There is a housing crisis in Lancaster County and extremely limited LGBTQ+ affirming housing. Over 70% of our Pandemic Relief Emergency Fund recipients reported housing and rental assistance as their primary need. Currently there are no fully affirming shelters in Lancaster County and bed availability is scarce.
On February 1, 2021, the HEART Program opened its 6-month pilot low-cost housing location, offering individuals sheltering in unaffirming environments a chance to live in a supportive home. The Coalition helps subsidize rent according to each person’s individual needs and works with community partners to offer enrichment training, such as budgeting, health resources, and other life skills.
HEART also offers a warm-handoff service to housing and medical services to provide emotional support for program participants. To further ensure resource providers are capable of providing culturally competent services, we provide cultural competency training to community stakeholders and potential partners around serving the LGBTQ+ population.
Once we have hired a Director of Programming to manage the program and volunteers, HEART will expand to work with persons experiencing homelessness on the streets to help them access safe and inclusive housing, and mitigate their vulnerability to COVID-19 by providing PPE, hand sanitizer and resources.
At this time, we are unable to offer emergency crisis shelter. Applicants must have some form of income and have the ability to manage their general needs and safety. If you are in need of immediate shelter call crisis intervention at (717) 394-2631 or 211.