Living Columns & Blogs

Housing Transitions offers support as a community-building resource

Christopher Weddle

When a potential client walks through the doors of Housing Transitions, we are certain they have a story. It is unique, and we listen to it and try to provide the best care possible to enable them to work through their housing crisis. Our goal is to guide them toward stable and sustainable living solutions.

They may have come to us because they lost their job, had an accident or illness, a relationship change or some other challenge that has changed their income and prevents them from staying in their home. Perhaps they finally overstayed their welcome at their friend’s house, or maybe their entire world has been crumbling around them due to addiction or mental health challenges. While their story is unique, there is most likely a common thread they share with our other clients: Their basic needs are not being met, and they need some support.

We all need support. Many of us rely on our families and friends, and our own independence born out of the opportunities we were given to learn, and develop skills that help us maintain stability. However, when vulnerable populations do not have the resources to meet their own basic needs, they are often hindered from engaging socially and feeling part of the community. All of us benefit from supporting these populations and increase our quality of life by building a community that elevates the human experience for all. Housing Transitions is one of our vital community-building resources.

Our staff provides guidance and referral so that people can secure housing, but also feel valued and part of the community. We do it with a variety of services that we pay for with a variety of private and public funding. Centre House, a program providing shelter and case management for men, women and families experiencing homelessness, is almost fully funded by private donations, fundraising and the Centre County United Way. Other services such as transitional housing and homelessness prevention programs are supported by private and public funds, including local, state and federal.

Public funding is in jeopardy, and we are challenged to ask ourselves who is responsible for building community and who should pay for the commonalities that we enjoy as part of our community. There are opportunities to share your answers to both questions coming soon. Become part of the dialogue at these meetings; and please keep an eye out for more.

The Centre County Affordable Housing Coalition will be held at 2:30 p.m. April 19 at Calvary Church, 50 Harvest Fields Drive, Boalsburg. The event will feature presentations by local homeless shelter services.

Housing Transitions’ annual meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. May 24 at the State College Municipal Building, Room 201. The meeting will include featuring a panel discussion of housing challenges and ideas to solve them.

Morgan Wasikonis is the executive director of Housing Transitions. She can be reached at mwasikonis@housingtransitions.org.

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