Employee Training and Job Opportunities

To the Honorable Reverends and Evangelists,

I greet you in the spirit of God’s Love.
I have attached a “Need To Know” document for your review.
We, the people have been blessed with an opportunity to serve our people from a secular approach to helping to answer prayer.  I trust that the outcomes will bring more people to your ministries to serve the Lord.
I am Irvin B. Shannon, Executive Director, Harmonious Volunteer Center based in Philadelphia, PA and I encourage you to share this training and employment opportunity to others.  Wherever you are located in the United States of America, I petition you to Join with me in a program that brings an economic stimulus into our under served neighborhoods and aids you with the services you provide for your members in need.
Please contact me at email: hvcorder@hotmail.com upon receipt of this information whereby I can share and explain the specifics of this program
You can also contact: tom@funds2orgs.com 

Alternative Measures concerning General Assistance

The Harmonious Volunteer Center continues in its efforts to find alternative ways to help individuals who are on or have been receiving subsidized assistance. HVC has come up with several approaches that may be of help for:

a. The physically challenged

b. Veterans in Need

c. Single parents with multiple children

d. Senior Citizens

Contact: Irvin B. Shannon at 267-595-5278 or Email: hvcorder@Hotmail.com for information concerning help and/or assistance programs.


Lawsuit seeks restoration of Pennsylvania’s General Assistance for the disabled

By Miriam Hill

Inquirer Staff Writer

Advocates for the disabled on Monday sued the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, demanding the restoration of the state’s cash assistance program.

The lawsuit, filed in Commonwealth Court, was filed on behalf of three former recipients of General Assistance, which had paid $205 a month to poor disabled people. Gov. Corbett and the legislature eliminated the program in June to save $150 million a year.

In the filing, Billie Washington, the lead plaintiff, said she had been receiving General Assistance since last fall because rheumatoid arthritis and other illnesses had left her unable to continue working as a home health care attendant.

She lost those benefits when General Assistance ended Aug. 1. She has been applying for Social Security disability, but that process typically takes two years, and the state’s program had served as a stopgap for many people while they waited to qualify for federal help.

In a news release by Community Legal Services, which filed the suit along with Young Ricchiuti Caldwell & Heller and the Disability Rights Network of Pennsylvania, Washington said she did not know where to turn.

“I don’t want to end up in a homeless shelter,” she said.

The suit argues that general assistance had allowed the 68,000 Pennsylvanians who had received it to pay for basic needs, such as food and housing.

Anne Bale, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, said she could not comment because agency officials had not seen the suit.

The plaintiffs also want to overturn a change to state funding for social services that allowed some counties to shift money out of health and intellectual disability services. Corbett administration officials have said that change was meant to give local governments greater flexibility combining various funding streams into a single block grant.

The suit argues that the legislature got rid of General Assistance and implemented the block grants without following proper procedure.

The legislature “made historic and sweeping changes to seven different programs in a single omnibus bill that had no connection to the bill’s original narrow purpose and language,” a violation of the state constitution, the plaintiffs’ lawyers said.

The case also says that the block-grant program gives county governments unlawful spending authority.

“All we are looking for is a fair and level playing field,” said Michael Froehlich, a lawyer with Community Legal Services. “If Pennsylvania really wants to eliminate General Assistance, a last-resort safety-net program for nearly 70,000 people with disabilities who are unable to work, it ought to be done lawfully and consistent with our state constitution.”


Contact Miriam Hill at 215-854-5520, hillmb@phillynews.com or @miriamhill on Twitter.

Recipients Speak About GA Budget Cuts



From: Chris Sweeney
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 1:45 PM
To: wedge
Subject: With general assistance gone, recovering addicts say ‘Now what?’


Description: http://www.newsworks.org/images/newsworkslogo.png

Powered by WHYY and You

September 5, 2012

By Emma Jacobs

Pennsylvania’s general assistance program used to provide cash assistance to people who temporarily couldn’t support themselves.

