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Strategies that advance eviction and homelessness prevention are complex, often misunderstood, and poorly utilized. Just as strategies that address homelessness when it occurs, preventing homelessness requires root cause analysis, systems change, targeting of resources, policy changes for organizations and systems, research and evaluation, and using data to plan, establish metrics, and measure progress. This report describes how a local community – Montgomery County, PA – took a strategic look at what was working in other communities and how these strategies might advance eviction and homelessness prevention in their community.
Center for Hunger-Free Communities;
Though Montgomery County is listed as the 20th wealthiest county in the United States and has been ranked the 9th Best Place to Raise a Family by Forbes Magazine, it has seen an extraordinary increase in eligibility for food stamps. Such an increase suggests that families are struggling to pay for food and other basic needs. Food insecurity, known as the lack of access to enough food for an active and healthy life, is associated with an increase in developmental risk, risk of poor health, and poor school performance. Food insecurity is also associated with increased rates of maternal depressive symptoms, exposure to childhood violence, and stress disorders. This report provides a preliminary needs assessment regarding food insecurity and hunger for Montgomery County by utilizing multiple data sources, connecting with key stakeholders, and understanding the immediate and long-term needs of low?income families. It describes a variety of measures for food insecurity and food hardship, showing that approximately 16% of children were food insecure in Montgomery County in 2011. For potentially more severe forms of food insecurity, where people cut the size of their meal due to lack of money, the overall rate rose from 5.0% in 2004 to 8.6% in 2010. Increases in this rate were more pronounced in Pottstown and Norristown compared to the North Penn area. Clearly, efforts at protecting vulnerable citizens in the North Penn area have helped to limit the negative effects of the recession.
North Penn Community Health Foundation;
This report presents a comprehensive system review and outlines best practice opportunities of hunger prevention programs coordinated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, these initiatives -- Pennsylvania's State Food Purchase Program (SFPP) and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) --form Pennsylvania's final safety net to protect against food insecurity. Together, these programs have a significant impact on the food that is in Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Planning Commission;
Older adults who are dual eligible (who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid) face a daunting gauntlet of challenges in healthcare. Despite comprehensive coverage through Medicare and Medicaid, the lack of coordination between the two systems creates often insurmountable problems of access and delivery. Federally-funded Medicare lacks coordination and integration with federal-state funded Medicaid. Ironically, it is these dual eligible individuals who so desperately need healthcare since they have a higher incidence of cognitive impairment (including Alzheimer's Disease), mental disorders, diabetes, pulmonary disease and strokes. Further, they are more vulnerable and frail, have lower incomes, and are more isolated than are non-dual eligible elderly. These problems, in turn, contribute to significant challenges with housing, food and transportation. The challenges with access to care are tragic, expensive and avoidable.The high care needs of dual eligible individuals and the associated costs have driven states and the federalgovernment to seek ways to better integrate and coordinate their care. The Affordable Care Act (2010) is teemingwith initiatives, demonstrations, and new opportunities premised on finding a way to better meet dual eligibleindividuals' healthcare needs at a cost-effective rate. While little has yet been done at the state level, localproviders are starting to test innovative approaches to delivering better care to dual eligible individuals.This report summarizes state and federal initiatives and opportunities for delivering better care to dual eligible elderly. It also presents the efforts underway at the County level and by local providers. Following the informational section of the report, the Workgroup presents nine systems change recommendations to better improve the care provided to Montgomery County's dual eligible elderly. The recommendations may stand alone, each reflecting their own systems change, or may be combined in a more encompassing effort at service delivery system overhaul.There are numerous federal opportunities for delivering better care to frail populations. Some of them are specifically targeted towards the dual eligible population and others are targeted towards other populations, but include a considerable number of dual eligible individuals. In the report, we describe five different types ofapproaches and describe examples of each.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
This bulletin provides an annual snapshot of road safety in Montgomery County and its 62 municipalities. It highlights and compares trends at the state, county, and local levels. This document complements the 2013 Annual Crash Data Bulletin for the Delaware Valley (DVRPC Publication #15023) and is a supplement to the 2015 Transportation Safety Action Plan: Improving Transportation Safety in the Delaware Valley (DVRPC Publication #15022). Analysis in this document was derived from the PennDOT crash databases unless otherwise noted.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;
Integrated Planning and Advising for Student Success (iPASS) is an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support colleges that seek to incorporate technology into their advising and student services. In iPASS, such technology is intended to increase advising's emphasis on a student's entire college experience, enabling advisers to more easily (1) intervene when students show early warning signs of academic and nonacademic challenges, (2) regularly follow up as students progress through college, (3) refer students to tutoring and other support services when needed, and (4) provide personalized guidance that reflects students' unique needs.To study how technology can support advising redesign, MDRC and the Community College Research Center partnered with three institutions already implementing iPASS: California State University, Fresno; Montgomery County Community College; and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The three institutions increased the emphasis on providing timely support, boosted their use of advising technologies, and used administrative and communication strategies to increase student contact with advisers. The enhancements at all three institutions are being evaluated using a randomized controlled trial research design.This report shows that the enhancements generally produced only a modestly different experience for students in the program group compared with students in the control group, although at one college, the enhancements did substantially increase the number of students who had contact with an adviser. Consequently, it is not surprising that the enhancements have so far had no discernible positive effects on students' academic performance. The findings also highlight the potential for unintended consequences. Before the study, each of the institutions had required that certain groups of students see an adviser before registering for classes in the next semester. Each institution expanded this preregistration requirement to include all students in the study's program groups, but at one institution, the requirement appears to have contributed to a small reduction in earned credits.
