Community Action Association News Update
Community Action Association News Update
CAAP News Update
Harry L. Adrian Jr.
With heavy hearts, Union-Snyder Community Action Agency announced in late-December the passing of Harry L. Adrian Jr., Executive Director of Union-Snyder CAA. Harry Adrian, of Winfield, passed on Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015, in Danville, after a courageous battle with cancer. He enjoyed telling stories and made a lasting impression on all he met with his sense of humor. His energy, mischief, genuine kindness, and love of life will always be remembered by his family and friends. We will all miss the joy and love that he brought into our lives.
Harry Adrian’s Celebration of Life service is January 24th, 2:00pm, at Christ Wesleyan Church in the chapel (363 Stamm Road, Milton, PA). Memorial donations can be made to the Union-Snyder Community Action Agency, 710 Bridge St., Selinsgrove PA 17870.
Legislative Update
  • The Legislative Budget and Finance Committee completed their Study of Family Work Support Programs (Cliff Effect Study) in December 2015.  It is a very thorough, scholarly, and well researched report that aligns well with Community Action’s view (generally speaking) of how public benefits and tax credit programs work in concert to help ensure that low-income families are better off when the parent(s) goes to work, accepts a raise, or increases his/her hours. CLICK HERE to read a summary of the report, and CLICK HERE to read the report itself.
  • The content of the Child Care Cliff Bill (formerly HB 1164) became part of the welfare code amendment bill signed into law as Act 92 on December 28.  CLICK HERE to download the bill summary in its most recent form. The Child Care Cliff Bill smooths out the Child Care "Benefits Cliff". This so-called “cliff effect” describes the phenomenon when a family’s income reaches a certain threshold, they no longer qualify for childcare subsidies. Once a family makes just $1 dollar over the threshold, they lose 100% of their childcare subsidy. In many cases, the value of the childcare subsidy is greater than the value of a raise, which provides a disincentive for families to strive for job growth and raises.
  • The Keystone Education Yields Success Program (KEYS) encourages and assists TANF and a limited number of SNAP parents in enrolling in and completing community college programs.  KEYS provides career mentoring, tutoring, academic support, and additional supportive services for students who are coming out of lives in poverty. The KEYS (formerly HB 934) bill became part of the larger welfare code amendment bill – Act 92. 
  • Congress reauthorized the Workforce Investment Act, which funds the Workforce Investment Boards and CareerLink offices in PA, in a new law known as WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act). In accordance with WIOA, the plan includes strengthened “priority of service” provisions to help ensure that public assistance recipients and other low-income persons stand first in line for education and job training programs. 
CAAP Annual Conference: April 20 - 21, 2016 in Harrisburg, PA
With more than 250 Community Action professionals attending, the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania’s Annual Conference is the largest training and networking event the Association hosts. It features nationally known keynote speakers, 20 workshop sessions, an exhibit hall, and more!
The 2016 theme is: A Measure of Success. This phrase can have different meanings depending on the context. Recently, given an environment of new Organizational Standards provided by the Office of Community Services, 58 new standards help agencies define A Measure of Success. Measures address "Maximum Feasible Participation", "Vision and Direction", and "Operations and Accountability". CAAP's 2016 Conference aims to inform attendees of the new standards of compliance and how leadership, governance, financial management, human resources, strategic planning, customer input, community engagement, community assessment, data and analysis, and more fit in with their organizations' overall strategic vision of eliminating poverty at the local level.
In a more general sense, A Measure of Success will help attendees define success, plot a course towards success goals, and learn how to realize, report, and communicate success achievements to an organization's community, media, association, legislative representatives, staff, and more.
By the end of January, CAAP will post all of the workshops that will be offered at CAAP's Annual Conference along with a brief overview of each workshop's session content. CAAP will also post a brief overview of general session speaker biographies and speaking topics. It's going to be a fantastic lineup!
CLICK HERE for conference information and updates. 
Three Useful Tools for Survey Research… and they’re free
1. Community Commons: Community Commons is a place where data, tools, and stories come together to inspire change and improve communities. They provide public access to thousands of meaningful data layers that allow mapping and reporting capabilities. You can access community health and other Census data and combine that with some pretty cool mapping features.
2. The Pennsylvania State Data Center (PaSDC) Dashboards:  The PaSDC has created their own dashboards to display Census data.  You can export the data and/or graphics for easy placement in Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, etc. The Pennsylvania State Data Center has created dashboards of U.S. Census Bureau data for various demographics of the Commonwealth.
3. Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Advisory Board Data Dashboards:  These are public dashboards that provide information on a variety of criminal justice topics (arrest, sentencing, jails, probation, victim, etc.).  These may be helpful for grant applications.
BECAUSE OF YOU – South Central Community Action Partnership’s Year-End Video
SCCAP, located in Adams and Franklin Counties, produced a wonderful video to thank all of those who supported their community work throughout 2015. Click play below to watch this touching video.
Community Development Program of Beaver County
The Community Development Program of Beaver County provides funding to social service agencies with missions that focus on holistic, and sometimes unique, approaches to recognizing needs and promoting and facilitating solutions to those needs. One of the organizations that Community Development Program of Beaver Co. works with, Tiger Pause Youth Ministry, has had substantial success in its service and commitment to their county’s youth. The following summary was written by Matt Nance, Director of Tiger Pause Youth Ministry, and edited by CAAP:
Tiger Pause, a faith-based youth program that serves families of Beaver County, focuses on redeeming lives, building leaders, and transforming communities. Tiger Pause provides safety and stability, and teaches youth to seize the day with a little Semper Fidelis sprinkled on top. (Semper Fidelis is the Latin phrase "always faithful" or "always loyal" and is the Motto of the United States Marine Corps).
Since 1988, Tiger Pause has been located across the street from Beaver Falls Middle School. Tiger Pause is considered a safe haven for at-risk youth during after-school hours. As Tiger Pause began to grow, so did their understanding of what safety really meant, and where it really comes from. Tiger Pause tells every staff member and volunteer that their number one job is not tutoring or playing – it is to keep the children safe. Most parents want the best for their kids, and providing a safe environment for them is what Tiger Pause does best.
Family is the original health and human service provider. If you visit any of Tiger Pause’s programs, you will know instantly that they build a sense of family. Mr. Nance writes, “We laugh, we cry, and we carry each other’s burdens.”
Tiger Pause has existed for almost 30 years, with over 1,200 customers visiting their furniture bank and coffee shop. They also have a steady clientele to whom they provide work services for a fee. All of these activities have given Tiger Pause a strong presence throughout the community.
How did they get there?
Mr. Nance writes, “we got there by ‘seizing the day’ when opportunities arose.” Tiger Pause was the first organization in over 25 years to develop newly constructed housing in the city. Tiger Pause built five houses on Johnson Alley. They also took five properties located in the core central business district, that were lying dormant in the county’s repository, and spent over $1,000,000 for acquisition and rehabilitation. Not only is Tiger Pause in the business of changing young lives, they are great partners in the effort to revitalize their downtown. In addition to housing, Tiger Pause also built the first and only outdoor water park in the county. The new “splash pad” is located on 8th Avenue in Beaver Falls, conveniently located near the district school campuses.
Mr. Nance writes, “we are in the CONFOUNDING BUSINESS. We like to leave people scratching their heads thinking ‘How in the world do they do all of this?’ to which we would answer: By faith, hope, and the belief that ALL things are possible…”.
Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA)
Currently there are seven VISTAs serving throughout the Commonwealth. These VISTAs are all managing six continuing projects: Decades to Doorways Faith Based (Chester County Dept. of Community Development), CIRCLES-Pittsburgh (2), Data Base Technology (Susquehanna Co. Interfaith), Veterans Resources Guide (CAP-Mercer County), Capacity Courts (CASA of Lancaster Co.), and Food Access (Berwick Area United Way).
Last week, the VITSAs were busy preparing for their mandatory Martin Luther King Day of Service. Monica Zourides, who serves with the Berwick Area United Way, volunteered at the McBride Memorial library book sale for her MLK – Day of Service. Every 3 months, McBride Memorial has a book sale to make room on the shelves for new books, and to raise money to buy those new books. The prices of the books range anywhere from two dollars to only ten cents. They had a great turnout and were able to raise approximately $1,500.00!  100% of the money raised goes back to the library to buy new books, which in turn keeps the community engaged. 
CLICK HERE for more information about the VISTA program or learn how to obtain a VISTA for your agency. 
Strengths-Based Symposium
Temple University-Harrisburg recently announced their Strengths-Based Symposium. The symposium will provide a unique cross-roads for help-givers from various disciplines to connect and explore strengths-based approaches providing opportunities for growth and inspiration. This symposium is essential for direct service workers, supervisors, and directors from a wide range of disciplines, including Community Action. The symposium has been scheduled on June 16, 2016.
Early bird registration fee - $99 per person until June1, 2016. Symposium Registration Opens in Spring 2016. CLICK HERE for more details. 
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