Is anyone helping people in our community that are unsheltered or in danger of becoming homeless?
Yes. The York County Coalition on Homelessness has over 50 members including service providers and community members. The Coalition and its members help people every day.
What should I do if I see a person in York County I think might be unsheltered?
You can call the Coordinated Street Outreach Hotline at 717-699-8445 to notify our staff. Please provide a description of what you saw (the situation) and where you saw the person or people.
Sometimes I see people holding signs asking for help. Should I give them money?
Providing money directly to people can be a difficult decision. In some cases, individuals receiving the money will use it for an emergency need. However, depending on the individual’s circumstances, they may not be able to use the money wisely. Addiction, mental health issues, and other conditions/situations can often prevent our neighbors from handling their needs in the best way. You may want to consider donating to organizations providing services directly to these neighbors.
I care about my neighbors in need. What is the best way to help them?
Agencies and organizations that work with our neighbors in need are trained and well aware of the situations our neighbors are experiencing. These groups are in the best position to help. Please consider donating your time and financial resources to agencies and organizations affiliated with the York County Coalition on Homelessness.
My church wants to help our unsheltered neighbors. How can we get started or do more?
Here are some steps to take to prepare to meet the needs of our unsheltered neighbors and/or our neighbors who are struggling financially before they arrive at the church building:
- Become familiar with current and upcoming causes of being unsheltered such as:
- Mental health issues
- Job loss
- Research which services are available in your community.
- Contact the shelters, food banks, rental assistance offices, area Homeless Coalition, nonprofits, other congregations, etc. and gather information on all of the services they provide.
- Develop relationships with these agencies and organizations.
- Become familiar with the processes to request services as well as the eligibility requirements.
- Identify which services are not available in your community.
- If your congregation agrees to provide a service to those who arrive unexpectedly at the church building, define and document the process to be followed.
Here are a few steps to take when an unsheltered neighbor and/or a neighbor who is struggling financially arrives at the church building:
- Take time to gather information from the person regarding their current situation.
- Explain the services in your community that are available. Help the person make the connection to service provider(s), if they choose to accept services. The person may not have access to a phone.
- Follow through on your congregation’s process of providing service(s).
- If you are unsure what to do with the person’s situation due to lack of services available, etc., contact one of the service providers directly.-