Otten staff coordinates volunteers to sew 1,000 masks and counting for Chester County organizations

(May 05, 2020)

EXTON, May 5 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, and her staff organized a volunteer effort to create cloth masks for community organizations in need. To date, the volunteers have made and donated more than 1,000 face masks to nursing homes, senior living facilities, personal care homes, and fire and ambulance companies in the 155th Legislative District. Otten said the idea to help came from a Facebook post she saw written by a volunteer at a senior living facility in her legislative district stating that they were in urgent need of masks. While the facility’s requests for personal protective equipment for its medical staff were filled through the county, Otten and her staff contacted the facility and learned that they needed 500 cloth masks for residents, volunteers and non-medical staff. Otten’s outreach events coordinator Sarah Heil immediately began mobilizing volunteers to fill the facility’s request, as well as calling other organizations in the district to determine who else may be in need. Through social media and personal contacts, Heil connected with the Chester County chapter of Sew for PA, a group formed in recent weeks to sew face masks for essential workers. The Sew for PA group quickly filled the order for 500 masks for the senior living facility and now has 200 more in the queue to be delivered to the East Brandywine Fire Co. Heil also recruited 12 volunteers from t he Read more

 

COVID-19 Resources for Seniors

(Apr 17, 2020)

Pennsylvania Department of Aging The Pennsylvania Department of Aging is the agency that oversees all programs and services providing aid to Pennsylvania’s seniors. They are available to assist seniors with caregiver support, transportation, senior housing, prescription assistance, nutrition services, and more. They can be contacted at 717-783-1550 or aging@pa.gov . Chester County Department of Aging The Chester County Department of Aging can connect you to programs and services that can help you stay home and stay safe. While the department’s physical offices are closed, they are still operating to provide essential services and answer questions. Please call 610-344-6350 or email ccaging@chesco.org . Protective Services One of the primary responsibilities of the County and State Departments of Aging is to protect older adults by investigating suspected cases of abuse quickly and thoroughly. During the COVID-19 crisis, they are taking steps to reduce the risk of exposure to older adults. If you suspect elder abuse, please call the county hotline at 1-800-564-7000 or the statewide abuse reporting hotline at 1-800-490-8505. These hotlines operate 24/7, 365 days per year. PA Link The PA Link assists older adults and individuals with disabilities by providing information and connecting them to supports and services they need (non-medical and medical) to live safely in Read more

 

Substance Abuse/Withdrawal Resources

(Apr 08, 2020)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on every aspect of our communities. We understand this time has been difficult for many, especially those who are dealing with, or have a family member dealing with, substance abuse or withdrawal symptoms. In extreme cases, limited access to alcohol may put some individuals at risk for alcohol withdrawal syndrome, which can be life threatening. Below is a list of county, state, and federal resources available to meet your specific needs. The availability of some resources may be affected by COVID-19. Please see individual websites for adjusted hours and services. Substance Use Resources: PA Get Help Now: A 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year hotline staffed by trained professionals who will stay on the phone with the caller until a treatment provider with an opening is identified. Phone, Chat, and Text options available: 24/7 Help Line: 1-800-662-HELP (4357) 24/7 Text: 717-216-0905 24/7 Chat Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs: Resource Page Resources for Individuals Resources for Families Chester County Drug and Alcohol Services: Resource Page Chester County: The Family Help Book guide to addiction and recovery resources in Chester County U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: SAMHSA National Helpline Support Groups/Programs Read more

 

COVID-19 Food Resources

(Apr 03, 2020)

My office has received many questions about resources for individuals and families in need of food as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Below is a list of resources and services available to ensure no one goes hungry during this difficult time. If you have any questions, please contact my office at 484-200-8259 or repotten@pahouse.net . Food Banks and Pantries Lord’s Pantry 610-873-1149 141 E Lancaster Ave., Downingtown Monday and Tuesday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Qualifications Chester County Food Bank The Chester County Food Bank will continue to serve the community while taking the recommended COVID-19 precaution measures. To find a food bank near you visit: https://chestercountyfoodbank.org/community-partners/member-agencies/ 610-873-6000 Spring City Food Pantry Spring-Ford Project Outreach is continuing to offer pantry services to clients. Clients are asked to wait outside and provide their green ID card or proof of residency. 484-431-3493 145 Chestnut St., Spring City Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. Senior Centers If you are a senior living in Chester County and you need assistance obtaining breakfast or lunch, please reach out to the Phoenixville Area Senior Center or the Coatesville Area Read more

 

Domestic Violence Resources

(Apr 02, 2020)

