Provide high-quality supports and protections to vulnerable Pennsylvanians
"I take our obligation to protect vulnerable populations in our commonwealth very seriously."-Governor Tom Wolf
Why is this goal important?
Protecting Pennsylvania's most vulnerable residents and supporting them on a path toward healthy, self-sufficient lives is at the heart of the commonwealth's mission. The commonwealth is responsible for ensuring that vulnerable Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality services and supports – delivered efficiently – that enable them to live, work, and thrive in their communities.
What are we working on to reach this goal?
Governor Wolf has strengthened services for older Pennsylvanians, persons with disabilities, and individuals and families participating in the commonwealth's benefit programs. The governor announced nearly $14.2 million in Community Development Block Grant-CARES Act (CDBG-CV) funding to support communities and their residents on a path to success.
The executive order overhauling state services and systems intended to protect the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians is yielding results with stronger compliance requirements for facilities providing services to vulnerable populations, greater awareness for identifying and supporting human trafficking victims, and continued progress toward a single system for child welfare case management. Shortly after entering office, Governor Wolf took action to save more than 180,000 seniors from losing their health plans.
He has also signed legislation increasing income eligibility for prescription drug coverage, making the program available to an additional 17,000 older Pennsylvanians. The Community HealthChoices program continues to support older Pennsylvanians in securing high-quality health care close to home. Demonstrating his commitment to increasing home and community care options, Governor Wolf launched a Community Living Waiver to make services available to approximately 1,000 more individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) or autism.
As part of his commitment to help people with disabilities find competitive jobs in the community, Governor Wolf announced the inaugural Employment First Oversight Commission annual report, outlining goals and recommendations for the commonwealth to continue prioritizing competitive integrated employment for Pennsylvanians with disabilities. Additionally, in 2021 the Wolf Administration established the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) to administer $569 million in assistance to renters, landlords, and utility providers who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic insecurity.
How are we doing?
Serving People in the Community
Protecting Vulnerable Children
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps Pennsylvanians buy food. By increasing their purchasing power in grocery stores and supermarkets, SNAP provides eligible low-income households with access to a nutritious diet. In Pennsylvania, SNAP serves roughly 1.8 million people, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities.