Author: Admin

Chester County OIC SOAR Success Story – Roberto B.

Roberto was referred to CCOIC by the director of a local homeless shelter.  At 19 years old he was kicked out of his home by his stepfather.  As a homeless youth, Roberto carried a pocketknife in his backpack for protection.  When school officials discovered he had a knife, they expelled him halfway through his senior year. Although expelled, he was given the option to complete his schoolwork on-line.  The entire SOAR staff worked in tandem with the shelter director to put in place a mechanism for Roberto to be able to complete his schoolwork. With our help providing a safe space with computer access and job preparation opportunities, Roberto has been successfully keeping up with school while also receiving a job placement to begin earning some much needed income.

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Rocky Mount OIC SOAR Success Story – Michale Liggins

Mr. Michale Liggins enrolled in the Young Adult SOAR Program on March 20, 2019 as a 19-year-old homeless participant.  He came in with a determination to obtain a GED and also full-time employment.  Since being enrolled in the program Mr. Liggins has made much progress.  The SOAR Program made sure Mr. Liggins had the housing he needed by referring him to partners, and enrolled him into the GED program in Fall of 2019 where he is close to receiving his High School Equivalency. During this time he also received job placement at Golden Corral on August 12, 2019. 

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Philadelphia OIC SOAR Success Story – Khalil Shields

Khalil Shields started his journey with the SOAR program at Philadelphia OIC in November of 2019. Khalil is a funny & light-hearted person. When he came to the program he was on house arrest but still took the initiative to use that time constructively and advance his goals. Khalil enrolled in training for construction with the Energy Coordinating Agency. Khalil’s positive attitude and sense of humor served him well and helped him overcome any challenges he faced. Khalil completed his training with the Energy Coordinating Agency on February 14th, 2020, and earned his OSHA 10 and other certificates.

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COVID-19 2021 Update


What We’re Doing

We’re monitoring and following all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including taking the steps necessary to reduce the threat of COVID-19 exposure to employees and clients. Our affiliates, in many cases, remain open to serve you. Each affiliate has an emergency management plan, in accordance with their state, on how to proceed in our current climate. Some locations have had their hours adjusted as a result of local conditions. For the latest updates on affiliate hours, you can visit the websites of your local affiliate.

COVID-19 Legislative Updates: Roundup of Federal, State, and Local Actions (The Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia)


  • The Kenney Administration estimates the City stands to lose $100 million per year due to a permanent shift to remote working for suburbanites during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Creating tax revenue for the City by attracting suburban workers back into the city and creating new jobs for city residents is key to closing this potential budget deficit.
  • Mayor Kenney has included a significant investment in job growth in his recently proposed budget which should help boost revenues.
  • The arguments against business and wage tax reduction from some City Council members are confusing as high taxes only hurt the types of small and medium neighborhood businesses the city needs to grow and support.
  • Help us to address these issues and advance our inclusive growth agenda through informal engagement with members of City Council as a Council Connector. Read the full report to learn how to get engaged.
  • At yesterday’s City Council session a bill was introduced to create a new class of covered PHL Airport employees to receive prevailing wage benefits.
  • City Council passed a bill this week adding required conditions and information for reporting adjustments to taxable income.
  • FY22 Budget Hearings will be held next week to address budgets for the Managing Director’s Office, Law, Chief Administrative Office, Philadelphia School District, Community College of Philadelphia, Fire Department, Police Department, Prisons Department and Planning and Development.
  • Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Philadelphia have exceeded 140,400 with 3,501 deaths.
  • Starting today, May 7, the City is scheduled to relax some Safer-at-Home restrictions including increased capacity for indoor dining, an increase in table sizes, and the reintroduction of indoor catered events at 25% occupancy.
  • In all of these situations, the Health Commissioner made a strong recommendation that anyone participating in these higher-risk and higher-density events should be vaccinated first.
  • The Chamber will host virtual events with the City’s Director of Finance (May 12) and the Department of Human Services (May 24). Read the full weekly update below to learn more and register.


  • The Wolf Administration issued a final rule for the regulatory plan that would make Pennsylvania part of the RGGI, a multi-state consortium committed to reducing power plant greenhouse gas emissions through carbon credits.
  • Labor unions and legislators from energy producing counties contend that joining the RGGI could hurt jobs and businesses in Pennsylvania. To be enacted, the rule must go through two state regulatory boards with veto power.
  • The House voted to send HB72 to the Senate, a bill that would require an enhanced review process for major regulations that impose a cost burden of $1 million or more per year on the state, municipalities, and the business community.
  • The House also voted for HB950, a bill that seeks to allow the General Assembly to initiate the repeal of any regulation currently in effect by concurrent resolution, with the House, Senate and Governor all needing to approve the resolution.
  • HB139 was approved in the House and would require government agencies to create more transparency, ease-of-use, and third-party oversight during the permitting process. Similar measures have been opposed by Governor Wolf.
  • Pennsylvania’s General Fund revenue continues to be better than expected with collections coming in at $28.2 million more than anticipated for April, keeping the state’s year-to-date collections 4.2% ahead of the estimate.


