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West Philadelphia

Apr il/May 2013


Classes with LIFT-Philadelphia By Kate J., LIFT Advocate LIFT-Philadelphia Program Director, Gina Gendusa has teamed up with Drexel University professor, Cyndi Rickards to bring Drexel students and LIFT clients together in the classroom. Using the Inside-Out model, which was traditionally used as a student and prison inmate learning exchange in prison institutions, the new Inside-Out classes are bringing together the Philadelphia community and college students to study and learn together as peers. The traditional Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program has grown and expanded beyond the North American borders as countries have begun to adopt and utilize this learning system. However, Gendusa and Rickards wanted to expand it even further. Beginning with the LIFT client base and a substantial Drexel student advocate base, the model has “moved outside of the prison walls.” Using the model to benefit the community and allow students and clients to learn together and from each other, the Inside-Out classes have been very well received. “The classes allow clients and current Drexel students to learn together as peers in an experiential style. There is no lecturing and everyone always sits

together in a circle to learn as equals,” Gendusa stated.

“Forging relationships between 2 people that normally wouldn’t meet is very refreshing to see...there is a lot of personal growth as well.” - Gina G. After Drexel University professor and LIFTPhiladelphia advisory board member Cyndi Rickards and Drexel University graduate student Danie Greenwell taught their first classes in Philadelphia last fall and winter, plans have begun for more classes. There were approximately 15 Drexel students and 15 LIFT clients who took the first Inside-Out class, “Urban Sociology.” Having been well-received, another class was conducted last winter called “Public Speaking and Civic Engagement.” There have been 2 clients who have taken both courses and are both interested in the third. In addition, Drexel University has been able to provide college credit not only for their students but for the clients who take these courses as well. Each

Inside-Out Classes with LIFT


non-student receives 3 free Drexel University credits on a created and advertised by the groups to help people find their transcript that can be transferred to any other school. own voice. Through interactive activities with the attendees, “What is very unique about Drexel is that it has been able to speaking about their own personal experiences and speaking provide the credits and clients are able to take up to 12 per year. about the class, the groups were able to show how to dig deeper This is not typical and no other universities do this. It really so that everyone can find their own voices. gives people who have not had With plans for the next the chance to go to college really We would like to do this every quarter with Drexel and also session this summer that gain the college experience that help other nonprofits to start it as well. We hope to expand this Gendusa will be leading called beyond LIFT. they missed.” Gendusa said. “Urban Housing and - Gina G. Community Health” to explore As an experiential classroom style, all classwork is group-based the history of health policies and collaborative with one reflection or journal entry per week and how it affects the community, Gendusa is looking more into and one group project at the end. The first group project was a the future. paper on a social urban issue with policy recommendations that Class registration has begun so do not forget to apply. There was presented to Councilwoman Blackwell. The other was an are plans to continue the classes next quarter in the Fall or in the event that was open to the community, friends and family Winter so stay tuned!

Interested in applying? SUMMER SESSION “Urban Housing & Community Health” Orientation: June 19—June 26 Classes begin June 26—August 28 We’re trying to get more courses and teachers for the next classes. Not only in the Department of Culture and Communications in the College of Arts and Sciences but other departments as well. - Nora M., LIFT Student Director

EveryWednesdays 2:00-5:00 PM At LIFT-West Philadelphia office 5548 Chestnut Street, 1st Floor Philadelphia, PA 19139

Ask any Advocate to apply or fill out an application at the front desk! We will be taking applications until the end of May and conducting interviews on a rolling basis. Everyone offered placement will be notified by June 1.

ADVOCATES: Make sure to check the Google doc for more information and to sign up clients!

