Friday, March 4, 2011

Valuable Employment Service for Seniors Under Attack

What would you do if you couldn’t make ends meet in retirement? Like many Americans, you’d probably return to the workforce. But what if you needed help finding a job? Where would you turn? Thankfully, the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) is there to help seniors in need by providing valuable training to help them gain employment.

As we know from the Elder Index, it takes about $20,326 for an elder renter to make ends meet in retirement. If a senior cannot make ends meet, he or she may choose to go back to work if they are able. SCSEP helps low-income seniors by providing immediate employment. The participants earn minimum wage while providing much needed services in their communities.

Unfortunately, like many public assistance programs, SCSEP is under attack in the federal budget debate.
Although it has historically enjoyed strong bipartisan support, the House budget reduces SCSEP funding from $825 million to $300 million. This creates a crisis for tens of thousands of seniors, many of whom are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. As shown by a recent survey of SCSEP participants done by Experience Works, participants rely on SCSEP to make ends meet:
      • Nearly half (46%) of SCSEP participants say they sometimes have to choose between paying rent, purchasing food or purchasing medications.
      • Half (50 %) need to keep working so they don’t lose their homes or apartments.
      • 43 % are looking for work now because they were laid off from their previous positions.
      • 64 % have been looking for work one year or longer.  

      Help stop cuts to valuable programs for low-income seniors and their families. Send a letter to your representatives today to voice your concern for the federal budget cuts. We must show Congress how much these programs and services help low and middle-income families make ends meet.

      Maggie Flowers
      Field Manager
      Elder Economic Security Initiative

      1 comment:

      Tony Sarmiento said...


      Thanks for your support of SCSEP and highlighting the impact of proposed cuts in funding. Gara LaMarche, CEO of Atlantic Philanthropies, also referred to SCSEP in his monthly column, Atlantic Currents, posted last week:

      Thanks again.