ISSUE 195 | February 23, 2023

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From Around the Region and the State
Economic and Policy News

Statewide drug overdose crisis remains unchecked  

The years 2021 and 2022 averaged 15 drug overdose deaths per day in Pennsylvania.

This rate has surged since 2019, resulting from factors such as the growing prevalence of fentanyl.

Throughout the state, there are fewer than 2,500 certified addiction counselors to support 700,000 individuals with substance abuse disorder.  

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Rural communities in NEPA face high rates of veteran deaths by suicide

Pennsylvania’s veteran population is the fourth largest in the country, and research from the state’s Department of Military Veterans Affairs (DMVA) determined that death by suicide in veterans occur more often in rural communities.

Some of the region’s highest rates of suicide among veterans occur in Carbon and Wayne Counties.

Schuylkill, Bradford, and Wyoming Counties are also among Northeastern Pennsylvania’s top ten counties reporting high rates of veteran deaths by suicide.

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Healthcare provider brings services to Pike County  


New York healthcare provider Northwell Health has committed to opening Pike County’s first urgent and emergency care facilities.

The county will also donate land for the hospital site near Rout 739.

Without these developments, much of the area’s population would still be required to travel more than 35 minutes to receive care.

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From Around the Nation and the Globe
Economic and Policy News

Program helps young mothers escape generational poverty 

Harmony at Home supports teen mothers by focusing on root causes of poverty and violence.

This Monterey, California program educates participants about healthy parenting and early childcare, family planning and sexual health, financial planning, and educational attainment.

All mothers who receive services must be enrolled in school and they are assigned advocates to help them access they resources they need.  

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New CA legislation paves the way for affordable housing in vacant buildings 


Legislation in California incentivizes development of retail, big box, strip mall, and office buildings into affordable housing.

Expedited construction processes and union scale wages are supported in the bills.

Although the hope is for infill development in city centers, the measures will also help rural communities who lost retail and big box stores over the past few years.  

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U.S. middle class emerges as a moving target 


From 1971 to 2021, the proportion of the country’s middle class households shrank 11 percent.

They now constitute one-half of all American households.

During the same period, middle class income has increased at a slower rate than upper class income and the divide between Bachelor’s degree holders and non-degree holders has widened.

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Research Spotlight: The concepts of infill development and redevelopment were recently explored by The Institute's Planning, Land Use, Transportation, and Infrastructure (PLUTI) Task Force. Use the link below to learn about NEPA's supply of open space, land recycling opportunities, and more.

Click here

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