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest);
This report presents information on the clients and agencies served by The Greater Berks Food Bank. The information is drawn from a national study, Hunger in America 2010, conducted in 2009 for Feeding America (FA) (formerly America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest organization of emergency food providers. The national study is based on completed inperson interviews with more than 62,000 clients served by the FA national network, as well as on completed questionnaires from more than 37,000 FA agencies. The study summarized below focuses on emergency food providers and their clients who are supplied with food by food banks in the FA network. Key Findings: The FA system served by The Greater Berks Food Bank provides emergency food for an estimated 60,800 different people annually.36% of the members of households served by The Greater Berks Food Bank are children under 18 years old (Table 5.3.2).35% of households include at least one employed adult (Table 5.7.1).Among households with children, 78% are food insecure and 37% are food insecure with very low food security (Table 188.8.131.52).43% of clients served by The Greater Berks Food Bank report having to choose between paying for food and paying for utilities or heating fuel (Table 6.5.1).33% had to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine or medical care (Table 6.5.1).27% of households served by The Greater Berks Food Bank report having at least one household member in poor health (Table 8.1.1)The Greater Berks Food Bank included approximately 112 agencies at the administration of this survey, of which 109 have responded to the agency survey. Of the responding agencies, 88 had at least one food pantry, soup kitchen, or shelter.72% of pantries, 62% of kitchens, and 36% of shelters are run by faith-based agencies affiliated with churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious organizations (Table 10.6.1).Among programs that existed in 2006, 82% of pantries, 43% of kitchens, and 40% of shelters of The Greater Berks Food Bank reported that there had been an increase since 2006 in the number of clients who come to their emergency food program sites (Table 10.8.1).Food banks are by far the single most important source of food for agencies with emergency food providers, accounting for 87% of the food distributed by pantries, 63% of the food distributed by kitchens, and 47% of the food distributed by shelters (Table 13.1.1).As many as 97% of pantries, 91% of kitchens, and 90% of shelters in The Greater Berks Food Bank use volunteers (Table 13.2.1).
As nonprofit organizations in the five Pennsylvania counties of Greater Philadelphia (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia) emerge from the financial crisis of the last decade and head into a very different and hard-to-forecast political and economic environment in the future, financial discipline, smart growth and strong governance are more important than ever. Accordingly, many nonprofit executives and governing boards are asking new questions about the organizations they govern. What risks do we face?1 How risky are we in relation to our peers? Are we doing the right things to understand and mitigate our risks? How should we balance financial risk against programmatic reward? What should we do to reduce the potential hardships from financial distress?
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commision;
This report summarizes DVRPC's most recent attempt to identify transit-oriented development (TOD) opportunities throughout the Greater Philadelphia region. Using a variety of demographic, physical, and market conditions, DVRPC has created a rating system that assesses the TOD readiness of over 150 station areas throughout the region. These assessments can help municipalities, transit providers, and developers prioritize transit-supportive investments in the coming years
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commision;
This report assesses trends in auto vehicle trips and transit passenger trips crossing selected screenlines, and cordon linesin the Delaware Valley region. Data collected in 2015 is compared to the years 2000, 2005, and 2010.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
Networking Transportation looks at how the digital revolution is changing Greater Philadelphia's transportation system. It recognizes several key digital transportation technologies: Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, connected and automated vehicles, digital mapping, Intelligent Transportation Systems, the Internet of Things, smart cities, real-time information, transportation network companies (TNCs), unmanned aerial systems, and virtual communications. It focuses particularly on key issues surrounding TNCs. It identifies TNCs currently operating in Greater Philadelphia and reviews some of the more innovative services around the world. It presents four alternative future scenarios for their growth: Filling a Niche, A Tale of Two Regions, TNCs Take Off, and Moore Growth. It then creates a future vision for an integrated, multimodal transportation network and identifies infrastructure needs, institutional reforms, and regulatory recommendations intended to help bring about this vision.
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission;
Many land use and zoning policies address retail and commercial development, but often fall short of creating and sustaining a thriving retail district that fits the needs of the surrounding population. Through the Strategies for Older Suburbs work program of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, staff compiled information about 71 suburban downtown retail districts in an effort to learn what elements were common among successful older suburban retail districts. Short- and long -term strategies were then developed to help local officials revive these districts and further their economic development goals. It is imperative that older communities understand how retail fits into the overall quality of life for a community. Understanding why retailers choose particular locations and what factors local officials may be able to influence, are critical to maintaining a competitive edge in the retail market. Recent retail development trends include building a retail district to meet the demands of the baby boomers, increased ethnic diversity, and affluent households. Communities strive to incorporate these trends and create a shopping experience that has a mix of uses and serves all modes of transportation. This report is organized into five chapters. The first chapter discusses the importanceof downtown retail districts, focusing on retail trends and typologies. Chapter two outlines the result of the field work and evaluates common elements found in the region that contribute to a retail district's success. Outlined for local governments are seven highly relevant factors to consider when revitalizing any retail district. Chapter three discusses applying the building blocks of a retail district to begin the revitalization process. Chapter four provides specific, retail-ready actions that municipal officials can influence such as regulatory compliance, zoning regulations, incentives to attract new retail, and working with partners. Chapter five provides local officials simple calculations on how to determine retail supply and demand. This chapter takes the reader through each step and explains where to find critical data. The report is intended for local governments to begin to think about their retail districts in the larger context of the community's economic development goals and quality of life.