5K raises awareness of Housing Transitions services

When Michael Bilotta, 19, crossed the finish line of the Run for Shelter 5K on Saturday morning, he said he was proud of his time and proud to support Housing Transitions Inc.

“You do this to keep up your running and to give back because it’s a good cause,” said Bilotta, a member of the Lock Haven University cross-country team, who finished in 16:09.

The Race for Shelter 5K was started last year by Housing Transitions as a way to spread public awareness about its mission and to help raise money for Centre House, said Ron Quinn, executive director of Housing Transitions.

Housing Transitions is nonprofit organization that offers housing services to Centre County residents in need. Its mission is to assist families and individuals to achieve a more independent lifestyle.

Centre House is an emergency shelter program through Housing Transitions for people in crisis.

The fundraising goal for this year’s race was to exceed $10,000 — a figure it matched last year. A final count was not in, but Quinn said the organization should reach its goal.

Quinn added that there were about 265 runners this year — an increase from 225 last year.

“We’re getting a good response,” Quinn said. “We don’t do a lot of advertising and we don’t have a lot of signage, so we’ve kind of made this our signature event to spread the word.”