Ad vo c a t e S p ot l i g h t Cilia Jaeger Drexel University, Sophomore 4th semester at LIFT How did you hear about LIFT? When I moved to Philly, I picked up a flyer at some student fair. After googling LIFT, I was hooked and applied for a volunteer position. How has your experience been so far? Amazing! LIFT has become a huge part of my life here in Philly. The energetic and warm atmosphere makes me really feel at home. Every time I come into the office, I leave with a huge smile on my face because of a heartwarming conversation with a client or fellow volunteer. LIFT has empowered me to become active in social justice and the Philly community. What’s the most memorable experience you have had at LIFT? This is a tough question. I feel like I have had a lot of really memorable moments here at LIFT. I love having intakes because they often just radiate excitement and happiness once they leave their first appointment. Not all too long ago I had a client who was very timid when we first began his appointment. He needed to find

a new job and write a resume. It turns out he didn’t have an email, so he was super excited when we created his account. We still had plenty of time, so I began his resume. He told me he didn’t bring his past employment information because he didn’t think we would get to his resume. He reiterated the fact that we get a lot done here at LIFT. Way to go advocates! What are some challenges as an advocate? My biggest challenge is feeling like I failed at a client meeting when I cannot fully meet the client’s demands. It is hard to accept that there is only so much we can do to help.

Do you have any tips for other advocates? 

Keep LIFTing! your confidence and memorable experiences will grow and grow

Get your client to participate in meetings as much as possible!

I like to set a few standard best practices for me during every meeting, which helps me keep even the hardest meetings moving in a forward direction.

Client Spotlight: Douglass Thorpe How long have you been coming to LIFT and how did you hear about it? I have been coming to LIFT for about five years now after seeing a leaflet. I usually come in to do job searches with advocates and to use the computer on my own every other week. Since I have been doing part-time work, I am always looking for jobs and the volunteers always give me new ideas while doing my job search. Currently, I’m a CNA and I really enjoy it. How has LIFT helped you? LIFT has gotten me used to using a computer and made me aware of job fairs to attend. I have really been taking advantage of the computer classes. What’s your next step? There’s always a better job with better benefits so I’m always looking more better opportunities. I haven’t started yet but I hope to go to school and get my LPN (Licensed Practice Nurse) certification. I have been looking with volunteers. What can LIFT do for you? My next step is to find housing in the future so that would probably be the next thing I will start with LIFT. What has your experience been like at LIFT? I don’t want to reveal too much since I will be talking about my LIFT experience at LIFT’s Spring Celebration! But it’s been very well. It’s given me the courage to try new things and has given me tools to venture out and solve a lot of problems. The staff and volunteers are very patient and knowledgeable and all have very good computer skills which really comes in handy.

By Kate J., LIFT Advocate

Douglass is always really polite and warm and friendly whenever he comes. It’s always great to see him walk through the door because he always makes us feel appreciated. - Ale, Site Coordinator

CLIENT & ADVOCATE SPOTLIGHT : June 2013 You could be the next spotlight! We are looking for clients interested in submitting artwork, poetry, writing or to talk about your journey with LIFT and working towards your goals. Or do you have an Advocate you would like to see SPOTLIGHTED? Send us an email ( or ask any LIFT Student Advocate for more information.

Anonymous submissions are also encouraged!

D i d y o u k n o w ? A c t u a l Va l u e I n i t i a t i v e ( AV I ) M e a n s N e w P r o p e r t y T a x e s New real estate assessments have been sent to eligible applicants in February of this year. According to Mayor Nutter, the assessments will be used to determine a more accurate market value for every lot and building to replace the unfairly, undervalued or overassessed property values that have existed in Philadelphia for decades. Therefore, the new system would be better because it would base tax bills on the property’s actual market value.


All bills will be sent out next December and will be payable in early 2014 There will be tax increases in the following areas =  Fairmount  University City  Southwest Center City  South Philadelphia east of Broad St. There will be less change in the following areas =  Chestnut Hill  West Oak Lane  Eastwich  Wynnefield

Check out the Office of Property Assessment for more information. Or call the Office of Property Assessment at (215) 686-9200 (M-F 8:30-5:30)

Input your address HERE to see the property tax change for your home. For more information on Tax Year 2014, check out the OPA’s Homestead Brochure.

