United Way kicks off Bucks Knock Out Hunger campaign

May 07, 2017 | Peg Quann | Bucks County Courier Times

Team effort has propelled the United Way of Bucks County’s success in helping those in need for the past 65 years, says Brian Jeter, chairman of the UW board.

Friday’s turnout of more than 250 people for the kickoff breakfast for the United Way’s Bucks Knocks Out Hunger campaign marked the start of the next 65 years of doing good for people throughout the county who need assistance, he said.

“It’s really a wonderful collection of community partners,” Jeter said as the anniversary breakfast concluded at the Spring Mill Manor in Northampton. “We really had a strong business showing today.”

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Family Service Raising Funds for Children and Families in Need

April 27, 2017 | Family Service Press Release

Family Service is raising funds for its programs and services that help children and families in our community by hosting its 18th annual Drive for Youth Golf Outing.

Last year, Family Service provided direct services to more than 1,800 children and teens in need. Services include school-based counseling, job development for high school students with disabilities, family reunification, teen support, parent education, suicide prevention and emergency shelter.

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A nightmare on our doorstep: Deep cuts, painful impact

April 21, 2017 | State Rep. Tina Davis | Bucks County Courier Times

I have been deeply troubled by the first budget presented by President Trump, which puts the Community Development Block Grant and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Community Services Block Grant programs on the chopping block. The Courier Times article from March 21 detailed just how devastating these cuts would be for our community.

The losses to our region — $1.7 million to Bucks County, a half a million to Bristol Township from the Community Development Grant, another $700,000 in HOME Investment Partnership program and $727,000 from Health and Human Services block grant — are staggering on the surface, but numbers do not even begin to tell the story.

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Suicide a Public Health Issue – You Can Help

April 19, 2017 | Family Service Press Release

Suicide is a significant public health issue. Every 12 minutes, someone in this country dies by suicide. And for every person who dies, there are 25 more who attempt suicide.

Over the past three years, 249 Bucks County residents have died by suicide according to reports from the Bucks County Coroner’s Office. Each completed suicide has devastating effects and intimately affects at least 18 other people. This means that in the past three years, a minimum of 4,482 Bucks County citizens became loss survivors, meaning they suffered the loss of a loved one as a result of suicide.

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Safety net

April 16, 2017 | Debra Wallace | Bucks County Courier Times

Tom DiVergigelis and Jamie McFarland recently beamed with pride while watching their two young children on the new red swing at the Bucks County Emergency Homeless Shelter.

The brightly colored swing, which supports two or three children at a time, is on the shelter’s new playground, and was selected along with the other pieces of equipment because they can accommodate multiple users across a variety of age groups, something important for the shelter residents.

Previously, on the same spot, rested old and rusting equipment that was deemed unsafe. The planning for the new playground began last August, and it opened March 30.

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Contingent from Bucks joining protest at Capitol

April 04, 2017 | Peg Quann | Bucks County Courier Times

Protesters will rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday against Gov. Tom Wolf ’s plan to merge the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs with other departments into an expanded Department of Health and Human Services.

State Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, of Bensalem, has garnered support for a caravan that will meet at 7:15 a.m. at his office and travel to the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission office, 600 Louis Drive, Warminster, before heading to Harrisburg.

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With millions for homeless, why so many still outside?

April 02, 2017 | J.D. Mullane | Bucks County Courier Times

In winter, there is frostbite and death. In summer, there are ticks, mosquitoes and infections, not to mention threats from rabid wildlife. Such are the hazards of living in a tent in the woods of Bucks County, homeless.

Social servants who run local homeless aid programs are concerned that the Trump administration will cut program budgets for the county’s homeless, estimated to be 511 men, women and children.

One program, the Homeless Outreach Support Transition (HOST) will close May 1, according to a story by my colleague Thomas Friestad.

“If you eliminate these services, how much longer are they going to remain homeless before they can get into housing or find a job?” said Marlene Piasecki, chief operating officer of the Family Service Association of Bucks County, which operates a homeless shelter in Bristol Township.

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Funding woes hurt homeless

March 29, 2017 | Thomas Friestad | Bucks County Courier Times

Zipping open his tent flap does not come easily to Jonathan, who is homeless and lives with his fiancée, Lisa, near a woodland waterfront in Bristol Township.

His finger was chomped on during a disagreement with another man two weeks ago, forcing him to get emergency treatment at a nearby hospital. Half his finger is missing, and though Jonathan does his best to keep his now-septic wound wrapped in gauze, he expects he’ll lose the rest anyway.

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Governor Wolf Awards $1.35 Million in Innovation and Expansion Project Contracts

January 06, 2017 | Office of Governor Tom Wolf | Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Today, Governor Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) recently awarded $1.35 million in contracts to fund 10 Innovation and Expansion Projects across the state. These programs will assist students with disabilities in obtaining competitive, integrated employment.

“These projects will empower students with disabilities to successfully transition to employment after graduation,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “Pennsylvanians with a disability are valued members of society who make important contributions to our state’s workforce. There is dignity in work, and when people with a disability hold jobs and earn competitive wages they can achieve greater independence and inclusion in the community.”

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Greater Newtown Exchange Special Holiday Ornament Sale Begins Nov. 26

November 21, 2016 | Max Bennett | Newtown Patch

Each year, the Greater Newtown Exchange holds a Christmas ornament sale to benefit charity organizations. Those ornaments feature historic locations in Newtown and this year’s location is the Brick Hotel at 1 E. Washington Ave., Newtown.

The sale begins Nov. 26 and you can purchase an ornament for just $10 at Newtown Hardware House, McCaffrey’s of Newtown, Acme of Newtown, Countryside Framing (2 S. State St.), and five First National Bank & Trust locations.

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