This year’s Community Services Group photo may look a little different, but the solidarity remains the same. For 61 years, Working. Serving. Giving. has been the motto of the PA AFL-CIO’s Community Services Committee. While many things have changed over the years, the importance of service and community still guides the work of our Community Services Labor Liaisons, CLC Community Services committees, and every union volunteer.
Community service goes far beyond dollar donations; there is nothing more valuable than the time we give. In 2020, unions have turned to community services to mobilize resources and support for people in need. Between the COVID-19 pandemic and political unrest, working people must come together and support one another. In the spirit of solidarity, we all must do our part. We thank each of our Community Services Labor Liaisons for leading the way with our first entirely virtual Community Services Institute.
At this week’s Community Services Institute, we were joined by the President of United Way of Pennsylvania to discuss the dire situation facing many of our fellow Pennsylvanians. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are everyday working people who despite working their hardest, are still struggling to make ends meet. That’s 24% of Pennsylvanians.
“ALICE earns above the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), but makes less than they need to pay for basic essentials. They often earn too much to qualify for government assistance, and there is no room in their household budgets for emergency expenses. If you combine PA households earning below the ALICE Threshold with those living below the FPL, that’s 37% of PA households that face financial hardship every day, in every county in PA.”