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PA Ridge Administration Awards Grants to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives To Help Welfare Recipients Become Self-Sufficient.

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 10 /PRNewswire/ --

On behalf of Gov. Tom Ridge, Public Welfare Secretary Feather O. Houstoun today announced that 69 organizations across the state will receive nearly $10 million in state and federal funds to help families on welfare become self-sufficient.

Today's announcement comes on the heels of President George W. Bush's Fourth of July visit to Philadelphia calling for support of faith-based and community organizations.

"These grants will help local organizations develop new strategies to help families make good choices and use their time on cash assistance wisely," Secretary Houstoun said. "This initiative also will help identify family barriers that may keep clients from participating in work, training or education."

The grants, awarded through DPW's expanded Community Connections initiative, are provided to faith-based and community organizations, and to other public and private entities, to help welfare recipients understand the welfare work requirements and to encourage them to participate in activities that lead to work.

Grant recipients must be able to reach out to clients who have significant challenges and have not fully engaged with the welfare support system.

In joining President Bush in Philadelphia last week, Gov. Ridge praised faith-based and community groups for leading America's "armies of compassion."

"By expanding our Community Connections program, we'll be helping faith- based and community organizations to reach out even more to bring hope to Pennsylvanians," Gov. Ridge said.

Community Connections began as a 1999 pilot program conducted by the Department of Public Welfare and Congreso de Latinos Unidos -- a leading provider of social, economic and educational programs in Philadelphia's Latino community.

The pilot reached out to clients on cash assistance who lived in certain sections of Philadelphia and failed to participate in activities that lead to self-sufficiency. Well received by community-based organizations and advocacy groups, it also was highly successful at getting clients to participate in employment and training activities.

Community Connections operates in 20 Pennsylvania counties that have a significant number of welfare clients who could benefit from this community- support model: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Bucks, Cambria, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Fayette, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lawrence, Lehigh, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Westmoreland and York.

DPW held three regional meetings last February so potential applicants could ask questions about the initiative and the grant process. As a result, DPW received more than 160 grant applications.

NOTE: The attached chart provides the grant recipient's name, county of origin and the projected number of families each will serve.

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS AWARD RECIPIENTS

COUNTY ORGANIZATION NAME PROJECTED GRANT

CLIENTS AMOUNT

SERVED

ALLEGHENY GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF PITTSBURGH 250 $150,600

ALLEGHENY COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT ASSOCIATION INC. 75 $56,475

ALLEGHENY LIFE'S WORK OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 50 $37,650

ALLEGHENY HOUSING IN TRANSITION 75 $56,475

ALLEGHENY GARFIELD JUBILEE ASSOCIATION 200 $150,600

ALLEGHENY SUSQUEHANNA REHABILITATION SERVICES 150 $112,950

ALLEGHENY WORKSMITH INSTITUTE 100 $75,300

ALLEGHENY FAMILY SERVICES OF WESTERN

PENNSYLVANIA 50 $37,650

ALLEGHENY TOTAL QUALITY STAFFING 200 $150,600

ALLEGHENY NORTH HILL COMMUNITY OUTREACH 50 $35,780

ALLEGHENY THE CENTER THAT CARES 100 $75,300

ALLEGHENY PRIMARY CARE HEALTH SERVICES 50 $37,650

ALLEGHENY THREE RIVERS EMPLOYMENT-ALLEGHENY 250 $188,250

ALLEGHENY CURTIS & ASSOCIATES INC.-ALLEGHENY 330 $248,490

BEAVER SUSQUEHANNA REHABILITATION SERVICES 100 $96,100

BERKS COMMUNITY PREVENTION COUNCIL OF BERKS 100 $75,300

BERKS ST. JAMES CHURCH OF GOD IN TRUST 64 $48,192

BERKS READING/BERKS EMERGENCY COUNCIL 100 $75,300

BUCKS FAMILY SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF

BUCKS COUNTY 75 $56,475

BUCKS LATINO LEADERSHIP COUNCIL OF BUCKS 65 $48,945

CAMBRIA GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF CONEMAUGH

VALLEY INC. 125 $136,293

CHESTER COMMUNITY, YOUTH & WOMEN'S ALLIANCE 51 $38,403

DAUPHIN TRI-COUNTY OIC 100 $75,300

DAUPHIN VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA 60 $45,180

DAUPHIN CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY OF

PENNSYLVANIA INC. 60 $45,180

DELAWARE CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES 50 $37,650

DELAWARE CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE LEARNING 50 $37,650