Adapted from and

Homestead Exemption = reduce a home’s assessed value by $15,000 in calculating its tax bill which is available for resident homeowners.  longtime homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods will have a proposed $20 million total in tax relief  $10 million for owners of small commercial buildings with apartments  About 50% of homeowners will see their tax bills go down or stay the same (if tax rate remains set at 1.32) and 29% will see their tax bills rise less than $400  Errors can be corrected with formal appeal filed by October 7

Check your home’s market rate!

T i p s t o G e t Yo u r U n e m p l o y m e n t C o m p e n s a t i o n Have you been having trouble getting in contact with the UC Service Center to send your unemployment claim? Here are some tips that can help you get through the process! Are you filing a new claim? Try the online application. It is available on the website of the PA Department of Labor and Industry.

Go to a PA Career Link office. The Career Link offices, which provide services to job seekers, have telephones that cut through the busy signals and go straight to UC case workers. But BEWARE! You may need to wait in a lengthy line. Find a Career Link near you: Do you have a sticky issue with you UC claim and are low income? Contact your legal services office. They may be able to help you solve it. Don’t know how to reach your local legal services program? Find it here:

Ask your state legislator’s office to help you His or her “constituent service” staff can often cut through red tape for you. If you don’t know who your representative or senator is, WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS Call the statewide toll-free number for the UC Service Centers: check at this link: (888) 313-7284 AND GET THAT REDIALING FINGER READY! #address

EVENT UPDATE: Digital Resource Fair Saturday April 27 10:00AM-2:00PM At School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad St. There will be FREE computer classes, everything from computer basics to FamilyNet. Valuable Educational Tools and Tips Resume Building Workshop Digital Job Fair Online homework help tools for parents of students grades K-12 Teen and youth activities with childcare provided for children ages 3+ 

WORKSHOP SPACE IS LIMITED SO RESERVE YOUR SEAT TODAY! Call now: (215) 400-4180 Online: Presented by Comcast, Philadelphia School District, and KEYSPOT.

April Events: - Friday, April 19:

9:00-11:00am Professional Networking Group (PA CareerLink North, 990 Spring Garden St.) EVERY THURSDAYS 1:00-2:30pm Job Interviewing Workshop (Honickman Learning Center, 1936 N. Judson St.)

- Saturday, April 20: 5548 Chestnut Street First Floor Philadelphia , PA 19139 Tel: (215) 474-1807 Fax: (215) 474-1584 E-mail:

9:00-2:00pm 1st Annual Job & Resource Fair (Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 W. Cheltenham Ave) 10:00-2:00pm Community CPR (New Bethlehem Baptist Church, 4030-36 Aspen St., entrance on Preston St) 11:00-5:00pm Go West Craft Fest (Woodlands Historic Mansion & Cemetery, 40th & Woodland) 11:00-2:00pm Kraft Your Kicks (Sayre Health Center, 5800 Walnut St., entrance on 59th St.)

- Sunday, April 21:

12:00-3:00pm Bartering for Barakah! (1841 N. 19th St.)

- Monday, April 22:

10:30-12:00pm Toddler Storytimes (Ramonita de Rodriguez Library, 600 W. Girard Ave.) EVERY MONDAYS 12:00-4:30pm Job Readiness Center Open Computer Lab (Paschalville Branch Library, 6942 Woodland Ave.) EVERY MONDAYS 12:00-1:00pm Lunchtime Serenade (The Porch, 30th St. & Market St., outdoor area) EVERY MONDAYS 1:30-4:30pm ESL classes (PA CareerLink North, 990 Spring Garden St.) EVERY MONDAYS & WEDNESDAYS

-Tuesday, April 23:

10:00-1:00pm Diversity Job Fair of Philadelphia (Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel, 640 W. Germantown Pike, Plymouth Meeting) 6:00-7:30pm Clarifi Workshop @ LIFT: Good Credit for Life (LIFT-West Office) 6:30-8:00pm Homeowner Workshop: Flat Roofs (The Mansion @ The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Ave.)

