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LEHIGH COUNTY CONFERENCE OF CHURCHES

Homeless Supportive Services

Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Count

During the last 10 days of January, more than 400 Continuums of Care programs, covering over 3,000 cities and counties across the country will organize tens of thousands of volunteers in a national effort to measure the scale of homelessness in the United States. These counts reveal the number of homeless persons in our shelters and on our streets at a single point-in-time. These one-night snapshot counts also provide local planners with data they need to understand the number and characteristics of persons who are homeless so they, in turn, can develop a thoughtful response.  This effort allows communities to find out not just how many people are homeless, but who is homeless and more importantly, why they are homeless. Being able to answer these important questions is critical if we ever hope to end homelessness.  Call Ryan Vernick at 610-439-8653 x41 if you would like to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ending Chronic Homelessness

 

A chronically homeless person is an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over one year or who has had frequent, multiple episodes of homelessness. The Homeless Supportive Services (HSS) program's mission is to ensure that every formerly chronically homeless person will have the support services, health care, and employment opportunities needed to live as independently as possible in safe, sanitary, accessible, and affordable permanent housing of his or her choice.


In January of 2006, representatives of the City of Allentown and the Lehigh County Conference of Churches met to discuss the city’s unsheltered homeless. Of particular concern were the unsanitary conditions for the homeless persons living underneath the city’s bridges. In order to address these concerns, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski appointed a First Lady’s Commission to End Chronic Homelessness charged with developing a ten-year plan to end chronic homelessness in the City.

 

The Lehigh County Conference of Churches, the City of Allentown, and over 40 nonprofit organizations and government agencies established a 10 Year Plan To End Chronic Homelessness and joined in implementation. A key ingredient to the success of these efforts has been improved access by homeless persons to mainstream health services, social services, and job programs.

 

Street Sheet Guide to Services    Updated - 10 Year Plan To End Chronic Homelessness  Original -10 Year Plan To End Chronic Homelessness

 

 

Results
The efforts of HSS to end chronic homelessness are supported by our Linkage outreach ministry and Pathways rental assistance program in a continuum of care with the objective of ending chronic homelessness by ensuring that at least 80 percent of its customers obtain permanent housing. By providing a permanent solution, the Conference of Churches helps ensure that chronically homeless persons no longer cycle from the streets to shelters, receiving stop-gap assistance that does not address their primary needs. Instead, they receive permanent housing and supportive services.

 

  • Since inception of HSS over 150 formerly chronically homeless persons achieve residential stability, increase skills and income and become more self-directed.

 

  • Of the total chronically homeless who received Intensive Case Management and left the program, 88% achieved permanent, transitional or institutional housing.

 

Director: Ryan Vernick

Hours: Convenient drop-in hours are available Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesday & Fridays from 9 AM – 11 PM and 1 PM– 3 PM at the Conference of Churches Main Office, 1031 West Linden Street, Allentown. Telephone: 610-439-8653.

 

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