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Centre County Homelessness on the Rise

The homeless population in Centre County has drastically increased over the last year.

And homelessness is usually accompanied by food insecurity.

The homeless population in Centre County increased by 100 people, bringing other serious challenges with it.

“It’s not only the homeless population has doubled but food insecurity has gone way up.”

State Representative Scott Conklin says local programs see the increase in poverty yet it’s somewhat difficult to comprehend.

“When you talk to the YMCA, The food programs, those individuals that do the housing, you see such an increase that you couldn’t believe it would happen. You would think with The federal money and everything that’s happened that you would think folks would be better off.”

Mel Curtis, who runs the Centre County YMCA anti-hunger program, says they’re blazing through food like never before.

“Last year at the end of the year, we had put out 3.4 million pounds of food. The first three months of 2022, we are surpassing those numbers in the first three months that we did (in all of) last year.”

And restocking isn’t so easy

“The food chain is upside down. Totally upside down, and one of the things that were struggling with right now is fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. We just got, for the first time in months, this week we got some fresh vegetables. Meats, chicken, things like that; almost impossible to get right now.”

This as wallets get thinner.

“And now with inflation, with everything hitting, with the worldwide market crashing down on them, it’s getting harder and harder.”

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