Poverty's Edge

The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley's take on poverty, how it affects our communities, and what we're doing about it.

22 Apr

PRESS RELEASE: DEMOLITION OF BLIGHTED PROPERTY ON SIXTH STREET TO BEGIN THIS MORNING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  For more information: Jessica Dreistadt  610-435-1490   Clearing of Site Will Make Way for Expansion of the Sixth Street Shelter The building at 221-223 North Sixth Street in Allentown will be razed beginning this morning, with the site cleared within days.   The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, which operates the Sixth Street Shelter, has hired Jerdon Construction Services as the general contractor on the project. Penn Quaker Site Contractors will demolish the building. Details of the agency’s plans to expand the...

28 Mar

United Way Forum on The State Budget: Alan Jennings Offers Comments on the Governor’s Proposed Budget

The United Way held a forum on the state budget today. CACLV Executive Director Alan Jennings was one of the panelists who offered comments on the governor’s proposed budget. His comments are posted below. For more information on the state budget, we suggest you go to http://pennbpc.org/2013-14-budget. You know, when you look down through history at those who inspire us, those we quote, those to whom we erect statues, it is always those who stand in...

07 Feb

Audio: February 7th on WDIY’s Lehigh Valley Discourse: Alan Jennings Talks with former leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” Sister Simone Campbell and Maryann Haytmanek, director of the NCC’s New Choice program

    Sister Simone Campbell was the leader of the “Nuns on the Bus,” the group of activist Roman Catholic nuns who followed U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan on his election-year campaign stops, challenging his proposal to dramatically reduce spending for anti-poverty programs while cutting taxes for Americans in the highest income brackets.  She is the executive director of NETWORK and, in that position, has challenged America as well as church...

11 Oct

October 11th On WDIY’s Lehigh Valley Discourse: Discussing Children’s issues with Marci Ronald and Gregg Dowty.

If, indeed, children are our future, as so many like to say, what might that future look like, given the many challenges our children face: declining resources for education, for intervention when they are victimized by predators, for nutrition programs, limited ability of their parents to save money for their educations or to leave something behind for them, neighborhoods that are unsafe and so much more.  With an election just a few weeks away, the public policy debate...

30 Aug

TONIGHT! August 30th on WDIY’s Lehigh Valley Discourse: Maryann Haytmanek and Kathleen Daugherty

It’s a storied tradition in American politics: pick on the weakest among us. “Welfare” was (re-)introduced into the national political debate recently.  – Alan Jennings Join CACLV’s  Alan Jennings and his guests Maryann Haytmanek and Kathleen Daugherty, both of whom have decades of expertise on the issue.  They’ll talk about the facts, including how many people receive benefits, how much they receive and how many obstacles are in place that are designed to...

23 Aug

Neighborliness – a Nation that Cares

We welcome back Janet Ney, former Associate Executive Director of CACLV.  Janet currently serves as the Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach for the Second Harvest Food Bank  of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania. My sixth grade teacher used to accuse (yes, accuse) us of being rugged individualists when we failed to do what was best for the community.  She did not tolerate those who went their own way with no regard for...

08 Aug

THANKS TO THE NEW MAJORITY ON LEHIGH COUNTY’S BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS, THE AGENDA IS GETTING CLEARER

The new majority on the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners wants to kill the decades-long campaign to extend critical public health services to all residents in our two counties.  I won’t go into a long account of the many merits of making sure people have access to immunizations, that restaurants be inspected so we are reasonably safe from cutting corners that can lead to ugly little diseases like salmonella or even being prepared for a terrorist attack on, say, our...

20 Jul

A Step in the Wrong Direction

We welcome Frank Sabatino, Weatherization Programs Specialist of the Energy Partnership program to Poverty’s Edge.  Frank worked at CACLV in the 1980’s and returned in 2000.  His anti-poverty work began as a VISTA volunteer in 1969.   Here at CACLV, I have worked with programs that help individuals and families with low incomes meet their energy needs for more than 15 years.  Every day during the cold months I get calls from people who range from young working mothers and fathers to...

