PICC is proud to coordinate PA is Ready!, an innovative, community-led, capacity building initiative and grants program. PA is Ready! encourages collaboration between community-based organizations and service providers to build the capacity of local community organizations to provide Pennsylvania immigrant communities with the information, services, and legal assistance they need. PA is Ready! shifts the traditional power dynamics in philanthropy by empowering a Grantmaking Committee comprised of representatives of community-based organizations and service providers to identify funding priorities and evaluate grant proposals.
The application process for 2018 PA is Ready! grants will begin in the spring. In 2017, PA is Ready! distributed over $280,000 in subgrants to 18 community-based groups and legal service providers to fund collaborative proposals focused on:
- Legal Assistance: Increasing access to quality immigration services through a collaborative model to address ongoing needs, including comprehensive legal screenings, application assistance, deportation defense, financial literacy, and fraud prevention.
- Organizational Mentorship: Building organizational capacity and community leadership through collaborative partnerships in specific areas that achieve PA is Ready! goals, such as community-led deportation defense organizing, supporting the creation of a DOJ accreditation program, and financial services for undocumented communities.
All projects are expected to fulfill the established goals of PA is Ready!, which are to:
- Build statewide capacity to provide immigration services and legal assistance.
- Screen and enroll as many eligible immigrants as possible in all available forms of immigration relief.
- Prevent the exploitation of immigrants through immigration (or “notario”) fraud.
- Build immigrant leadership and organizing capacity to engage in local, state, and federal immigrant rights campaigns.
- Reach the diverse immigrant communities in Pennsylvania.
In addition to its grant program, PA is Ready! will continue to develop community education materials and coordinate regional and statewide trainings to help build the capacity of community-led grassroots organizations.
PA is Ready! Grantee Portal: This portal contains training resources, educational materials, and other materials for current and past grantees.
For more information, please contact Carlos Adolfo Gonzalez, Statewide Capacity Building Coordinator.
PA is Ready! Background
In September 2014, PICC began convening member and partner organizations in anticipation of then President Obama enacting an Executive Order creating new forms of administrative relief for undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. which was expected to protect almost 5 million undocumented immigrants. These organizations came together and created PA is Ready! as a vehicle for providing quality, high-volume services across Pennsylvania. Members developed a service model that would ensure that Pennsylvania immigrant community members had access to the information and assistance they needed to apply for both existing and anticipated forms of relief, and began raising funds to support collaborative projects utilizing the service model. Despite the Supreme Court’s tie vote in June 2016 that halted the implementation of new forms of administrative relief, the PA is Ready! coalition pressed forward in recognition of the many already unmet needs of immigrant communities across the Commonwealth.