Regional School Readiness Initiative and Early Childhood Education
United Ways across America and Pennsylvania have been leaders on ECE issues for well over a decade and UWP and its members are no exception.
Work to ensure that Pennsylvania keeps its commitment to its next generation by fully funding pre-K services and ECE programs.
Energy and Utility Assistance
One of the most pressing issues facing clients of United Way partners is an inability to pay utility bills. The deregulation of electricity in Pennsylvania has led to the removal of rate caps and provided more leeway to cut off delinquent households. This has subsequently increased the strain on many families who are struggling to pay their utility bills due to the higher costs.
Advocate for DPW develop multi-year eligibility requirements to lessen the strain on LIHEAP recipients and social service agencies.
Advocate the formation of a high-level advisory committee on energy and utility assistance issues.
Advocate for state money to supplement DOE weatherization funds.
Encourage the state to supplement LIHEAP funding.
Engage DPW in discussions regarding a cooling assistance program to supplement heating assistance.
Pennsylvania State Health Initiatives
United Ways across the country and the Commonwealth aim to improve the greater good, and health is an important part of fulfilling that mission. Pennsylvania is blessed to have adopted a number of innovative programs and policies to keep residents healthy while assisting those who are otherwise unable to help themselves. These include residents who suffer from various hard-to-treat medical conditions as well as those who are unable to afford necessary health expenses or who have trouble promoting healthy living habits within their household.
Advocate for continued funding to programs that have been demonstrated successful in improving family and community health and welfare.
Encourage collaboration between DPW and UW partner agencies to share best practices and improve the efficacy of program efforts.
211 has been one of United Way’s core issues in Pennsylvania for many years. 211 is an easy-to-remember number which anyone can dial for human service needs. It is a single point of contact, providing information about a wide variety of issues to callers. 211 centers are staffed by nationally certified information and referral providers who have access to the most comprehensive database on human service programs and services in the state. United Way supports implementing 211 systems across the country and in the Commonwealth because of the myriad benefits they offer for governments, nonprofits, and citizens who need or want to give help.
Work with the PUC to ensure that all necessary regulatory hurdles are cleared.
Work with PA211 to publicize the launch of 211 services in most of Pennsylvania by disseminating information to our United Way and partners.
Convene partners at the Governor’s Office, DPW, and other state offices to discuss the importance of 211 in service referral.
Campaign nationally for the Calling for 211 Act, and work to get the entirety of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation to cosponsor the legislation.
Pennsylvania lawmakers and the Governor have been unable to agree on a budget and stalemates have resulted for most of the past decade. Budget delays are extremely detrimental to United Way’s partners that depend on budget funding for their operations.
Educate the public about the important role nonprofits play in providing state services.
Advocate legislative reforms to simplify the budget process and increase the probability of a punctual budget.