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DHS News September 2009

View the pdf.gif September 2009 DHS News Newsletter in a printable format. 

DHS announces federal stimulus dollars to fund services to help additional individuals and families become self-sufficient
On September 10, 2009, DHS announced that an additional $2.4 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has been allocated to Allegheny County to support working-age people who are struggling to overcome the financial effects that the recession has had on their lives.

Sleep-in for the Homeless – more than just a bad night’s sleep
Community Human Services, a DHS-contracted service provider, will again host “Sleep-in for the Homeless” on Friday, October 9 at the City-County Building. The evening’s activities begin at 6:30 p.m. and end 12 hours later. During those 12 hours, gathered participants will engage in a wide variety of activities designed to take the idea of homelessness from the abstract to the concrete.

CYF youth benefit from backpack donations
Two thoughtful groups representing many generous individuals turned their attention to making sure that children served by the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) who were returning to school did so in style and with the supplies they need to succeed. The Homeless Children’s Education Fund (HCEF) again came through in a big way to help 250 children and youth who receive services through CYF. HCEF collected 250 back packs and filled them with school supplies.

New SOAR process will save time and money 
A new technical assistance initiative called SOAR – SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery – is expected to improve the success rates for persons with disabilities, especially those who are homeless, who are applying for SSI or SSDI benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Number of children in out-of-home care reduced, pleasing DPW’s Gold
On August 21, DHS Director Marc Cherna received a note of praise and congratulations from Richard J. Gold, Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, Deputy Secretary for the Office of Children, Youth and Families. Gold announced that Allegheny County is well on its way toward meeting or exceeding the National Governors’ Academy goal of safely reducing, by the end of 2010, the number of children in out-of- home care in the County by 359.

Three hundred kids hear “Play Ball!” courtesy of the Pirates and Joe Kulik
For the second year, DHS was the grateful conduit through which 300 tickets to a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game became available to young persons who receive services through DHS-contracted providers.

Lifting the fog on the Improving Outcomes Initiative
The Improving Outcomes for Children and Families in Allegheny County (Improving Outcomes) Initiative is moving forward. New language is being used by the planning team that has the tendency to leave those who are out-of-the-loop feeling, well, out of the loop.

KUDOS – OBH service coordinator saves man’s life
Julie Williams, Allegheny County Justice Related Support Service Coordinator, spends her workdays assisting former Allegheny County Jail inmates who have mental illness or a combination of mental illness and substance use disorders before and during their reentry into the community. Williams was recently commended by a consumer’s family and the probation department and credited with saving the life of a man, who, according to the probation department, would have passed away from an overdose were it not for William’s intervention.


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