Celebrating Women’s History Month

Honoring Women’s Impact on Housing Equality

March is a time to celebrate Women’s History Month, a period dedicated to recognizing the countless contributions and achievements of women throughout history. From pioneering activists to groundbreaking leaders, women have played an integral role in shaping societies and advancing various causes, including the fight for housing equality.

At Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG), we take this opportunity to reflect on the remarkable women who have made significant strides in advocating for affordable housing, challenging systemic barriers, and empowering communities. As we honor their legacies, we also acknowledge the ongoing efforts to address housing disparities and ensure equitable access for all.

Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of housing activism, championing the rights of marginalized communities and demanding social change. Figures like Jane Addams, known for her pioneering work in establishing settlement houses in the late 19th century, provided vital resources and support to impoverished families, particularly women and children, in urban areas. Addams’ tireless efforts laid the foundation for future initiatives aimed at addressing housing insecurity and promoting social welfare.

In more recent times, women continue to lead the charge in advocating for affordable housing and combating homelessness. Individuals like Dorothy Mae Richardson, who founded the first Black-led public housing cooperative in the United States, exemplify the resilience and determination of women in creating sustainable housing solutions for underserved communities. Their vision and dedication serve as inspiration for organizations like BCHG as we strive to foster inclusive and resilient neighborhoods.

Moreover, Women’s History Month provides an opportunity to recognize the intersectional nature of housing inequality and the disproportionate impact it has on women, particularly women of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, and those with disabilities. These marginalized groups often face compounded barriers to accessing safe and affordable housing, stemming from systemic discrimination and socioeconomic disparities.

BCHG’s Work

In response, BCHG remains committed to advancing equity and inclusivity within our housing programs, ensuring that all individuals have the opportunity to thrive. Through initiatives focused on advocacy, education, and community outreach, we work to dismantle institutional barriers and create pathways to stable housing for those in need.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us not only honor the trailblazing women who have paved the way for progress but also reaffirm our commitment to building a future where housing justice is a reality for all. By acknowledging the intersectional experiences of women and amplifying their voices in the fight for equitable housing, we can create a more just and compassionate society for generations to come.

Join us in commemorating Women’s History Month and standing in solidarity with women everywhere as we continue the journey towards housing equality and social justice.

Together, we can make a difference.

As we commemorate Black History Month, it’s crucial to reflect not only on the achievements and contributions of Black individuals, but also on the systemic challenges they continue to face. In Bucks County, there exists a stark reality: disparities in access to adequate food and housing disproportionately affect the Black community. At Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG), we believe it’s imperative to confront these issues head-on and work toward equitable solutions.

Disparate Impacts on the Black Community

Food insecurity is a pressing concern for many Black households in Bucks County. According to Feeding America, 15% of Bucks County’s food-insecure population is Black. At BCHG, we recognize the urgency of addressing these underlying systemic issues through initiatives like community food drives, partnerships with other nonprofits, and advocating for policies that promote food equity.

Similarly, housing insecurity remains a significant challenge for the Black community in Bucks County. Discriminatory practices, historical disinvestment, and economic barriers have perpetuated housing disparities, resulting in higher rates of homelessness among Black residents. (National Alliance to End Homelessness) As an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing solutions, BCHG is committed to expanding access to safe and stable housing for all members of our community. Through affordable housing developments, rental assistance programs, and advocacy efforts, we strive to address the root causes of housing instability and create pathways to homeownership for marginalized populations.

Our Commitment

In commemorating Black History Month, we must not only celebrate the resilience and contributions of Black individuals but also acknowledge and dismantle the systemic barriers that perpetuate inequities in our society. At BCHG, we are committed to fostering a community where everyone has access to nutritious food, safe housing, and opportunities for economic advancement. By working together with community partners and stakeholders, we can build a more just and inclusive Bucks County where every individual, regardless of race or background, can thrive. This Black History Month, let us recommit ourselves to the pursuit of equity and justice for all.

Bucks County Housing Group Partners with PA Department of Human Services to Promote 988 Hotline

The 988 Hotline

In a world where mental health struggles are increasingly prevalent, access to immediate support is crucial. Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) has taken a significant step in addressing this need by partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to promote the 988 mental health hotline. This collaboration underscores our commitment to supporting the mental well-being of the community we serve.

