February 28, 2014 |
THERE WERE many news accounts that referred to the latest round of food-stamp reductions out of Washington as only "small cuts. " Don't tell that to Frankford mom Tianna Gaines-Turner when she goes grocery shopping for her family, including her husband and three kids. Gaines-Turner - who's currently out of work from her seasonal rec job and whose husband is only getting part-time hours in food service - said her family already took a hit of roughly $70 a month when the government slashed the food-stamp program last year, and now she's bracing for the impact of the 2014 cuts.
February 6, 2014 |
Often highly skilled and high-achieving, Asian immigrants are frequently portrayed as America's "model minorities" - cliched as hardworking green grocers, or math-whiz entrepreneurs from the Far East. But a new report on Asian Americans in Philadelphia released Wednesday challenges the stereotypes with a complex portrait of a community composed of more than two dozen countries of origin and mixed levels of attainment. Disaggregating Asians by their ethnicities, the report finds pockets of poverty, gaps in education, trouble securing affordable housing and other critical needs.
January 18, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA A charitable fund used primarily to buy heating oil for poor elderly Philadelphians may be out of money within a week. "It's very dire," said Holly Lange, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Corp. for Aging (PCA), which administers the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians on behalf of a coalition of 22 social-service agencies. The fund is considered a service of last resort - the safety net beneath all other safety nets - because people can receive payments from it only if they have already exhausted government programs that provide energy assistance.
January 13, 2014 |
Fifty years and one day after President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty, LeBaron Harvey was slicing strawberries last week in Cathedral Kitchen, a Camden nonprofit that feeds the poor. Growing up in Camden, Harvey, 32, said he was kept alive by the food-stamp program, greatly expanded under Johnson's initiatives. Harvey learned to be a chef at Cathedral; he hopes to open an Asian/soul-food restaurant. "In the projects I come from, food stamps were a main means of income," said Harvey, quick and efficient with the knife that's become his weapon of choice in LBJ's endless war. "After my [janitor]
January 11, 2014 |
MANTUA President Obama pointed to one of Philadelphia's most depressing statistics - nearly four in 10 children live below the poverty line - as one of the main reasons the city's Mantua section was chosen as one of the nation's first five Promise Zones. The president officially announced Thursday that West Philadelphia, in particular the Mantua neighborhood, would receive federal help from the new Promise Zones program, aimed at cutting unemployment, poverty, and crime, enhancing education, and attracting private-sector investment and jobs.
January 3, 2014
WITH THE new year just beginning, we hope these items of unfinished business from 2013 get the attention they deserve. Money for Education: Despite all that was said and written about the financial plight of Philadelphia's public schools, little was actually done to solve the district's fundamental problem: it lacks the necessary money to do even the basics. The district started the year hundreds of millions of dollars in the red. Despite thousands of layoffs and wrenching cutbacks in staff and programs in every school, it will end it the school year hundreds of millions in the red. In Philadelphia, the situation is desperate.
December 19, 2013 |
Poverty has increased a startling 62 percent in the communities of Lower Northeast Philadelphia since 1999. At the same time, poverty increased 42 percent in Roxborough and Manayunk, while declining 13 percent in South Philadelphia. Those findings come from an Inquirer comparison of 2000 census figures with new data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. The new federal data were contained in the American Community Survey (ACS), a compilation of information collected from 24.5 million people nationwide between 2008 to 2012.
December 18, 2013 |
Carol Seaton lives beside the Brandywine River in the genteel precincts of southern Chester County. On crisp and icy days, "it looks like a Currier and Ives painting around me," said Seaton, referencing the iconic 19th-century winter tableaux of snorting horses pulling sleek sleds through snowy woods. But while the world around Seaton shimmers, her own life is burdened by tribulation. A frequent patron of the West Chester Food Cupboard, Seaton, 58 and widowed with no children, lives in poverty in a tiny log cabin in Pocopson Township, where the median household income is in excess of $120,000 a year.
November 27, 2013 |
The number of children living in poverty in Delaware County increased by 30 percent between 2008 and 2012, according to a new report. Around 21,000 children 17 and under were living in poverty in the county in 2012, according to the report by Public Citizens for Children and Youth (PCCY), a youth advocacy and research nonprofit in Philadelphia. That's a county child-poverty rate of 16.7 percent, PCCY reported. According to the agency's calculations, the Delaware County child-poverty rate is the highest among the four Pennsylvania suburban counties, PCCY officials said at a news conference in the food pantry at the Bernardine Center in Chester on Monday.
November 5, 2013 |
THE PROBLEM is painfully clear: Philadelphia, with more than one in four residents in poverty, is the poorest of the nation's big cities, and has been for a long time. The solution? Impossibly complex. To tackle the issue, Mayor Nutter this year is attempting to reform the city's antipoverty agency, the Mayor's Office of Community Services (MOCS), which for years has been a patronage dumping ground with a scattershot agenda and a budget that's poached by other city departments.