, Coordinated Entry assessments are 
conducted, including mobile community outreach, that connect  more people experiencing homelessness to housing quickly,  efficiently and effectively. Call centers and access sites use the  same comprehensive, standardized assessment for households  that are eligible for CoC housing crisis response system services.   The VI-SPDAT assessment prioritizes individuals for housing  based on economic resources. With limited inventory of low-income housing and housing programs, access to housing will be based on highest need, or  those most vulnerable. Diversion, other counseling and referrals  to non-housing resources (employment, mainstream benefits,  food banks and soup kitchens) will be available regardless of  income.
2019 PHARE Award RFP
If your local United Way or partner agencies are involved in 
housing projects, this may be of interest to you! PHFA has issued  a 2019 Request for Proposals, soliciting applications from  organizations to improve the availability and affordability of  housing across the Commonwealth. The total PHARE funding  available this year exceeds $54 million.     
PHARE applications can be completed entirely online,  and the  RFP is available to be viewed here . Applications are due no later  than 2 p.m. on Friday, November 15.
An informational webinar is being planned by PHFA, which will be  held twice:
  • Sept. 25 - 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
  • Oct. 2 - 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
You can register for either of the two dates for the webinar here.
Questions about the application process may be directed by email to PHFA's  Bryce Maretzki, or by phone at 717-780-1867.
The PHARE fund has been allocating money for housing initiatives since 2012, helping 6,137 people with rental or utilities assistance, rehabilitating 1,972 homes, and creating 1,848 new rental units, 147 new homes, and 377 future home sites. If these projects sound like work that you're already supporting, or have a desire to support in your community, UWP urges you to prepare an application for the 2019 round of PHARE funding!

July and August revenue numbers show decent start to FY 2019-2020, but a bit less growth than last year

For the beginning of the new fiscal year, the PA Department of Revenue reported that collections are $62.4 million, or 1.4 percent above the administration's estimate. However, it is one-tenth of a percent lower than growth during the same period in the previous fiscal year. 

Sales tax and personal income tax receipts were both higher than expected, by 1.8 percent and 1 percent respectively. Corporation taxes were 3.8 percent below estimate, after being a major growth area for much of the previous fiscal year. Realty transfer tax collections are lower than estimated, and other "sin" taxes were basically on-par with estimates. 

The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office has slightly different revenue estimates from the administration, but shows actual revenues exceeding their estimate by $67.1 million. 

UWP seeking a fall intern with experience in data

UWP and PA 211 are currently accepting applications for a fall intern to support our team and increase our capacity while we take on several projects including data compilation and reporting. This will be a paid internship position, with a minimum of 15 hours per week. You can read the full internship position here. Please share this with your local post-secondary schools, technical schools, and other partners who may have interest. 


Please note- we may be extending the deadline for applications, so please continue to share this with interested students. If you have any questions, please contact Maggie.  

Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award Nominations Due October 31st 
United Way of PA is now accepting nominations for our fourth annual Keystone Spirit of the United Way Award. We are asking Local United Ways to use the form, found at this link, to submit a member of the Tocqueville Society who meets the criteria. Each local United Way can nominate one individual or couple for the award.
Award nominees must have an exceptional and sustained personal involvement with United Way in the form of giving, advocating, and volunteering in his or her community and beyond its borders. 
The Keystone Spirit of United Way Award will be presented by United Way of Pennsylvania during an event chosen by the United Way who nominated the honoree. All nominations are due by October 31st and the selection committee will make the final decision for the award winner.

If you have any questions, please email Amanda McNaughton.

Upcoming training opportunities for PA United Ways
Collective Impact and Equity
September 18 2:30PM
Register Here
Join UWW for the Collective Impact and Equity Webinar. United Ways will be able to think through how to advance equity and inclusion in their collective impact work. Learn about the building blocks for equity-focused work and hear how other practitioners have built an equity and inclusion lens into their efforts as they move forward to explicitly integrate equity throughout their work.

ALICE Learning Community Workgroups
September 24 2:00PM Register Here
September 26 9:30AM  Register Here
This opportunity is for our ALICE Committed United Ways to come together to discuss ALICE initiatives across the state. For the time being, both ALICE Workgroups will be focused on both Community Impact and Resource Development/Marketing. The agenda for both Workgroups will be the same and notes from both Workgroups will be shared with all participants.

The meeting will be held via Zoom with a conference call option.

Email Amanda for more info on the agenda. 
Building Your Micro-Influencer Strategy
September 25 1:00PM
Register Here
Influencer marketing essentially scales up the potential of peer recommendations, by borrowing the "influence capital" of widely followed content creators. These individuals can reach thousands - if not millions - of people around the world with a single piece of content. Ready to build your micro-influencer strategy and expand your reach? Join to learn how to find, recruit and engage micro-influencers in your area.

2019 Global Results Framework
September 26 2:00PM
Register Here
United Ways across the network have reported data on the reach and impact they are having in education, economic mobility, health and community engagement. Join United Way Worldwide as they reveal this year's Global Results Framework.
Pepsi/UWW Partner to Launch Cause for Celebration
Pepsi is expanding its efforts with the NFL and United Way this season to launch CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION. For every touchdown between Kickoff (September 5th) and Thanksgiving (November 28th), Pepsi will donate 100 meals - in honor of 100 NFL seasons - to that team's local United Way.
Pepsi announced the Promotion through a press release September 4th, Pepsi social channels and Pepsi NFL sponsored-players to keep the momentum going throughout the season and drive consumers to unitedway.org/pepsi to learn more and donate to support hunger-focused impact work at their favorite NFL team's local United Way.

For the press release and social media toolkit, visit United Way Online.

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