The Voice: the e-newsletter of the Human Services Coalition
Issue 10
July 29, 2010
in this issue
Alison Austin inspires advocates
Ben Burton: a voice for the homeless
Emergency housing assistance
Job opening at HSC
Penny Wise Campaign
Small business tax credit
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Pathway to Prosperity

Since its launch in 2002, the Greater Miami Prosperity Campaign has helped thousands of individuals and families on their journey to financial independence. In this month's video, the second in our historical mini-series, we take a look at the evolution of the Prosperity Campaign.
Prosperity Campaign
Alison Austin inspires child advocates
 Miami  Coalition for the Homeless
At the July 1 graduation of the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), Alison Austin had grads on their feet, dancing and singing, "Good Job, Good Job," a musical standard at the Belafonte TACOLCY Center, which Austin leads.

The longtime activist had spoken to the 2010 PLTI class previously, at one of their weekly meetings. Energized and inspired by Austin's words and songs, the class unanimously chose her to be the keynote speaker at graduation.

Read more.
Ben Burton: a voice for the homeless
Ben BurtonMiami-Dade Community Action Agency recently honored Ben Burton as the 2010 Florida Association for Community Action Volunteer of the Year. Burton, Executive Director of the Miami Coalition for the Homeless (MCH), has been an advocate for the homeless since his first job after college, working in a shelter.

Former MCH President Arthur Rosenberg said Burton "addresses homelessness from the perspective of people living in poverty." Burton has been the Co-chair of the Community Coalition for a Living Wage since 2001. He and MCH have partnered with HSC on several anti-poverty projects over the years, including the production of the Blueprint for Prosperity, and have been a sponsor of the Voice. HSC President Daniella Levine said, "He has always assured that the homeless have their own voice; he has helped to build self-empowerment while also providing critical charity."

Burton is particularly proud of the work the Coalition has done recently in partnership with the ACLU to advocate for affordable housing for sex offenders. "Everyone," he said,"has the right to safe and decent housing."
Emergency housing assistance available
The Emergency Financial Assistance for Housing Program (EFAHP) provides a one-time payment of up to $400 to families who are totally without shelter or face the loss of shelter because of nonpayment of rent or mortgage. It also helps those families who have had household disasters such as fire, flood or other accidents.

To qualify, households must have at least one child or caretaker who is a legal U.S. citizen or legal resident, and they must have proof of the housing emergency, i.e. copies of the eviction notice, default letter from the mortgage company, etc.  Complete eligibility requirements can be found here.

Applications are available online in English, Spanish and Creole here or by calling 1-877-891-6445.
Public Allies Program Manager position open
HSC is looking for a Public Allies Program Manager, whose primary responsibilities would include: supervision and life coaching of 25 young adults placed in community-based agencies, facilitation of leadership training curriculum and being liaison to national program office and local work sites. Please submit resumes by August 6.

Learn more.
Penny Wise Campaign collecting signatures
 Don't be penny wise and pound foolish
Although we recently scored a partial victory when the Board of County Commissioners voted for the "rollback rate" - which will earn the county the same amount of property tax revenue as last year - we are not resting yet. This was only one of three votes that will determine the county's revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. Show your support for the campaign to protect jobs and services from budget cuts by signing our petition.
Life after health care reform
Small businesses eligible for insurance credit
Florida is home to 307,100 small businesses, which are the main economic engine for our community. Small businesses employ many Floridians, but with escalating health care costs, many entrepreneurs are unable to provide quality, affordable health care benefits to their employees.  With the implementation of health care reform, access to affordable coverage will no longer be out of reach for small business owners and their employees. A recent Families USA  and Small Business Majority  report shows that 80% of small businesses in Florida with fewer than 25 workers and average wages of less than $50,000 are eligible to receive a tax credit to purchase health insurance. From now until 2013 small businesses can receive a credit of up to 35%, and in 2014 when the state exchanges begin, the maximum credit will be 50%. Small Business Majority has a tool to help small business owners estimate their health insurance tax credit.
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Special thanks to our sponsors:
 The Children's Trust  Miami Coalition for the Homeless
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