Homeless Students

Homeless Students


Homelessness is a complex issue that affects students in many different ways. In order to assist the students of Penn State York in meeting their needs, a list of resources have been developed to provide them with avenues to access.

Contacting these resources below can help answer a number of questions and provide information on various topics to meet individual and family needs, including access to health insurance. Depending on income status, medical assistance is available, providing low to no cost health coverage, to those who qualify.

Adams County Assistance Office

225 South Franklin Street
P.O. Box 4446
Gettysburg, PA 17325-4446
Toll Free: 800-638-6816
Phone: 717-334-6241
FAX: 717-334-4104

Lancaster County Assistance Office

832 Manor Street
P.O. Box 4967
Lancaster, PA 17604-4967
Phone: 717-299-7411
LIHEAP (cash) 717-299-7543
LIHEAP (crisis) 717-299-7543
FAX: 717-299-7565

York County Assistance Office

130 N. Duke Street
P.O. Box 15041
York, PA 17405-7041
Phone: 717-771-1100
Toll Free: 800-991-0929
LIHEAP 800-991-0929
FAX: 717-771-1261


Housing is a significant area of concern. The basic needs that housing provides are necessary in order for students to have a place to study, recharge, and rest after attending classes. Therefore, the following resources are available to assist those in need of housing and housing assistance.

York County Department of Public Welfare Office

Homeless Assistance Program County Contact List

ADAMS: Adams County Courthouse, 117 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg, PA 17325
Phone: 717-337-9820, FAX: 717-334-2091

LANCASTER: Community Action Program, 601 South Queen Street Box 599, Lancaster, PA 17608
Phone: 717-299-7301, FAX: 717-299-9341

YORK: Department of Human Services, 100 West Market Street, Suite 401, York, PA 17401
Phone: 717-771-9347, FAX: 717-771-4663

Services Provided

  • Case Management
  • Rental Assistance
  • Bridge Housing
  • Emergency Shelter
  • Innovative Supportive Housing Service
  • Emergency Shelter Allowance (ESA)

Temporary Housing: Bell Socialization

Family Shelter (30 days)
Bell Bridge Housing (up to 1 year for qualified applicants)
Bell’s Possibilities program (young mothers)

York Rescue Mission

363-373 West Market Street
York, PA 17405

  • Women and Children's Shelter: An emergency shelter for women and their children who are homeless for various reasons. The shelter provides: food, shelter, clothing, counseling and advice on case management.
  • Fresh Start Program: A 30-day program to help all women, particularly those serving their probation through the drug court of the York County Criminal Justice system. It is also intended to help women interested in the New Creation Bridge Housing Program.
  • New Creation Bridge Housing Program: A long-term transitional housing program designed to offer support services for single women and mothers. This will give them time to make the adjustment from supportive to interdependent living. They are given the opportunity to stabilize their financial futures and become healthy self-supporting members of the community. This program provides a time for personal growth in their faith in Christ; build relationships within the Christian community; and learn to love themselves as Christ loves them.
  • Spiritual Life Recovery Program: A 46-bed program for men who sincerely want to resolve their problems with alcohol and/or drugs. It is a work oriented program with each man working an eight hour day. They also receive counseling and attend recovery sessions, Bible study, and Chapel. Social and recreational programs in the evening are available to help them return to a productive life.
  • Transient Care: A 28-bed emergency shelter for men. Supportive guidance, Chapel, meals and clothing are provided.
  • Temporary Senior Foster Care: An 11-bed program for men 55 and older, who are alone and in need of a support system. These men pay for their care from pensions, disability income and other limited resources.


Food is a vital necessity. However, when resources are limited, finding appropriate nourishment can be difficult. The following resources are available to assist with providing food for you and your family.


  • Free 50-pound food box can show up at 8:00 p.m. Fridays at the Cherry Lane entrance to Central Market
  • Gateway Church
    50 Blunston lane
    York, PA 17406
    (First, third, and fifth Thursdays, 4:00-6:00 p.m.)

