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Centre County Homless

Our Dylan Huberman reported Yesterday that the Centre Countys homeless population has increased quite a bit.

Today, he followed up with county officials about why it happened, and how it’ll be fixed.

He joins us now with that information

Commissioner Michael Pipe admits this is a problem but one that can be solved.

“The pandemic really has exasperated a lot of the issues that we’ve had as a community, and we’re just seeing a lot more homelessness due to a variety of reasons. Now the good news is, or the silver lining is we have more resources than ever to be able to assist people, to get them shelter, and then back on their feet in the future.”

Commissioner Pipe says it’s not people coming from out of town but rather the absence of one program that largely accounted for the rise…and it’s creation will fix it.

“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program, where we’re able to give temporary housing to individuals who are experiencing homelessness, which is about a hundred individuals when that Point in Time survey was done. So if you take out those hundred individuals that were not counted last year, that’s where you’re seeing that increase.”

Since it was established

“Approximately 8 million dollars in ERAP funds out the door, the largest amount of money ever allocated through a human service entity in recent memory in that quick amount of time.”

And while it won’t erase homelessness completely in the county, Commissioner Pipe says there’s plenty more where that came from.

“We still have about 12-million-dollars of ERAP to go. So, we’re going to be serving people for the next several years with that.”

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