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Living off $200 a month

Broke in Philly Weekly
This week we’re focusing on how Philly can do a better job finding friends and families to support foster kids. We’re also looking at the demands of climate activists pushing for more utility regulation. And we hear from a single mother struggling to live off of $205 a month under Pennsylvania’s welfare system.
Sincerely,
Lindsey, Raven, Aakruti

OUR WEEKLY ROUNDUP
Leona Brown, a single mother of two children in Philly, receives only $205 a month from Pennsylvania’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to support herself and her family. In an op-ed for The Philadelphia Inquirer, Brown writes about how payments would be twice as big if they kept up with the cost of living.
Student representatives from The Bullhorn, UrbEd Advocates, Philadelphia Student Union and Philly Black Students Alliance participated in a roundtable discussion with Chalkbeat on Friday evening. Johann Calhoun / Chalkbeat
Student representatives from The Bullhorn, UrbEd Advocates, Philadelphia Student Union and Philly Black Students Alliance participated in a roundtable discussion with Chalkbeat on Friday evening. Johann Calhoun / Chalkbeat
Chalkbeat Philadelphia met with several students and organizations to learn more about their concerns about returning to the classroom next week. While the school district just voted to require COVID-19 vaccines for staff, kids are still worried about catching the virus and whether their schools have the capacity to practice social distancing. 
Resolve’s investigative solutions reporter Steve Volk delves into the Family Finding model — identifying relatives, family friends, teachers and neighbors who can support youth in foster care. Ideally, Family Finding will help kids in the system transition to safe homes with people they already know, but Philly is lagging far behind some Pa. counties.
Rabbi Julie Greenberg rallies protesters during a daylong action at PES refinery in South Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
Rabbi Julie Greenberg rallies protesters during a daylong action at PES refinery in South Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)
There are currently two openings on the five-member board of the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission. The interfaith group POWER is pressuring Gov. Tom Wolf to select candidates who are dedicated to climate justice and ending environmental racism. 
Nefertiri Sickout, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Nefertiri Sickout.
Nefertiri Sickout, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Philadelphia. Photo Courtesy of Nefertiri Sickout.
Nefertiri Sickout, a former commercial litigation associate, is now leading the Mayor’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Sickout’s work primarily focuses on dismantling historical structures that have perpetuated racial disparities and exclusion. Her office is prioritizing racial equity and advancing equitable workforce and community outcomes. 
BREAKING EVEN
  • The pandemic may have disrupted the college admissions process in a good way. This Philly Mag article shows how COVID-19 brought dramatic changes to the admissions game, including shifting away from standardized test scores that have long been criticized for entrenching inequality. 
PERFECT PAIRS
Two stories about how food can both bring people together or push them apart.
Penn grads Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno launched Be Body Positive Philly to empower high schoolers to live peacefully and healthfully in their bodies
Penn grads Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno launched Be Body Positive Philly to empower high schoolers to live peacefully and healthfully in their bodies
  • A “Body Positivity” curriculum is coming to Philadelphia public schools thanks to Penn graduates Christina Miranda and Amanda Moreno. After winning Penn’s $100,000 President’s Engagement Prize for their Be Body Positive Philly initiative, the duo have begun to implement their plan, working with school nurses and high school students to combat eating disorder risk on a large scale. 
(Photo courtesy of KITHS)
(Photo courtesy of KITHS)
  • From Resolve’s latest Equally Informed community newsletter, Lily Medosch and Derrick Pratt spotlight a local nonprofit that provides diverse food aid for Cambodian refugees and Southeast Asian immigrants in the Logan neighborhood. KITHS Integrated and Targeted Human Services aims to break cycles of poverty and hunger for these communities, who typically receive foods like hot dogs and powdered milk, which they won’t eat. Instead, KITHS offers a pantry with a variety of culturally-appropriate items including fish sauce, lemongrass, water spinach and 25-pound bags of rice.
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Broke in Philly
Broke in Philly @brokeinphilly

A collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. From: @ResolvePhilly. Previously we led: @ReentryUpdates

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