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Gaudenzia Receives Funding to Help Address Unsheltered Housing Insecurity

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Gaudenzia is one of several nonprofits active in the Harrisburg area receiving funding to address unsheltered homelessness in Dauphin County. The award from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), totaling just over $2.3 million, will be distributed between Gaudenzia, Inc., Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH), Christian Churches United, and Scholars Inc.: Thrive Housing.

Of the total award amount, Gaudenzia will receive $491,814 to expand services that include providing permanent supportive housing and case management services to unsheltered individuals and families through its DELTA Community program, which has been operational in Dauphin County for over 34 years.

Gaudenzia DELTA Community Case Manager Supervisor Karol Tasker (left) and Case Manager III Vernatta Jones (right).

The remainder of the funding will be distributed as follows:

  • Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH) will receive $91,030 to implement and facilitate an information management system for unsheltered housing insecure individuals.
  • Christian Churches United will receive $549,784 to provide unsheltered rapid re-housing*, $341,800 for coordinated entry, and $270,450 for street outreach.
  • Scholars Inc.: Thrive Housing will receive $582,381 for joint transitional housing and rapid re-housing services.

*Rapid re-housing provides short-term housing and services as a bridge to permanent housing, so that individuals can obtain housing quickly, increase self-sufficiency, and avoid periods of unsheltered housing insecurity.

Addressing Housing Insecurity in the Greater Harrisburg Area

On Monday, May 1st, 2023, Gaudenzia team members attended an award celebration event at the MLK Jr. City Government Center Atrium in Harrisburg, PA, along with project partners and representatives from HUD.

City of Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams spoke at the event, sharing the following:

“When we had to vacate a homeless encampment in January of this year to address a public health emergency, it was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made,” adding that, “It takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to run a city, and it takes a village to address homelessness.”

City of Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams spoke at Monday’s celebration event.

What is Unsheltered Homelessness?

While a sheltered housing insecure individual may reside in an emergency shelter or temporary housing situation, unsheltered homelessness occurs when an individual resides in a space that is not meant for human habitation, such as on the street, in a car, in an abandoned building, or in a tent or makeshift structure either in an encampment, sometimes referred to as “tent cities,” or individually. Unsheltered homelessness has been on the rise in the U.S. since 2015.

Research shows that individuals living in unsheltered situations have “poorer health, less access to healthcare, and an increased risk of premature mortality as compared to their sheltered counterparts.” Project partners receiving funding through HUD to address unsheltered homelessness in Dauphin County will work to provide a full continuum of care to unsheltered individuals.

Gaudenzia will provide permanent supportive housing to unsheltered individuals, including clients who present with substance use disorders (SUDs), as well as case management services that include:

  • Outreach and engagement
  • Screening and Treatment for SUDs
  • Linkage to mental health services and treatment
  • Linkage to primary health care and medication management
  • Linkage to transportation, education, and vocational training
  • Linkage to childcare programs
  • Landlord advocacy
  • Independent living skills training
  • Peer support
  • Benefits counseling and advocacy

Find more information on this project and partnering organizations here.

Project partners including Philadelphia HUD Field Office Director Robert Ford (left), HUD Regional Administrator Matthew Heckles (center), and President of the Board at Capital Area Coalition on Homelessness (CACH) Denise Hill (far right).

If you or someone you love needs help with addiction treatment, please contact our Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833.976.HELP (4357) or email [email protected] today.

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