BCHG recognizes the interconnectedness of stable housing and mental health. As an organization dedicated to providing housing assistance, food, and support services to individuals and families in need, we see the need for mental health resources for our clients. Many of the individuals that we serve face various challenges, including mental health issues. Having access to reliable support is essential. The 988 hotline provides an immediate access point to those in need of mental health services.

The 988 hotline is crucial for those experiencing mental health emergencies. By dialing 988, individuals can connect with trained professionals who can provide guidance, support, and resources to help them navigate their situation. Support is always free and confidential.

Our Partnership

Our partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services aims to raise awareness about the 988 hotline within the community. Through our digital campaign, we are working to ensure that individuals in Bucks County are aware of this vital resource.

One of the key objectives of this partnership is to destigmatize mental health issues and encourage individuals to seek help when needed. By promoting the 988 hotline, we are sending a powerful message that mental health support is available, accessible, and free of judgment. Suicide prevention and crisis support are essential for safe, healthy communities. We must work together to normalize asking for help.

Moreover, this partnership aligns with BCHG’s broader mission of empowering individuals and families to achieve self-sufficiency and stability. By providing access to mental health resources, we are not only addressing immediate crises but also supporting the long-term well-being of the community.

The significance of this partnership extends beyond just raising awareness. It embodies the collaborative efforts needed to address complex societal challenges. Through working together, BCHG and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services are leveraging our resources and expertise to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those struggling with mental health issues.

Conclusion

As we work together to raise awareness about the 988 hotline, partnerships like this serve as models for community-driven initiatives to promote mental health support. By coming together, organizations can amplify their impact and create a more supportive environment for individuals facing mental health challenges.

In conclusion, Bucks County Housing Group’s partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to promote the 988 mental health hotline exemplifies the proactive approach needed to address mental health issues in our communities. By raising awareness, reducing stigma, and providing access to immediate support, BCHG is playing a vital role in supporting the mental well-being of the individuals and families it serves. This partnership serves as a testament to the power of collaboration in creating positive change and ensuring that mental health remains a priority for all. Your mental health matters.

How It Will Impact Pennsylvanians, And What You Can Do About It

Introduction:


If Congress fails to act by January 19, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) will face a budget shortfall that could result in 2 million eligible families nationwide being turned away from the program. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) As an organization dedicated to providing essential services to vulnerable communities, BCHG is deeply concerned about the potential ramifications of the budget shortfall on the individuals and families utilizing our food program.

The WIC Program and The Budget Shortfall:


WIC is a crucial federal assistance program that provides nutrition education, healthy food, and support to low-income pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. (USDA) Currently, the WIC program serves about half of all infants born in the United States. Unfortunately, the budget that Congress is currently considering will fund the program at a $1 billion shortfall. The shortfall will cost the same amount as funding six months of benefits to all pregnant women and infants participating in WIC. (USDA) Individual states will likely create waitlists to join the program as a result of the shortfall, and several eligible families will be turned away from receiving the assistance they need.

What this Means for Pennsylvania:

The WIC budget shortfall is projected to impact 51,000 Pennsylvanians by September 2024. (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) To avoid such a stark impact, the USDA may choose to reallocate funding from their other programs toward WIC, but there is no guarantee that this will be feasible. There will likely also be a long-lasting impact on the perception of the WIC program. Turning eligible participants away due to inadequate funding will likely discourage people from applying in the future.

Impact on Our Food Pantries:


Our pantries and mobile markets are vital resources for those in need, offering a safe and reliable source of food in times of economic hardship. The potential increase in demand due to the WIC budget shortfall will place additional strain on these essential services. We anticipate welcoming new families to our pantries and mobile markets as a result of the shortfall. Demand for produce, milk, eggs, baby formula, and diapers will also likely increase. Finally, we anticipate an increase in the need for families who are already utilizing our programs. The level of support WIC will provide to those already on their programs is uncertain, so their need for food from our programs may increase.