That included, in part, individuals who were disabled, victims of domestic violence or those in drug-treatment programs.

For 98 percent of them, the $200 monthly payment was their only income. The state eliminated general assistance in August, a cut keenly felt in Philadelphia.

‘I just didn’t realize it was going to be this hard’

Nicole DeLange sat at a folding conference table in the sunny office of a home for recovering drug addicts in Germantown. Despite the warm and inviting environment of Interim House, DeLange admitted that when she first came, she was really wary.

“Something changed,” she said, her voice breaking. “It always makes me cry. I can’t express how thankful I am for another chance. Because I never got one before. And this is my first time ever in recovery, so everything that I gained I hold onto. It’s hard, but every day is just so worth it.”

DeLange, now an outpatient, spoke just days after her cash assistance had run out. Now, she worries about losing her remaining independence.

“I just didn’t realize it was going to be this hard,” she said.

DeLange is trying to rebuild her relationship with her three children, who live with her parents. They visit on weekends.

“What am I going to do with them because I have no money? Even though we wouldn’t spend a lot of money. But, still, it’s like kids have needs.

“They want to do stuff. They don’t want to be bored. I don’t want to be bored. Boredom is a big trigger for me,” she says.

Reducing state spending

DeLange is one of 35,000 people in Philadelphia who have lost the cash assistance from the state. The spokeswoman for the state’s Department of Public Welfare said she couldn’t address specific cases. But she did offer a perspective on how the decision to cut assistance was made.

The Department of Public Welfare budget is made up of 40 cents of every dollar that state taxpayers put into Harrisburg, Donna Morgan said. And the state comptroller’s office confirmed that general assistance made up about a percent of state spending.

“We had to look at programs and the general assistance cash grant program is state-only funded,” said Morgan. “Most of our budget is controlled by federal mandates, so we had to look at this particular issue.”

In other words, she concluded, federal mandates require a lot of the department’s programs, but the state funds cash assistance on its own. So, it cut where it could.

Morgan said remaining funds will be shifted as much as possible to programs that get people receiving public benefits back to work.

“This is a real tragedy for our ladies here,” said Kathy Wellbank, the program director of Interim House. For her clients, Wellbank contends that finding a job will be more than difficult.

“Most of our women come to us on a third- or fourth-grade reading and math level. They have horrific histories of violence and abuse,” she says. “They’re not really prepared to enter the workforce right now.”

Amy Hirsch, an attorney for Community Legal Services, called ending general assistance shortsighted.

“If only a small proportion of the individuals end up homeless and in shelters, the cost of that is significantly greater than the savings,” Hirsch argued. “This is not going to save us money.”

Hirsch expects that, without the stipend, at least some women will have to leave their transitional housing. Losing that stability puts them at risk for relapse.

‘I love to go to sleep at night’

Another outpatient of Interim House, Jean Polen could pass for a fraction of her age, which is 44. She’s sunny and friendly. But sometimes her confidence wavers. Polen’s just days from the deadline to leave her housing program, whose state funding was cut. Combined with the loss of her only income, the situation has made for some of the most difficult moments since she got clean.

“Waking up in the morning sometimes, knowing that I have to deal with the situation that I’m not ready to deal with,” she says. “I love to go to sleep at night because I’m not suffering any pain.”

Polen said she sometimes thinks about going back to the ways she used to make money on the street, trading sex for cash.

“You ask yourself, ‘Should I?’ and ‘Shouldn’t I?’ And for me I just pray about it and I always come up with I shouldn’t, that my recovery must come first,” she says.

Polen wants to earn her GED. She would like to see herself working as a nurse, and living with her youngest daughter in her own home.

Keep Our Fight Going Rally September 13th

From: Chris Sweeney
Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2012 3:00 PM
To: wedge
Subject: Former GA recipients need your help


Dear Wedge,


We need your help. There is no other way to say this. The fight to help former GA recipients will end unless we keep it going!

