We now know who Pennsylvania’s next Governor will be! Josh Shapiro will be sworn in as the next Governor in 2023 and we hope to pursue the promises that his Policy staff gave to us when we met with them in October.
We asked Policy Director Akbar Hossein how a Shapiro Administration would support homeless children, how it would collect and share data to show outcomes, and how it would support the recent expansions of various programs thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
Mr. Hossein’s first comment was that a Shapiro Administration would work to triple the Housing Trust Fund revenues to help reduce family homelessness. He went to pledge that the Administration would work with CCW to identify other strategies to reduce family homelessness. Mr. Hossein pledged that every state department would be trained to connect young children to high-quality early childhood education.
To a question posed by Paige Joki of the Education Law Center, he said that Mr. Shapiro would support a universal screening tool for the state McKinney-Vento homeless education program. This tool is expected to identify students experiencing homelessness who go to school without support.
The Children Cannot Wait campaign earned what it hoped to get from the candidates – a commitment to support Pennsylvania’s 40,000 children and youth experiencing homelessness and an open door once the new Administration is established.
We look forward to engaging with the Administration to discuss how to implement our proposals. Stay tuned!
Trying to measure outcomes of programs during Covid was fraught with challenges. The BELL Project offers to readers the infographic above that shows our results, but to understand those results, readers need to be aware of the following:
Youth Service Inc. (YSI) celebrated 70 years of powerful work in helping teens, strengthening the family unit, and promoting community safety with an event on Wednesday, September 21st at Drexel’s Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships. The atmosphere was abuzz with warm greetings between YSI former and current employees and board members as they stood in amazement at the gallery of pictures and videos on display, assembled through hours of painstaking effort by board member, Donald Kennel. Guests settled in as they enjoyed delicacies from Philabundance Community Kitchen Catering. Executive Director, Gwen Bailey kicked off the night with stirring reflections of times past, emphasizing the depth of influence YSI has had on Philadelphia youth since her decades-long tenure. She noted, “We were the first agency to provide a group home for teen mothers and babies... Young women who lived there would give feedback years later and say, ‘You gave me the chance that I needed. I didn't know it - but that's what I needed to do so I could learn to be a parent where I may not have been parented in the most optimal way.’"
As board members gave reflections and well-deserved citations from the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania General Assembly, the theme of gratitude for service rendered shaped the messaging of the event. Bailey took a moment to celebrate the exciting evolution pending through its affiliation with People’s Emergency Center (PEC), who shared the night with many PEC attendees present for the celebration. She shared, “We are in partnership so that YSI and PEC will continue providing the quality and supports that families need to have to grow and thrive.” The presentations ended with beaming pictures taken on the Dornsife steps between all guests, signaling a fresh step forward into even greater works for Philadelphia’s children, youth, and families.
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