DELAWARE COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY OF DELAWARE

COUNTY INC. 59 $44,427

DELAWARE RESOURCES FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INC. 50 $37,650

ERIE ST. BENEDICT EDUCATION CENTER 85 $64,005

ERIE NORTHWEST REGIONAL TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE 77 $39,156

ERIE GREATER ERIE COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY 100 $75,300

ERIE HISPANIC AMERICAN COUNCIL 50 $37,650

FAYETTE LIFE'S WORK OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 90 $67,770

FAYETTE GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF FAYETTE COUNTY 50 $37,650

FAYETTE FAYETTE COUNTY COMMUNITY ACTION 150 $112,950

LACKAWANNA EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY & TRAINING

CENTER OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA 50 $37,650

LANCASTER RURAL OPPORTUNITIES 75 $94,125

LAWRENCE LAWRENCE COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES 115 $86,595

LEHIGH HISPANIC AMERICAN ORGANIZATION 52 $39,156

LEHIGH CATHOLIC SOCIAL AGENCY 50 $37,650

MERCER MERCER COUNTY COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY 71 $53,463

MERCER JANE COs SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS 71 $53,463

MONTGOMERY FAMILY SERVICES OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY 60 $45,180

MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES 50 $37,650

NORTHAMPTON CATHOLIC SOCIAL AGENCY 50 $37,650

PHILADELPHIA CONNECTION TRAINING SERVICES 1100 $828,300

PHILADELPHIA LA SALLE UNIVERSITY 150 $112,950

PHILADELPHIA CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES 50

Partners: Casa Del Carmen, Northeast

Family, Holy Family Center $37,650

PHILADELPHIA PEOPLE FOR PEOPLE INC. 60 $45,180

PHILADELPHIA RESOURCES FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT 450 $338,850

PHILADELPHIA COOKMAN UNITED METHODIST 140

Partner: Neighborhood Action Bureau $105,420

PHILADELPHIA CONGRESO de LATINOS UNIDOS INC. 1200 $671,501

PHILADELPHIA BAINBRIDGE GROUP 600 $451,800

PHILADELPHIA SOUTHEAST ASIAN MUTUAL ASSISTANCE

ASSOCIATION COALITION (SEAMAAC) 100 $75,300

PHILADELPHIA WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION FOR WOMEN'S

ALTERNATIVES 300 $225,900

PHILADELPHIA TEMPLE UNIVERSITY-CENTER FOR

SOCIAL POLICY 650 $489,450

PHILADELPHIA ENERGY COORDINATING AGENCY 1500 $761,644

PHILADELPHIA JEWISH EMPLOYMENT & VOCATIONAL 300

SERVICE (JEVS) Partners: New Hope

Outreach Center, Door Mission True

Light Church $225,900

PHILADELPHIA RURAL OPPORTUNITIES 100 $75,300

PHILADELPHIA GREATER PHILADELPHIA

BAPTIST ASSOCIATION 350 $263,550

PHILADELPHIA UNIVERSAL COMMUNITY HOMES 75 $56,475

PHILADELPHIA WELFARE PRIDE INC. 353 $169,400

PHILADELPHIA CURTIS & ASSOCIATES 1000 $753,000

WESTMORELAND LIFE'S WORK OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 90 $67,770

WESTMORELAND PRIVATE INDUSTRY COUNCIL OF

WESTMORELAND/FAYETTE 60 $45,180

WESTMORELAND DOUGLAS SCHOOL OF BUSINESS 56 $42,168

YORK SALVATION ARMY 55 $41,415

YORK SPANISH COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION OF

CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA 55 $41,415

CONTACT: Susan Aspey or Stephanie Suran, 717-787-4592, of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

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