JOIN--Jobs and Opportunity to Improve Neighborhoods--was a coalition of more than 100 community, human service, and advocacy groups organized in 1997 by the Institute for the Study of Civic Values in Philadelphia to fight for liberty and justice for TANF recipients now being pushed into the workforce under welfare reform.
The JOIN agenda called upon the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia to support intensive education and training for recipients; reverse commuting to permit quick access to jobs throughout region; public service jobs for people who need additional work experience; and affordable, quality child care for the children of all working families. JOIN has been worked on behalf of these goals for three years following March 3rd, 1997, when welfare reform in Pennsylvania officially began. Because of these efforts, most of what the coalition demanded was accepted ultimately by the Pa. Department of Welfare under the Ridge administration.
The best way to keep track of current events related to welfare reform in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania is to subscribe to the FAN email list--the Family Advocates' Network. It remains an ongoing source of information about new developments in welfare reform as they arise.
Finally, we offer this web site as a portal to welfare-to-work resources, programs, and issues in Pennsylvania and nationally. Here, we provide quick access to the key agencies involved in welfare reform; the data needed to track welfare reform, both locally and nationally; and to the organizations that have aligned with JOIN to lead the fight for a welfare-to-work system in Pennsylania that works.