Chester County is getting closer to achieving its ambitious 10-year goal of ending homelessness by its self-imposed deadline of mid-2021, writes Michaelle Bond for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Federal guidelines define ending homelessness in a community as making it “rare, brief, and non-recurring.” So far, only four communities nationwide have been recognized by the federal government for ending homelessness, one of them being the city of Lancaster.
“It’s a designation that’s pretty tough to get to,” said Patrick Bokovitz, Director of the Chester County Department of Community Development. “We certainly feel with where we are now and some of the resources we have now that we can achieve that 18 months out.”
To help realize this goal, county officials and community organizations have been investing time and money into helping hundreds of people end the cycle of homelessness and become financially independent. Most recently, Chester County joined 56 other counties using PA 211, the statewide call center that connects people who are homeless with local housing and human services.
Thanks to this and other programs, Chester County has seen its number of homeless people drop from 684 in 2014 to 517 in 2019.
Read more about homelessness in Chester County in The Philadelphia Inquirer here.