While we continue to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the state and county outlets to report child abuse, elder abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and rape continue to serve our communities. The following are resources available for you to report abuse or suspected abuse: Domestic Violence Center of Chester County : The DVCCC provides intervention, education, outreach, advocacy, and programs to prevent, reduce, and remedy domestic violence in Chester County. All services are free and confidential. To learn more or to report domestic violence, call their 24-hour, free hotline 888-711-6270 or 610-431-1430 Crime Victims’ Center of Chester County : The CVC provides free, immediate, and confidential crisis response and compassionate support to children and adults impacted by crime and violence. They can provide assistance through counseling, advocacy, resources, and education. To learn more contact 610-692-1926. To report a sexual assault, contact their 24-hour hotline at 610-692-7273. To report other crimes, contact their 24-hour hotline at 610-692-7420. Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence : The PCADV is a statewide collaborative membership organization committed to ending intimate partner violence and all forms of violence against women. Together, the local programs and statewide coalition work to deliver services, support, and systems to help victims and survivors find safety, obtain justice, and build lives free of Read more

 

State Reps. Fiedler, Innamorato, Lee and Otten to introduce legislation freezing rents and mortgages during pandemic

(Mar 31, 2020)

HARRISBURG, March 30- Pennsylvanians are experiencing layoffs and furloughs in unparalleled numbers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and they need relief. On Friday, state Reps. Elizabeth Fiedler, D-Phila, Sara Innamorato, D-Allegheny, Summer Lee, D-Allegheny, and Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, announced they are working on legislation to ease the burden on and increase protections for all Pennsylvanians by implementing a rent and mortgage freeze. “Across the commonwealth, families are facing the terrifying prospect of not being able to pay their rent or mortgage for the foreseeable future,” Fiedler said. “People are making choices about whether they will pay their mortgage or rent, buy food, or pay for medicine. By freezing rent and mortgage payments we can ease some of the financial stress our constituents face right now.” "These bills uphold a social contract: we're asking folks to stay home, so our responsibility is to protect those homes," Innamorato said. "April 1st is right around the corner and we have to keep people safe and economically secure as they navigate an unprecedented crisis." Other states are also looking at ways to provide relief from rent and mortgage payments; New York’s state legislature has introduced S8125A, a bill suspending rent payments for certain residential and small business tenants for 90 days, while both New York’s and New Jersey’s governors announced a 90-day Read more

 

Otten: DCED waivers should prioritize public health, small business

(Mar 27, 2020)

EXTON, March 27 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, released the following statement regarding Department of Community and Economic Development waivers and exemptions for businesses affected by COVID-19: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest challenge most of us have faced in our lifetimes, and I appreciate the difficult work Governor Wolf and our state agencies are doing to protect the health of Pennsylvanians. “Our public health and safety must remain our top priority. I am also concerned about the interests of our small business owners, who have a strong personal stake in the neighborhoods where they live and work. Local business owners support our food drives, school fundraisers and little leagues; they pay taxes that support our commonwealth and our public schools. The money we spend in locally owned businesses stays in and strengthens our communities. Allowing waivers and exemptions to large corporations and special interests that directly compete with locally owned businesses, while denying waivers to small businesses in the very same sectors, not only harms our local economies, it also endangers the lives of workers in truly life-sustaining industries, like healthcare workers on the front lines, and grocery store employees.” In a March 26 letter to Governor Wolf and DCED Secretary Dennis Davin , Otten noted that large corporations are more likely than small, locally owned Read more

 

COVID-19 Update and Community Resources

(Mar 24, 2020)

COVID-19 Update and Community Resources Read more

 

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES – COVID-19

(Mar 20, 2020)

This page will be updated as information is released by the Governor and programs or funding to assist businesses become available. The site contains links to various agencies, departments, and authorities that can assist small businesses. Read more

 

COVID-19 HELPFUL RESOURCES

(Mar 20, 2020)

My staff and I have been working diligently to ensure we are sharing the most important information. While there is a lot of information being shared, I want to make sure you know where to go for the most up-to-date and reliable information. Read more

 

Services still available by phone and email

(Mar 16, 2020)

My office will be closed to walk-in service until further notice. Please note, my staff will be able to answer your questions by email and phone. Read more

 

Otten announces event cancelations and district office updates in response to COVID-19

(Mar 13, 2020)

Exton, March 13 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, has canceled all remaining events for the month of March in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Otten’s district office will remain fully staffed and will continue to provide constituent services by email and phone. “My office is taking every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of our community,” Otten said. “We are following recommendations from the PA Department of Health and the Chester County Health Department to practice social distancing and limit person-to-person contact in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve .” Canceled events include Otten’s Census Recruitment Event previously scheduled for March 13, a SEPTA Key Senior ID Card Event previously scheduled for March 16 and a Real ID Information Session previously scheduled for March 30. The office is working to reschedule these events for a later date. Constituents in need of assistance with state-related services are encouraged to email repotten@pahouse.net or call 484-200-8259. Read more

