‘Family Promise’ helps families fight homelessness in Lycoming County

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The days are quickly getting colder and a lot of families are in need of some extra help and resources and one local organization works to help fight homelessness and keep families together.

Throughout the region, more families are facing food insecurity and homelessness.

‘Family Promise’ of Lycoming County says that the need continues to grow as the weather gets colder.

“There’s been an increased need for services than there was in 2020,” said Annie Wolf, Case Manager, Family Promise of Lycoming County.

Family Promise of Lycoming County is the only organization in the county that addresses family homelessness.

Some resources are food, clothing, and shelter. Although they mainly aid working families, more have been reaching out about help with housing.

“I mean I get a phone call I would say we can get one, two, three, more sometimes a day of somebody who’s going to be homeless, is in the process of being homeless or is homeless,” said Bobbie Jo Potter, Community Services Manager, Family Promise of Lycoming County.

The organization also extended its coat and blanket drive from September to March 2022.

Due to COVID restrictions, they’ve had to change the way they help families.

“Prior to COVID, we had a rotating model of sheltering families. We had to pivot and adjust to that and so we made our day center into a shelter,” said Wolf.

The building can house four families and up to 14 people.

Potter says the hardest part is having to limit their capacity due to COVID.

“As far as our shelter and our transitional housing we can only help 8 families with that at a time until someone graduates. So, it’s hard to see we can’t help every family that comes to us,” said Potter.

Wolf says it’s challenging being a small organization but they do what they can to keep families together.

Family Promise said there have been even more families asking for help this year, compared to last winter.

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