The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience
At work

"I found this security job on my own. I've always found jobs on my own because the welfare-to-work programs they send you to they never work for me. It’s kind of crazy because you sit there and they just tell you a bunch of stuff about how you have to have your hair. Like one day they put me to work there and they told me I needed a resume done. I don’t know how to mess with a computer so they told this lady, and she just puts me at the computer and leaves. She didn’t even help me. I got so stressed I left. They told me that if you leave and you never come back that you get sanctioned."

Access to Technology

Ensuring that families have access to computers and the Internet can help adults search for jobs, submit resumes, take courses online, find housing, and stay connected to the wider world.  Access to the Internet and the 24/7 news cycle our society has become accustomed to also helps facilitate civic engagement.  Unfortunately, over 40% of Philadelphians do not have computer and Internet...

Current Issue –

To address the "digital divide," the City of Philadelphia recently developed the Freedom Rings Partnership which brings Internet access, training, and technology to communities citywide.

Just as important as having access to a computer is knowing how to use it.  More and more jobs require employees to have basic computer skills, but for low-income households not accustomed to having a computer at home, basic training can be hard to find.  In the spring of 2011, members of Witnesses to Hunger worked together to complete an 8-week computer skills class, each earning a laptop...

Current Issue –

While Philadelphia's EARN Centers offer some computer training to help TANF recipients search for jobs, the trainings do not always include the range of skills (i.e. proficiency with email and Microsoft Office software) that individuals need.  Additional funding and enhanced training at EARN Centers will help struggling parents increase their skills, as well as their chances of securing well-paying jobs.

While some may argue that access to a cell phone is not essential for survival, consider all of the circumstances in which those without a cell phone can find themselves at risk.  Elderly and disabled individuals may need medical help.  Those traveling alone at night may need to call the police.  Families with inconsistent access to transportation may need to call for a ride.  Job seekers...

Current Issue –

– In Pennsylvania, two programs offer free cell phone service – Assurance Wireless (from Virgin Mobile) and SafeLink (from Tracfone Wireless).

 

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