York County Department of Public Welfare Office

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

York County Food Bank

254 W Princess St
York, PA 17401

Catholic Harvest Food Pantry

628 E Market Street
York, PA 17403

The Well

408 West Market Street
York, PA 17401
Rear of Union Lutheran Church in the basement
Hours: Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:30 a.m. by appt. ONLY by calling 717-846-8899
Individuals seeking assistance must bring a photo ID and Social Security Card

Emmanuel Food Pantry

825 East Princess St.
York, PA 17403

Dover Area Foodbank

1832 Industrial Ct
Dover, PA 17315

Columbia Food Bank

340 Locust Street
Columbia, PA 17512
Intake: Monday, 9:30-11:15 a.m.
Pick-up: Tuesday and Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Columbia, Mountville, Manor, West Hempfield residents

Penn State-York Food for Thought

(See Patrick Tanner, Student Affairs)


Another important and commonly overlooked area of need is suitable clothing. When funds are limited, the allocated resources are used towards meeting other needs. The following churches and organizations provide varying levels of clothing to meet student’s needs.

Harvest of Blessing Food and Clothing Bank

339 South George Street
York, PA 17401
Provides a clothing bank and food pantry one day per week. Some appointments are needed.

Hanover Area Council Of Churches

136 Carlisle Street 
Hanover, PA 17331 
Low income individuals can receive free clothes, winter coats, and related items. The general public of York County can shop for low priced goods.

Salvation Army

30 East King Street 
York, PA 17401 
A thrift store sells gently used goods, furniture, and more. 
Additional assistance includes:

  • FREE Christmas help from Angel tree
  • Large clothing room to those in need
  • Holiday gifts for children through the Angel Tree and Christmas cheer programs
  • FREE gently used winter coats for children and adults through the Coats for Kids program
  • School shoes for children

York Benevolent Association

301 Kings Mill Road 
York, PA 17403 

York Rescue Mission-Economy Stores

283 West Market Street 

67 North Main Street 

33 East Maple Street 
Free through a voucher program or to shoppers at Economy Store prices.

Gabriel Project

St. Joseph Parish 
Hanover, PA 17331 
Focuses on pregnant mothers, infants, and newborns 

  • Baby formula
  • FREE clothes
  • Baby food
  • Infant clothing
  • Pregnancy counseling for new mothers and teenagers

Pregnancy and Family Resource Center

46 West Princess St. 
York, PA 17401 

  • Maternity and baby clothing
  • Emergency formula and diapers

Covenant Food Pantry / Clothing Bank

250 Bethlehem Church Road 
Red Lion, PA 17356 

Neighbors Helping Neighbors of York

York, PA 
FREE to income qualified families who register

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Holiday toys and other support from the organization

Salvation Army Thrift Store

1090 Haines Road 
York, PA 17402 
Sells gently used items at reduced rates, including furniture, clothes, baby supplies, shoes, etc.

Catholic Harvest Clothing Closet

628 East Market St. 
York, PA 17403 

Community Progress Council

213 East Lancaster Street 
Red Lion, PA 17356 
Runs a back to School program with notebooks, uniforms, and related goods 
FREE Christmas program

Elijah Outreach Ministry Thrift Shop and Soup Kitchen

509 East Main Street 
Dallastown, PA 17313 
Provides free clothing, medication, and some household items for the family

Emmanuel's Closet

780 Lombard Road 
Red Lion, PA 17356 
Provides free or low cost basic clothing items for adults and children 
(Shirts, dresses, pants, hats and jackets) 
Food and groceries are offered too

Human Life Services

742 South George Street 
York, PA 17401 

New Hope Ministries, Dover

1836 Industrial Court 
Dover, PA 17315 
Material assistance for clothing, electric bills 
Job referrals, budgeting workshops, and other support

Mobile Suiting Program

841 Vogelsong Road 
York, PA 17404 
Women can get work attire and clothes for an interview 
Local job training programs 
Each Dress for Success client receives one suit or dress

Red Lion Area Community Services, Inc.