  • Members of U.S. House of Representatives last week submitted their respective Community Funding Project requests, commonly referred to as earmarks.
  • Each Member of Congress can submit up to 10 community project requests for their state or local governments or nonprofits in their districts, but only a fraction of their requests are funded each year.
  • Members of our congressional delegation have posted their earmark requests to their websites. Read the full update to access links to the lists of requests from our region.
  • Earlier this month, Senate Republicans took a largely symbolic and non-binding vote to reaffirm their ban on earmarks instead of joining Democrats and House Republicans to revive the practice. The Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to issue instructions for requesting earmarks this week.
For detailed Federal, State, and Local Legislative Updates follow the link below.

CDC Vaccine Guidance

The following recommendations apply to non-healthcare settings. For related information for healthcare settings, visit Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
  • Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel
  • Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States
  • Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings
  • Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic
  • Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible

For now, fully vaccinated people should continue to:

  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

COVID-19 Guidance for OICA

The spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has all of our attention. I wanted to let you know the OIC Network is doing everything possible to keep our employees, clients, and community members, safe while delivering essential services.

Businesses and Workplaces

For Employers and Businesses

Guidance and strategies to help prevent workplace exposures to COVID-19

Plan, Prepare, and Respond – Updated October 2020

See the CDC’s Guidelines here –

See the OSHA COVID-19 guidancepdf iconexternal icon for more information on how to protect workers from potential exposures, according to their exposure risk. Plans should consider that employees may be able to spread COVID-19 even if they do not show symptoms.

All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in your workplace. This should include activities to:

  • prevent and reduce transmission among employees,
  • maintain healthy business operations, and
  • maintain a healthy work environment.

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SOAR Highlight: Sheneathia Hanson, MBA

Sheneathia Hanson, MBA, is a passionate and unstoppable force of nature that we are proud to recognize as a true representative of our OIC network. A North Carolina native, Ms. Hanson came to Rocky Mount OIC with over 10 years of experience working directly with the Re-entry population in her neighboring communities. Having partnered with OIC throughout her years in the field of direct service, she was always aware of Rocky Mount OIC’s reputation as “a singular beacon of Hope” for the surrounding communities as well as a hub for in-house training and education. Once SOAR came to the doors of 402 E. Virginia Street, Sheneathia knew she wanted to be the one to help build out its SOAR unique offerings. She has since curated an incredible and cohesive team of inspirational and compassionate practitioners that are teaming with success stories from the hundreds of participants they have managed to serve thus far.

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Martin Luther King, Jr.: Speech in Rocky Mount, N.C., November 1962

The OICA team visited the auditorium in Rocky Mount where Dr. Martin Luther King gave the original “I have a dream” address. The below article gives historical background on his visit to Rocky Mount.

By Michael Hill

Research Branch, NC Office of Archives and History, 2006

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OICA Site Visit at OIC of Wilson

OIC of America visited OIC of Wilson to learn about how they’re providing skills training and implemented SOAR to help North Carolina’s returning citizens.  The OIC of America team was treated to unrivaled southern hospitality and a host of promising practices to bring to the network.

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Spotlight: Portland OIC Middle School Tech/STEM Fair

Last year, Rosemary Anderson received a generous $100,000 grant from Intel as part of the She Will Connect initiative, solidifying efforts to get more girls interested in STEM fields. The year-long project culminated in a hugely successful Tech/STEM Fair in January. Students and staff hosted 250 guests, including Intel representatives and POIC Board members, and three hard-working scholars received laptops for having the most impressive exhibits. Way to go, RAMS!

Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes will lead Philadelphia OIC into the New Decade

All, some exciting news!
In case you didn’t receive or may have missed this important Executive Leadership Announcement, Judge Reneé Caldwell Hughes, who served on the Philadelphia bench for 15 years before moving on to serve in the role as President and CEO of the Regional Red Cross, has joined the Philadelphia OIC organization as it’s new President and CEO. Please join me in welcoming Reneé to the OIC family.  The press release announcement is below.

Also of note, I think it is important that we also give praise and our appreciation to Charles Crumbley, Philadelphia OIC’s former Interim President and CEO, for a job well done. Charles faithfully served in this capacity for 19 months as they conducted their executive search. We wish Charles and his family all the best and thank him for his service to OIC.

James Haynes, OICA President and CEO

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