Affordable Housing and Homelessness

In 2017, the Partnership for Better Health launched a new initiative to reduce homelessness in Cumberland and Perry Counties by advancing systemic strategies that will increase access to permanent housing and expand economic opportunities for low-income individuals and families. Understanding that success will require many partners working together on shared goals, we formed a Leadership Advisory Council on Housing Systems Change.

In January 2018, the Advisory Council developed and adopted a Housing Systems Change Roadmap for Cumberland and Perry Counties. The purpose of the roadmap is to:

  1. Guide future Partnership for Better Health grants and investments in systemic change strategies that are comprehensive in nature and designed to improve all aspects of how a set of organizations or systems
  2. Inspire, engage and mobilize public, private and nonprofit organizations to work collectively towards a better system for connecting families and individuals experiencing or at risk for homelessness with safe and affordable housing opportunities; and,
  3. Ensure residents have full access to the Eastern Pennsylvania Continuum of Care’s new Coordinated Entry System for accessing federally and state-funded homeless prevention, housing and supportive services.

The Partnership and the Leadership Advisory Council envision a coordinated and robust housing system, in which:

  • Homelessness is rare, brief and non-recurring for all families and individuals;
  • All residents have access to safe and affordable housing opportunities;
  • People can easily access childcare, education and employment opportunities, as well as health, legal, mental health and other services that foster permanent housing stability and self-sufficiency; and
  • A safe place to call home is the cornerstone for healthy people, thriving communities, educational success and a vibrant economy.

In order to advance our vision for change, cross-sector partners in government, philanthropy, business and the nonprofit sector will work together to achieve the following strategic goals over the next four years.

  1. Coordinate access, assessment, prioritization and referral for housing and services that end and prevent homelessness for all families and individuals, including specific strategies to address the needs of: 1) children, 2) people fleeing domestic violence or abuse, 3) unaccompanied youth, 4) veterans and 5) people with disabilities.
  2. Create more affordable housing opportunities by engaging landlords, securing adequate resources for Rapid Re-Housing and Supportive Housing programs, and advocating for the development or rehabilitation of affordable housing units.
  3. Streamline and increase access to employment and job training opportunities for people experiencing homelessness or housing instability, including supportive employment for people with disabilities.
  4. Build the collaborative capacity and resiliency of nonprofit organizations delivering affordable housing and homeless services.

Sign on to our “Health Begins With Homes” agenda!
COVID has reminded us all how important housing is to our health. Our homes kept us safe during the worst of the pandemic, and the Partnership has worked hard to extend the eviction moratoriums and rental assistance. But many people in our communities struggled with housing even before the pandemic.

As we rebuild our economy and communities, we need to reimagine housing and will be pushing for policies that prioritize safe, affordable, and healthy housing for all.

Sign on to our “Health Begins with Homes” policy agenda here, or download the agenda here.

UPMC Nurse Family Partnership
Advanced Physical Therapy and Fitness, Mechanicsburg
Perry County Health Coalition
Boys & Girls Club of Chambersburg and Shippensburg 
Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland & Perry Counties
YWCA Carlisle
Valley Youth House
Perry Human Services
Campbell Psychological Services, Carlisle
St Stephen Lutheran Church, Social Ministry Committee, New Kingstown
St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Carlisle
The WE CARE Team at St. Paul
Carlisle Pediatric Associates
National Prevention Science Coalition to Improve Lives
Project SHARE
Sadler Health Center
PA Link to Aging and Disability Resources Service Area 9
Hamilton Health Center
Cumberland County Homeless Assistance Program
Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority
UPMC Pinnacle Office of Mission Effectiveness
Shippensburg Civic Club 
She’s Somebody’s Daughter
Shippensburg Produce & Outreach
Episcopal Church of the Nativity and St. Stephen in Newport, PA
CONTACT Helpline
Dickinson College
Cumberland County Library System Foundation
Harrisburg Area Community College
The Salvation Army – Carlisle
New Life Community Church
Rotary Club of Perry County
Safe Harbour
Newport Revitalization & Preservation Society, Inc
Carlisle United Methodist Church
The RASE Project