January 15, 2019, Grace Shallow- Generocity
The roughly $200 Susan Brown receives every month from the state’s general assistance program buys her more than just groceries and rent. It affords her a sense of independence.
“I feel like an adult, like I’m participating in my own life,” said Brown, a 53-year-old Project HOME resident who asked to be identified by a different name due to privacy and safety concerns.
General assistance helps people with disabilities and their caretakers, people with substance use disorder, people seeking help after experiencing domestic violence and some other groups of Pennsylvanians experiencing poverty who do not receive the federally funded Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefit by providing monthly cash assistance.
After the program was eliminated by state legislation in 2012, general assistance started up again in November. But low-income residents are at risk of losing this support again: Four days before Christmas, the House of Representatives posted another bill calling for the elimination of general assistance.