A Running Start Philadelphia
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About 1,500 families become homeless every year. Children are the most frequent users of emergency shelter, outnumbering adults almost 2 to 1.
Many Philadelphians live above the federal poverty line but still struggle to make ends meet and face difficult choices between paying a utility bill and putting food on the table.
Philadelphia has been slower to emerge from the 2008 global recession than elsewhere in the country.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were fewer jobs in Philadelphia in 2012 than there were in 2011, and fewer jobs than there were in 2008, the first year of a two-year recession.
The unemployment rate has decreased in 2013, but not by enough. Too many people are still out of work
It is estimated that by 2030, 600,000 Philadelphians (nearly 39% of the current total population) will not have the skills to secure the types of jobs that will be available in Philadelphia as we live in an increasingly global economy.
Today, more than 500,000 (42%) adults in Philadelphia do not participate in the labor force. Employment and family-sustaining wage prospects are particularly daunting for those without a college degree, as increasingly more jobs require postsecondary education. Especially hard hit are the 300,000 formerly incarcerated Philadelphians who face multiple barriers to securing employment, such as low literacy skills, lack of a high school or college degree, employer reluctance, or lack of a social network to connect them to job openings and stigma.
Lower levels of education are strongly correlated to poverty.
Research suggests that gaps in high school achievement between low- and middle-income students begin in the very early school years and are compounded by summer learning loss that too often becomes an insurmountable hurdle by the fifth grade.
Many Philadelphia communities lack sufficient high-quality early childhood education options.
Of the 215,000 Philadelphia residents who are eligible for the earned income tax credit (EITC), 45,150 (21%) do not even apply.
Nearly 500,000 city residents receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, but 180,000 qualified Philadelphians are not enrolled.
Fifteen percent (15%) of Philadelphians are without health insurance, despite the availability of public options like Medicaid, Medicare, Medical Assistance, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or Veterans Affairs (VA) Healthcare.