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Housing Transitions: New Ways of Providing Services

Karl Gassmann |Housing Transitions

Being there for people who need you also means being there for people when they need you. Housing Transitions has been providing shelter, guidance, and hope to Centre County residents experiencing a housing crisis 24/7 since 1984. The current crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that is being felt throughout the world and close to home has not stopped us from being there for our community in this moment of need.

Just a few weeks ago, it was hard to conceptualize a world in which daily life for most Americans would come screeching to a halt. Now that it’s a reality, we are using the resilience and adaptability we’ve developed over the years to continue serving the community, while our staff work remotely. It’s not always easy, though, and we know that many of you have had to make adjustments in your lives that you never imagined.

It was tough the day we let the current residents in the Centre House shelter program know that we needed to move them to scattered sites in order to increase social distancing and thereby reduce the risk of spreading the virus. We had already limited the number of staff members in the office, but we knew the importance of taking measures early. One of our staff members noted the fear and uncertainty in the eyes of each resident, knowing that yet another upheaval could be difficult for folks who have already dealt with housing instability. Fortunately, we were able to relocate them to apartments and hotel rooms while still providing for their basic needs and case management.

We set up a phone schedule and a schedule for daily check ins at the office and with clients. We are still able to answer calls 24/7 and have gotten creative at problem solving at a distance. We are even excited that a few of our current residents are securing permanent housing and we will soon have openings in the shelter program. This was possible due to the continuation of all of our services through this difficult time. Our Rapid Rehousing Case Manager, and Housing Case Manager has helped with placement. Our Housing Support Case Manager has connected with our residents in long term permanent supportive housing. By working together, even as we are apart, we have continued to see success stories emerge from this crisis.

We know the crisis isn’t over, and things will not just go back to normal once the emergency response is relaxed. We know that many of you are hurting, out of work, struggling to make ends meet even more. We wish you health and safety, and we want you to know we are here for you now, and in the future.

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