 

3/12/20 – State of the Care Workforce in PA – Exton

(Mar 12, 2020)

Materials from a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing hosted by State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten. Read more

 

Otten to hold Census Recruitment Event in Exton March 13

(Mar 06, 2020)

EXTON, March 6 – The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting workers in Chester County for full and part-time positions in advance of the 2020 Census, and state Rep. Danielle Friel Otten will host a recruitment event at her office on March 13. The U.S. Constitution mandates that a population count happens every 10 years. The census count is used to determine how much federal funding goes to communities and states and determines how many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. “Participation in the census is of the utmost importance. Census data will determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be distributed to the states each year of the following decade,” said Otten, D-Chester. “Not only will governments use the census data to ensure proper representation, but our communities rely on federal funds for public school improvements, small business loans, road and bridge repairs, and senior services. It is imperative that we respond to the census to ensure Chester County is heard.” Recruiters from the Census Bureau will be at Otten’s district office for an information session on various job opportunities for the 2020 Census, how to apply, and what the census is all about. Census jobs in Chester County are starting at $27.50/hour and applicants can apply for a range of positions, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors, and census takers. Read more

 

Focusing on mental health, disabilities, and care workers

(Mar 06, 2020)

It’s been a busy week here in the district and across the state. This morning I attended a Legislative Meet and Greet with the Chester County Department of Aging Services Advisory Council to learn more about the issues impacting our seniors. Read more

 

Otten to hold policy hearing in Exton on the state of the care workforce

(Mar 05, 2020)

EXTON, March 5 – State Rep. Danielle Friel Otten, D-Chester, will hold a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing on the state of the care workforce in Pennsylvania. The hearing will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Abraham Fetters-White School, 134 Sharp Lane. The media and public are invited to attend. Otten requested the hearing to discuss the rising need for and shortage of care workers for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities; the need to raise wages and reimbursements for home health care workers and direct support professionals; and the need to ensure safe work conditions for all care workers, whether in the home or in a facility setting. Otten will be joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster. Panelists will include: Kevin Hancock, deputy secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Matt Yarnell, president, SEIU Healthcare PA. Lolita Owens, homecare worker, Liberty Resources. Tynia Stevens, nurse aide, Bryn Mawr Extended Care Center. Lauren House, intellectual disability deputy administrator, Chester County Department of Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Jeanne Meikrantz, executive director, The Arc of Chester County. Pennsylvania Homecare Association. Deborah Rowe, vice president, nursing workforce development, PA Health Care Association. Read more

 

School safety grants, coronavirus update and upcoming events

(Feb 28, 2020)

Read my latest e-newsletter to learn about school safety grants, coronavirus, upcoming events and more! Read more

 

Chester County Democratic Reps applaud $2.1 million awarded in school safety grants county-wide

(Feb 27, 2020)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 26 – Chester County’s Democratic state Reps. Carolyn Comitta, Kristine Howard, Dan Williams, Melissa Shusterman and Danielle Friel-Otten announced that 13 school districts throughout the county received $2.1 million in grant funding to enhance school safety and security. Awardees in Chester County received the following: Avon Grove School District: $45,000 Chester County Intermediate Unit 24: $256,693 Coatesville Area School District: $45,000 Downingtown Area School District: $45,000 Great Valley School District: $244,660 Kennett Consolidated School District: $45,000 Owen J. Roberts School District: $343,588 Phoenixville Area School District: $495,000 Royer-Greaves School for the Blind: $26,133 Tredyffrin-Easttown School District: $480,065 Unionville-Chadds Ford School District: $45,000 West Chester Area School District: $45,000 “I am thankful for these funds that will go directly to support and protect Chester County students. It is our duty to make sure we are creating a safe and healthy school environment for our students to prosper,” Comitta said. “As a former child welfare investigator, ensuring the safety of our community’s children has always been a top priority of mine. A safe learning environment is a productive learning environment, and I thank the Wolf administration for prioritizing our Read more

 

Budget, pipeline and community updates

(Feb 21, 2020)

This week, the House Appropriations Committee has officially begun to hold hearings for the 2020-2021 state budget. Read more

 

Pipeline Update and other news from the 155

(Feb 14, 2020)

Pipeline Update: Icedale-Twin Oaks Line: Over the past few months, we've heard from constituents concerned about activity along the Icedale-Twin Oaks pipeline in Uwchlan Township. Read more