TIP of the Month: How to calculate your Real Estate Tax Bill

- Wednesday, April 24:

9:00-1:00pm Entry Level Job Fair (Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St.) 12:00-1:00pm The Splashing Pearls (The Porch, 30th St. & Market St., outdoor area) 5:00pm-7:00pm Family & Community Medicine Drop-in (Mazzoni Center, 809 Locust St.) EVERY WEDNESDAYS

- Thursday, April 24:

3:00-7:00pm Prom Gown Giveaway (Greater Bible Way Temple, Inc., 1461 N. 52nd St.)

Real Estate Tax Rate = 8.264% 5:30-7:00pm Fitness Together Classes (Sayre Rec Center, 5835 Spruce St.) EVERY THURSDAYS 6:00-7:30pm BodyRock Fitness (The Porch, 30th St. & Market St., outdoor area) Taxes applied to 32% of market - Friday, April 26: value of home

1:00pm-2:30pm Dress Code & Workplace Etiquette Workshop (Honickman Learning Center, 1933 N. Judson St.)

Assessed Value = [Market value x .32] x .08264

- Saturday, April 27:

1:00-4:00pm SAT/ACT and College Prep Help (Northwest Regional Library, 68 W. Chelten Ave.)1:0011:00-3:00pm Community Day Fair (Fortaleza HealthPlex, 133 W. Hunting Park Ave.) 9:00-1:00pm Let’s See If We Can Help Workshop (LIFT-North Office, 1231 N. Broad St., 4th Fl.)

- Monday, April 29:

10:00-12:00pm Green Jobs Workshop for Women (Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St., Room 108)

- Tuesday, April 30:

6:30-8:00pm Homeowner Workshop: Energy Efficiency in Older & Historic Houses (The Mansion, 4000 Woodland Ave.)

May Events: - Thursday, May 2:

1:30-5:30pm 20th Anniversary Partnership Festival (Sayre High School , 5800 Walnut St.) 4:00-7:00pm Legal Clinic (Ayuda Community Center, 4455 N. 6th St., Suite 100) EVERY THURSDAY

Monthly Sudoku

- Friday, May 3:

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1:00-2:30pm Guest Speaker in Human Resources (Honickman Learning Center, 1936 N. Judson St.)

- Saturday, May 4:

10:00-3:00pm Philly Police Peace Day (Cobbs Creek Parkway & Whitby Ave.) 10:00-1:00pm Passport to Kindergarten (Blankenburg Elementary School, 4600 W. Girard Ave.) 12:00-4:00pm 5th Annual Spring into Health Community Day (Saunders Park Greene, 39th St. & Powelton Ave.)

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6:30-8:00pm Homeowner Workshop: Masonry & Pointing (The Mansion, 4000 Woodland Ave.)

- Saturday, May 11:


- Sunday, May 12:


8:30-1:00pm Love Your Park Service Day (Saunders Park Greene, 39th St. & Powelton Ave.) 2:00-3:30pm Mother’s Day Tree Tour (The Woodlands, 4000 Woodland Ave.) 6:00-7:30pm Clarifi Workshop @ LIFT: Understanding Your Credit Report (LIFT– West Office)

- Saturday, May 18:

4:00-8:00pm Party for the Park (Clark Park, 43rd St. & Baltimore Ave. )

- Friday, May 31-Saturday, June 1:

Doors open 6:00am FREE Dental Clinics (Liacouras Center, 1776 N. Broad St.)



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- Thursday, May 23:

4:00-5:30pm Office Etiquette: How to Resolve Workplace Conflict (Temple Univ.’s Education & Community Entertainment Center)



- Tuesday, May 7:

- Tuesday, May 14:

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April/May 2013 Newsletter  
April/May 2013 Newsletter  

LIFT West Office April/May 2013 newsletter