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Report from CLS and PULP Reveals Energy Insecurity Among Black and Latinx Households in Pennsylvania

Today, Community Legal Services and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project released a report that reveals that Black and Latinx households in Pennsylvania are more likely to experience unaffordable utility costs and fall behind on their utility bills at a much higher rate than white households. Many of these same communities were hardest hit by COVID-19…

Report: Debt Collection in Philadelphia

Community Legal Services commissioned the following study by the Reinvestment Fund to learn about the impact of debt collection cases filed in Philadelphia’s “small claims” Municipal Court against people across the City, with a particular focus on race. The report includes statistics and maps related to case filings and top filers, service of process, case…

COVID-19’s Impact on Race and Housing Security Across Philadelphia: Philadelphia Renters Report

Read the full report  Racial and economic disparities in affordable housing existed long before the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet, new data from the US Census Bureau suggest that the pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout are only widening these divides. When paired with a global pandemic, we anticipate a national wave of homelessness that will…

Women holding out their arms, text: "Help Us Help Outselves so we can help others get free!!

Report: Supporting Women in the Criminal Legal System Through Access to Diversionary Programs

Today, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, as part of Incarcerated Women’s Working Group (“Working Group”) released a report on increasing access to diversionary programs for women in the criminal legal system. Diversion programs divert individuals accused of crimes away from traditional court trial and sentencing proceedings, instead requiring participation in community service, treatment, and other…

No Child Should Live in Deep Poverty: Strengthen TANF for PA Families and for Racial Justice

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is a federally-funded block grant that provides cash assistance to the poorest Pennsylvania families. Parents are required to actively look for work or participate in a job training program. TANF additionally provides support for children under 18 being cared for by grandparents or other relatives, and for survivors of…

Report: Racial Disparities in Access to Supplemental Security Income Benefits for Children

SSI for children is crucial support for families in need. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides critical financial support to people with disabilities who experience economic hardship, including 1.1 million children. SSI income is crucial not only because it can boost families out of poverty, but also because in many states, SSI recipients are automatically eligible…

Report: Breaking the Record: Dismantling the Barriers Eviction Records Place on Housing Opportunities

Each of the nearly 20,000 eviction complaints filed in Philadelphia Municipal Court each year carries a lifelong blemish on a person’s tenancy records, regardless of the outcome of the case. There is no presumption of innocence – even when a tenant wins in court or enters an amicable agreement to preserve housing, the filing alone…

Report: Reforming the Child Abuse Registry System in Pennsylvania

Every year thousands of Pennsylvanians are placed on the child abuse registry for alleged child abuse or neglect, without first having an opportunity to challenge the allegations against them. These Pennsylvanians suffer devastating economic consequences, often for life, and the harm falls disproportionately on low-wage workers, workers of color, and their children. As the job…

Immediate Actions Pennsylvania Must Take to Address the COVID-19 Crisis in Long-Term Care Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic and tragic effects on Pennsylvania’s long-term care facility residents and the staff who care for them. More than 4,700 long-term care (LTC) residents have died from COVID-19, accounting for 68% of all deaths in Pennsylvania.  Immediate action must be taken to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population and to ensure their rights.  It is vital that LTC residents and their advocates have…