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November 2010

First Annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week Slated

Lancaster Homeless On the night of January 27, 2010, 701 individuals were living in emergency and/or transitional shelters in Lancaster County. In addition, twenty three individuals were without any type of shelter and living on the street. During 2009, more than one in ten Lancaster County residents could not afford to purchase the food their family needed.

The Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness in conjunction with the Lancaster County  Hunger Coalition is hoping to draw attention to these facts, and other startling local statistics about homelessness and food hardship in Lancaster County and the importance of solving both of these issues, by supporting the first local Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. On November 10, 2010, the Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation that the week of November 14-20, 2010 be designated “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week” in Lancaster County. The week-long calendar of local events coincides with the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week co-sponsored by National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger & Homelessness.

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Affordable Housing Success Story - Park Avenue Apartments, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Park Ave Apts The next success story to be highlighted in our Success Stories series is Park Avenue Apartments. Park Avenue Apartments is located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, just one block from Lancaster General Hospital. The project is comprised of 21 one-bedroom units, averaging 658 square feet; and 3 two-bedroom units, averaging 830 square feet. The 24 rental units are for individuals age 55 and older, and six of the units have been designated for tenants with mental illness. The project has 4 units set aside for tenants in wheelchairs and the building has an elevator making every unit accessible to wheelchair users. The basement of the building offers offices, a community room, and laundry facilities. The rental fees per unit range from $250 to $776 per month and the first residents will begin moving into the property in early November 2010.  Park Avenue Apartments was developed by Community Basics, Inc. and construction was completed late October 2010. The building, a former shoe warehouse, was renovated at a cost of $5.1 million, including approximately $1.37 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency. The project incorporated various “green” components, including ground source heating and cooling, compact fluorescent lights, and insulation made from soy beans. In addition, the Lancaster County Office of Mental Health/Mental Retardation/Early Intervention is providing a rental subsidy for the six apartments housing residents with mental illness, and The Lodge, Inc. of Pennsylvania will provide support services to all residents.

If you would like to have a development considered for our Success Stories series, please e-mail