How You Can Help:

  1. Contact Your Representatives:
    Use the form here to contact your elected representatives. Be an advocate for policies that prioritize the well-being of pregnant women, new mothers, and young children.
  2. Spread the Word:
    Share this blog, our website, and our social media with your network to help spread awareness about the WIC budget shortfall. as well as the resources that BCHG provides to combat food and housing security.
  3. Donate to BCHG:
    Monetary support and food donations make a significant difference in our ability to meet increased demand at our food pantries. Support our mission by donating to our cause to help us prepare for the influx of patrons at our pantries.
  4. Volunteer Your Time:
    Offer your time and skills to assist at BCHG’s food pantries or other programs. Volunteering is a hands-on way to contribute to the community and support vulnerable individuals and families.
  5. Organize Food Drives:
    Coordinate food drives with local businesses, schools, and community groups. Collecting non-perishable items can help ensure that our food pantries remain well-stocked to meet the growing demand.

Conclusion:


The WIC budget shortfall is a challenge that will require collective action and community support. By raising awareness, advocating for policy change, and contributing to organizations like ours, we can make a positive impact on the lives of those facing food insecurity. Together, let’s ensure that every individual has access to the nutrition and support they need for a healthy future.

Written By: Amanda McGill

Reflecting on 2023 and Looking Ahead to the New Year

Welcome to BCHG‘s 2023 Wrapped: Our Year in Review! As we bid farewell to another eventful year, it’s time to reflect on the milestones, achievements, challenges, and moments that defined the journey for Bucks County Housing Group over the past twelve months. From program expansion, partnerships new and old, and community engagement, join us as we delve into the highlights and pivotal events that shaped our path in 2023. Embrace the nostalgia and anticipation as we unwrap the story of our year—a narrative woven with progress, resilience, and the collective efforts of our team and supporters. Scroll through the slideshow below to check out some of our favorite moments from 2023:

We are excited about the new opportunities, challenges, and chances to grow coming in 2024. Thank you for your support and partnership with BCHG. Our work is only possible because of your dedication to our mission. We can’t wait to continue to close the door on hunger and homelessness with you in the new year.

Want more of our 2023 Wrapped? Check out the video below:

BCHG 2023 Wrapped by Amanda McGill

A November Collaboration with Free Spirit Bar

Looking to grab a drink somewhere local and fundraise at the same time? Look no further! This November, enjoy the “Hygge Hug” at Free Spirit to help support our mission here at BCHG.

A Fundraiser Drink to Warm Hearts

As November unfolds, ushering in colder nights and shorter days, we’ve discovered a unique haven in Buckingham: Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar, the sole alcohol-free bar and bottle shop in Bucks County. Beyond its charming exterior lies a space dedicated to warmth, community, and a meaningful cause.

Throughout November, savor the delightful “Hygge Hug” featured on the menu at Free Spirit. With a comforting blend of wholesome ingredients, the Hygge Hug combines brown butter rum alternative, vanilla, and hot spiced apple cider to warm your body and soul. Not only that, but you can sip blissfully knowing that your drink directly contributes to supporting BCHG programs. Every sip adds warmth to both your experience and our community.

Free Spirit: A Unique Local Experience

Free Spirit offers a diverse array of alcohol-free drinks, including hemp-infused options, and exquisite handcrafted home goods. What truly sets this local gem apart is its unwavering commitment to community betterment. Each month, Free Spirit crafts a special drink to benefit a different local organization. We’re excited to announce that BCHG has been chosen as the November beneficiary!

Transform Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar into your cozy retreat this November. Immerse yourself in the welcoming ambiance that wraps you in a sense of community and relaxation. Make the Hygge Hug an essential part of your visit, knowing that each indulgence contributes to a local cause.

Located at 4920 York Rd. Store 13, Buckingham, PA 18912, Free Spirit is not just a venue; it’s a hub for wellness, warmth, and giving. Join us in celebrating the incredible spirit of collaboration and community this November. Experience the unique blend of flavors and community support at Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar, your ultimate destination for warmth and fundraising in Bucks County.

Don’t miss out on contributing to local causes—visit Free Spirit today and make a difference one sip at a time!

Get Directions Here

Check out Free Spirit on Instagram!

BCHG Homepage

Written: Hannah Borish