by The Community Care Team
Put People First! PA members struggle daily to meet basic material needs. We choose between paying for prescriptions or our utility bills. We ask ourselves is the priority next month’s rent or putting food on the table this month? PPF-PA’s Community Care Team is developing a Community Care Fund to support members through challenging times. Here’s an excerpt from the DRAFT PPF-PA Community Care Fund Policy. To find out more, contact Farrah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following policy is being developed in accordance with the PPF-PA Community Care Team’s Mission of coordinating and providing a system of social support and care to PPF-PA members by…
- Helping members get through stressful and difficult periods in their lives; and
- Aiding members in meeting their emotional and material needs
This policy is intended to articulate a process by which individual PPF-PA members can solicit requests for material support within the organization to help them meet their material needs. Examples of material needs include but are not limited to: rent/ housing payments, utilities assistance, medical bills, and transportation needs. Material support requests are intended to support the needs of recent or current “active” leaders within the organization as described in PPF-PA’s leadership development path document. More specifically, applicants shall have been active in a PPF-PA leadership role for a minimum of 3 months.
Material support requests should not be regarded as charity but rather as a way of sustaining and advancing leaders within the organization so that they can continue to participate in PPF and make meaningful leadership contributions. In no way, shape or form is Put People First! PA trying to assume the role of a social service provider. Nor do we believe that organizations providing services can or should take the place of the state.
Short and Long Term Strategies for Establishing a Community Care Fund:
In the short term, material support requests should first be channeled through the local Healthcare Rights Committees or HRCs (by way of the HRC’s Community Care Team representatives and/or the HRC coordinators) before being elevated to the statewide Community Care Team. This is designed to build the capacity of local HRCs and to encourage maximum benefit from local relationships and community affiliations and resources. Requests should only be brought to the statewide Community Care Team when it is determined that further promotion and coordination across the organization is necessary to meet the need.
As a longer-term strategy, the PPF-PA Community Care Team is working towards establishing a statewide permanent Community Care Fund that members can draw upon as needed. The PPF-PA Community Care Team is currently identifying individuals outside of PPF-PA who can make significant financial contributions to this fund and share our commitment of supporting and retaining grassroots movement leaders. Once a permanent fund is established, the statewide PPF-PA Community Care Team may assume responsibility for the intake, processing and tracking of material support requests from members across all HRCs.
This content originally appeared in Put People First! PA’s semi-annual newsletter, The Keystone. The Keystone is a great introduction to Put People First! PA, our work, and our community. It’s all written by our members for our own communication and education, and for supporters and new relationships to get to know us better. Each issue features reports from our work, news about our victories, stories about the health care system and the other issues affecting our communities, and poetry and artwork. Check out past and present editions here: Newsletter Archive.