Finding a Home for the Homeless During the Coronavirus Crisis

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Most Americans, are quarantining right now, during the COVID-19 crisis, but what happens to homeless people, who don’t have a place to go?

“Out of the Cold Centre County” has the answer.

“Out of the Cold Centre County” Centre County is a non-profit, that provides a shelter with a bed and a warm meal for homeless people in State College during the cold months, September through May.

Churches in State College would provide the shelter for two weeks at a time.

But with the spread of the Coronavirus, the group had to rethink how they did things.

“It became apparent that staying all together in a close environment is obviously not ideal for this particular virus and then our churches had to close as well,” Sarah Potter, Program Manager, for “Out of the Cold Centre County”, said.

Potter, says many local residents fear the pandemic will mean they’ll lose their jobs.

“We’re having former guests reach out to use, who are really anxious, upset, because they’re worried they’re going to lose housing that they currently have and they’ve graduated out of out program, but they might be soon back within the grasp of homelessness,” Potter, said.

Out of the Cold got around $10,000 from the State College Borough to let homeless people stay at Super 8, Nittany Budget Motel, and a third hotel in State College.
That money will cover a two week stay.

Potter says the State College community needs to look at a way to have more low income housing options accessible to people in need. She says people may not think of homelessness as an issue in State College, but it’s an issue all over the country.

In two to three weeks, Out of the Cold will be looking at the status of the Coronavirus and seeing if they need to extend the stay for homeless people at the hotels and if they’ll be able to do that through community fundraising.​

“We hope that perhaps at sometime in May, that if the worst has past and we are able to work with area churches that, possibly could host events later in May and extend our season,” Potter, said.

Potter says the group is in talks with Centre County Government, about the county providing the funds for the following two weeks.​ ​

Monetary donations to the non-profit can be sent to P.O. Box 784 State College, PA, 16804.

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