17 Jul

NOT JUST A DREAM…

We welcome back to Poverty’s Edge Jennifer Hernandez-Reyes, the Communication and Reporting Coordinator at the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS). I was recently watching the Olympic trials for the USA teams. The look on the faces of those who won a spot on our team was priceless. It’s hard not to be proud when you’ve made such an accomplishment in your life. It’s the same face that we see here at the shelter when a family moves...

28 Jun

FAIR HOUSING PRESS CONFERENCE ON JUNE 26, 2012

Allentown, like so many cities, has challenges that, under the best of circumstances, cause disinvestment, concentration of poverty, diminishing tax base, substandard housing and public school issues that feed on each other, accelerating as they do.   Even a mayor as good as Ed Pawlowski must wonder whether God is on his side. The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley has a long history of joining the cause, fighting the good fight, hoping to improve the odds.  Our approach rejects the...

29 May

THE FRAY

CACLV has at any time an array of public policy initiatives.  Sometimes we are fighting policy retreat that takes past gains away, sometimes we’re fighting to advance a progressive agenda.  But we’re always in the fight.  Following are some key issues we are watching or are in the middle of the fray: GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT’S PROPOSED 2012-2013 BUDGET To study this budget proposal, one would think our problems are over: deep cuts in human services, education, community and development, and still no...

01 May

We Can Only Do So Much…

We welcome back Jennifer Hernandez-Reyes, Communication and Reporting Specialist at the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS) to Poverty’s Edge.    I am not a garden person.  Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that plants are not my friends.  But as I see the flowers come up year after year with very little maintenance, it got me thinking about our families. Year after year, I see families come into the shelter with very little, yet they seem to blossom while they’re here.  They look to our programs to bring...

21 Mar

Save the Date: Lehigh Valley Fair Budget Coalition to Hold a Budget Forum

The Lehigh Valley Fair Budget Coalition, a group of non-profits and local government organizations, will hold a Legislative Forum in the 6th floor conference room of Northampton Community College’s Fowler Family Southside Center on East Third Street in Bethlehem on Friday, April 13, at 1:00 PM.   A panel of elected officials will listen and respond to real stories from Lehigh Valley residents about how the proposed cuts will impact their lives.  Governor Corbett’s proposed budget for 2012-2013 turns its back on Pennsylvania’s...

02 Mar

The White Shirt: Is Moral Fiber and Character Defined By a Specific Article of Clothing?

We welcome Dolores Singletary, Director of the Work Ready program to Poverty’s Edge.   Dolores has been serving as the Director of the Work Ready program since 2008 and has worked for CACLV since 2005.   Thank you for contributing! Some years ago I worked in a very busy environment that involved multiple retail establishments and property management.  This particular business had a very high volume of public traffic and the environment in general was hectic and chaotic. One of the part-time employees of...

27 Feb

LVRC’s Annual “State of the Valley” Report Released: Alan Jennings Offers The Closing Comments

 On Wednesday, February 15, RenewLV and the Lehigh Valley Research Consortium teamed up to release LVRC’s annual “State of the Valley” report.  The report offered a sobering assessment of the region that should surprise few people.  The report is full of very interesting data.  Alan Jennings offered the closing comments, imploring the nearly 200 community leaders in attendance to pursue solutions with a sense of urgency.  Many in attendance...

07 Feb

A Tale of a Safety Net in Jeopardy

We welcome Janet Ney, former Associate Executive Director of CACLV.  For over 28 years, Janet has enjoyed working in a variety of positions and currently she serves as the Coordinator of Advocacy and Outreach for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania.  Janet is a founding member of the Pennsylvania Association of Regional Food Banks, (now called Hunger-Free Pennsylvania), serving at its President for two terms. In the past, she was a longtime member of the Board...

02 Feb

Update on Occupy Wall Street

We welcome Kathryn Hoffman, Food Stamp Outreach Representative from Second Harvest Food Bank. Kathryn has worked for anti-poverty and human service programs for decades.  Has a Master’s in Educational Policy from the University of  Wisconsin, where she met her husband and lived before moving to the Valley in fall of 1987.  She enjoys her job with CACLV, doing outreach and applications for the food stamp program at Second Harvest.  In her spare time,  Kathryn is active in the local peace and...

18 Nov

No Child Left Behind?