With your help we can keep the struggle of those in dire circumstances in front of our elected officials and urge them to find real and meaningful solutions. But it won’t happen without a struggle and a struggle won’t happen without you.

We have been in front of the Governor’s Philadelphia Office asking what programs have taken the place of GA, after all the Governor himself said he was finding programs to do just that. And then many went to the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg to ask again.

On September 13th we will return to the Governor’s Philadelphia Office to ask, where is the meeting you promised us?
And we certainly need your help, please if you can’t come, spread the word. Let the daily struggle of those in need inspire us to struggle as well.
70,000 Pennsylvanians have had their only source of income taken by a State Budget that cut social services, eliminated General Assistance and gave every legislator a pay raise while cutting taxes for corporations!


Where is the help Governor Corbett promised GA recipients?


Come to the Governor’s Philadelphia Office to demand:


General Assistance for all who need it!


Broad and Walnut Streets

September 13th, 11:00 am


Governor Corbett’s staff promised the hundreds of people who tried to meet with him in July that the Governor would let us know what other programs are available. He still hasn’t told us where we can find help. Come with us and ask: Governor where is the help you offered?

Attached is the September 13th flyer.


Chris Sweeney


Christopher R. Sweeney

Vice President of Operations

Wedge Medical Center

6701 North Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19126


cell 215-287-1968


Description: W-Logo



4 Arrested in Welfare Protest

From: Chris Sweeney
Sent: Thursday, August 30, 2012 1:09 PM
To: wedge
Subject: 4 Arrested Outside Pa. Governor’s Mansion in Welfare Protest


4 Arrested Outside Pa. Governor’s Mansion in Welfare Protest

August 29, 2012 3:49 PM

Description: Description: (Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Credit: Tony Romeo)

Reporting Tony Romeo

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Four people were arrested in front of the governor’s residence this afternoon as a group of several hundred demonstrators, mostly from Philadelphia, protested the end of cash assistance for the poor in Pennsylvania.

Protesters, chanting “Stop the war on the poor!” and some carrying signs characterizing Gov. Tom Corbett’s welfare plan as “digging more graves,” walked several blocks through the streets of Harrisburg before stopping at the gates of the governor’s residence to rail against the end of general assistance cash payments.

Lance Haver, Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter’s director of consumer affairs, says he came to the capital on his own time to tell the story of his severely wounded son who relied on cash assistance.

“It was the co-pay for all of the medicine that kept him alive. It was the co-pay for the ventilator that he used day after day after day to breathe,” Haver said today.

Four of the demonstrators were taken into custody by police when they sat down in front of traffic on the street where the governor’s residence is situated.

Christopher R. Sweeney

Vice President of Operations

Wedge Medical Center

6701 North Broad Street

Philadelphia, PA 19126


cell 215-287-1968


Description: W-Logo



ACT UP Philadelphia Protest Rally Harrisburg August 29th



From: Chris Sweeney
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:29 AM
To: wedge
Subject: ACT UP Philadelphia to hold protest against GA cuts on Weds, 8/29 in Harrisburg


ACT UP Philadelphia to hold protest against GA cuts on Weds, 8/29 in Harrisburg

August 27, 2012 / by admin / Make A Comment /

Description: http://pacaresforall.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/actup2.gifACT UP Philadelphia released the following press release this morning.


Waheedah Shabazz, 267-231-2647, iamshabazz@yahoo.com

Jose DeMarco, 267-888-0686, josemarcos9@yahoo.com


Harrisburg, PA—On August 1st, 2012, Governor Corbett’s plan to eliminate General Assistance (GA) went into effect. Last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer also reported that the Department of Public Welfare eliminated a Philadelphia program to help obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for homeless or near-homeless people who had exceeded their five-year limit for welfare benefits.

