The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

Solutions Based on Science and the Human Experience

My car needs tires. I don’t have money to put tires on it. There’s a lot of money I don’t have that needs to go into my car. It also needs a tune up, an oil change and a new bumper. My car is due for inspection by the end of this month. I don’t know what I’m going to do without my car because I bring my child to school in Scranton and I live in Peckville which is a twenty minute drive.

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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