15 First Avenue 
Red Lion, PA 17356 
The Warm Program distributes donated hats, gloves, blankets, scarves, socks, and sweaters

Southern Community Services

44 S. Main Street 
Shrewsbury, PA, 17361

Northeast Community Center

216 Chestnut St. 
York, PA 17403 

American Red Cross

529 Carlisle Street 
Hanover, PA 17331
724 S. George Street 
York, PA 17401 
Basic needs are offered in times of disaster, such as a fire or flood 
Food, shelter, clothing, household items

Financial Resources

Financial resources are limited, which has resulted in difficulty with housing, health insurance, and food allocation. However, the following agencies may resources and suggestions to assist with financial endeavors.

York County Department of Public Welfare Office

Cash Assistance Programs 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 
Diversion Program

Community Progress Council

213 East Lancaster Street 
Red Lion, PA 17356 
Financial aid for heating and energy bills

New Hope Ministries, Dover

1836 Industrial Court 
Dover, PA 17315 
Material assistance for clothing, electric bills

Penn State York Financial Aid

Jessica Petrie

Social Support

Homelessness is a very isolating experience. People do not want to talk about their circumstances for a variety of reasons; embarrassment and shame being a couple of the reasons. Therefore, the resources have been made available.

York Rescue Mission

363-373 West Market Street 
York, PA 17405 
Men's Ministries (Refer to housing section for more information) 
Women's Ministries (Refer to housing section for more information)

Lighthouse Youth Center Ministries

  • After School Club: The After School Club (ASC) serves children, grades 1-5, every school day from 3:00-5:00 p.m. The ASC gives the kids a safe environment to do their homework and be tutored four days a week (programs five days a week), have Bible study, do crafts and play recreational games every week. Pick-ups from designated York City elementary schools and transportation home to designated stops will be provided.
  • Teen Evening Program: The teen program runs Monday-Friday from 6;00-9:00 p.m. and offers young people, grades 6-12, a haven to have fun, Bible studies, tutoring, Boys/Girls basketball teams and much more. No cost to register, however, some activities may require a minimal cost. Transportation home provided to designated stops.

Lighthouse Youth Center Camps

  • Summer Day Camp: Every day from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., for five weeks, approximately 150 kids meet at the Lighthouse Youth Center to take day trips to parks, museums, swimming areas and much more. There is a one-time registration fee of $5 and an admission fee of $20 per week per child. Transportation is provided from/to designated stops throughout the city.
  • Residential Day Camp: Up to ninety children are registered for one week during the summer at Camp Andrews. Here, they are able to be kids by participating in activities such as swimming, boating, archery and Bible studies. Many lives are changed at Camp Andrews. There is a $5 registration fee per child.

Other Resources

Furthermore, additional government grants may be available to assist with meeting long term needs. For more information, click on the link and contact the various individuals.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to mobilize the nonprofit, public and private sectors of society in an alliance to end homelessness. This site has an extensive selection of referral links to help you if you are homeless and puts you in touch with providers who can assist you.

The National Coalition for the Homeless is one of America’s top 100 charities and has a section on their Web site that gives you step-by-step instructions on what to do if you are facing homelessness.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has many programs to assist the homeless and has specific information for obtaining help in your area if you are homeless.

Attendant Care / Act 150 - Information for mentally-alert Pennsylvanians with physical disabilities.

COMMCARE Waiver - Home and community-based program developed for individuals who experience a medically determinable diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.

Consolidated Waiver for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities - Provides services to eligible persons with intellectual disabilities so that they can remain in the community.

Independence Waiver - Provides services to persons with physical disabilities to allow them to live in the community and remain as independent as possible.