We welcome back Elisa Zaehringer to Poverty’s Edge, Elisa is one of the Planners at CACLV and former Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator for the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania.  Thanks for the post! A perfect storm formed by the combination of a prolonged recession, a national unemployment rate stuck at nine percent, and rising food and fuel costs has left an estimated 49 million Americans living with food insecurity.  Second Harvest has seen a 51% increase...

09 Nov

If the hunger and poverty statistics don’t move your heart… maybe their role in child development will change your mind.

We welcome back Esther Y. Guzman, director of the West Ward Neighborhood Partnership. Esther who is not a stranger on Poverty’s Edge was born and raised in Puerto Rico and is the proud mother of two sons,  Angel Luis & Francisco Javier.  Over the years she has been involved in the fight against domestic violence, Puerto Rican and immigration rights and cultural affairs.  She is a certified trainer for “Diversity & Sensitivity” classes.   Esther has been serving as the Director of...

28 Oct

Timing Is Everything For The Nearly 90 Families Waiting For Shelter

We welcome back Chris Cassidy to Poverty’s Edge, Chris is one of the Senior Planners at CACLV.  Thanks for the update on the expansion of Sixth Street Shelter! With nearly 90 families on the waiting list to get in, the timing couldn’t be better to expand the Sixth Street Shelter (SSS). CACLV will partner with Habitat for Humanity and First Presbyterian Church of Allentown for this project, which will enable the SSS to serve 35 more families a year. This all started...

03 Oct

The Face Of Poverty

Thanks to Staci Bell,  of  Sixth Street Shelter,  for submitting this post! For just a moment, close your eyes and clear your mind.  Picture yourself in the heart of the city.  It is nearly dark outside; a cold wind whips up from the river and stings your skin.  You look down to find a small child tugging on the threadbare coat you pulled from a dumpster behind an apartment building earlier in the day...

30 Sep

Hunger Study Generates Passionate Remarks From Jennings

Yesterday, September 29th, Second Harvest Food Bank held a press conference to announce the results of the hunger study conducted in the beginning of the year (Click here to view our Executive Summary).   Speakers at the press briefing included Barbara Bigelow, Chair of the Advisory Board of Second Harvest, Elisa Zaehringer, Planner, CACLV, Alan Jennings, Executive Director of CACLV, Terry Ryan-Mitlyng, Steering Committee Chair of Christ Church Lowhill...

30 Sep

PRESS RELEASE: SUSTAINED UNEMPLOYMENT CAUSING PEOPLE TO SEEK FOOD ASSISTANCE FOR FIRST TIME

                            Second Harvest Survey Details Problems Faced by People Seeking Help at Emergency Food Assistance Sites             Since “The Great Recession” began in 2007, 76% of those seeking assistance at food pantries and meal centers commonly called “soup kitchens” sought help for the first time.  The Second Harvest Food Bank of LehighValley and Northeast Pennsylvania released the results of a survey of 500 people who have sought assistance at a press briefing today.  The briefing took place at the warehouse...

28 Sep

SECOND HARVEST TO RELEASE RESULTS OF SURVEY OF 500 WHO USE EMERGENCY HUNGER RELIEF

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Report Indicates Sustained Unemployment Hurting People Unaccustomed to Needing Help The Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast Pennsylvania will release the results of a survey of 500 people who have sought assistance from the network of food pantries and “soup kitchens” that serve residents of Lehigh and Northampton counties at a press briefing on Thursday, September 29.  The briefing will take place at 2 PM at the warehouse operated by Second Harvest located at 2045 Harvest...

17 May

What will you do to live in a civilized society?

David Bradley is the Executive Director of the National Community Action Foundation, the lobbying arm of the nation’s more than one thousand Community Action Agencies, including CACLV.  David spoke at our Annual Meeting in October and pretty accurately predicted the outcome of the November election that changed the course of our nation’s politics and its policies. What is clear is that the concentration of wealth in this nation and the decline of the American middle class...

24 Jan

Entitlements, Politics, and Debt… Oh My!

CACLV Planner and Poverty’s Edge contributor, Ryan Champlin, also publishes his own personal blog Bethlehem By Foot. (A permanent link can be found in our blogroll) Ryan describes his blog as “an author’s journey as a new resident in a city without a car, along with a critical look at urban design and a commentary on the impacts of those designs.” As a Smart Growth enthusiast with a commitment to sustainability – who has also been known to contribute...

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