On August 7 th, Governor Corbett’s office in Philadelphia refused to meet with activists and advocates for a planned meeting to discuss these drastic eliminations of life-saving programs. So what message is Governor Corbett sending? “It is quite clear, he is saying that people with HIV/AIDS, people with chronic illnesses, and people with disabilities don’t matter,” said ACT UP member Jose DeMarco. “We are better dead than alive to him. He thinks he can balance budgets on our backs. He thinks he can ignore us, particularly us in Philadelphia. Well, he better think again.”

In response, on Wednesday, August 29th ACT UP Philadelphia and allies will be holding a mass political funeral in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Harrisburg, complete with wooden coffin, tombstone, body bags, flowers, drums, and signs telling the effects of eliminating GA. The funeral will represent the death of GA at Governor Corbett’s hands, and the certain deaths to follow of thousands of people, especially people with disabilities and chronic illnesses such as HIV, if GA is not restored. ACT UP will bring 250 people from Philadelphia to protest, and be joined in Harrisburg by another 50 people.

“As if that were not enough, arrests for peaceful civil disobedience are also expected to truly get his attention and demand that GA be restored now!,” said ACT UP member Yetta.

What: Mass funeral procession to protest elimination of General Assistance

When: Wednesday, August 29th, 12:15pm

Where: Harrisburg, PA, starting near Mclay and N. 6th St., ending at Governor’s Mansion on N. 2nd St.

“Corbett wonders why his approval rating keeps dropping, with the last poll giving only a 28% approval rating,” said ACT UP member Waheedah Shabazz-El. “It is in large part because Pennsylvanians are rejecting his radical agenda of corporate tax breaks and building new prisons, while increasing the cost of education, suppressing the vote, and balancing the budget on the backs of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable residents. Pennsylvania will not be made into the next Wisconsin, a testing ground for radical Republican efforts against poor and working people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. Governor Romney and President Obama should also take note that people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies will not sit idly by this election year, certainly not when science now tells us that we can truly end AIDS. We will ACT UP and FIGHT BACK! We will not Rest In Peace, we will Rise In Protest!”

Facts: GA is a last resort welfare cash assistance program for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, domestic violence survivors, and people in drug and alcohol treatment programs. GA pays only $205 per month in most counties. This amount is less than 25% of the federal poverty line and has not been increased since 1990. This small sum, however, helps people pay rent, take the bus, keep medical appointments, stay in recovery programs, afford co- pays, buy food, do laundry, etc. All adult GA recipients without children, nearly 67,000 Pennsylvanians, have now lost their GA, for many their sole source of income. GA represents less than 0.5% of the overall PA budget.

### ACT UP Philadelphia, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, is an all-volunteer organization. We are a non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and dedicated to ending the AIDS crisis through direct action.

ACT UP Philadelphia Phone: 215-386-1981

Email: actupp@critpath.org

Web: actupphilly.org


Where is the help Governor Corbett
promised GA recipients?
70,000 Pennsylvanians have had their only source of income taken by a State Budget that cut social services, eliminated General Assistance and gave every legislator a pay raise while cutting taxes for corporations!
Come to the Governor’s Philadelphia Office to demand:
General Assistance for all who need it!
Broad and Walnut Sts
September 13th, 11:00 am
Governor Corbett’s staff promised the hundreds of people who
tried to meet with him in July that the Governor would let us
know what other programs are available. He still hasn’t told us
where we can find help. Come with us and ask:Governor where is the help you offered?
For more info: Lance.Haver@Yahoo.com

Save General Assistance

This website is dedicated toward Saving the General Assistance program in Pennsylvania.

If you are an individual you are encouraged to subscribe (in the box at the right) so that you can get updates.

life with general assistance is beautiful


If you are a member of an organization that has joined the fight or wants to join in the fight to Save General Assistance, please use the Contact Form to get in touch with us.

And please return soon for more information!

Thank you!