Frequently asked questions

What is Community CARES?


Community CARES provides emergency overnight shelter at local churches and organizations, 365 days a year. It also provides for daily self-care needs and promotes accountability and a community atmosphere at its permanent Resource Center. Community CARES is also a walk-in Coordinated Entry Site that helps prioritize assistance, based on vulnerability and severity of service needs, to ensure that people who need support the most can receive it in a timely manner.




Do you have a paid staff?


Yes - we have a full-staff of full-time and part-time employees. In addition to our paid staff, we rely on volunteers to help keep the overnight shelter and resource center running. Because of the 24/7 nature of our services, our volunteer needs are different than those of other organization




What is a Supportive Services Coordinator?


A Supportive Services Coordinator (SSC) is essentially a case manager. All of our residents who access the Resource Center (in addition to the overnight shelter) are assigned an SSC who will meet with them on a weekly basis. (This does not include residents on "Shelter Only" status) SSCs primary role is to help identify the needs of each individual (example: Finding permanent housing; Finding stable employment, etc.) and address those needs by connecting individuals to resources within the community.




Why don't you have your own overnight facility?


We utilize the generosity of the local church community to shelter our residents overnight. We are hoping to do our part in diminishing the amount of homeless needing our agency, and not spend the money on a building that could ultimately be a financial burden.




Do you accept families?


Yes - we accept families with children of all ages (dependent on available space)




Do you have a time limit for residents?


Yes – the time limit for residents is 9 months. This allows ample time for residents to address all of their needs and secure stable housing.




Do you take residents from other counties?


Yes – as a shelter of last resort, we will take individuals from any county/state if the space is available. We will first make an effort to find them shelter in their county.




Do you allow individuals with disabilities?


Yes – we do not discriminate against individuals with disabilities. Our only guideline is that all individuals residing at our shelter must be able to function independently (including self-care), as we are not able to provide assistance in activities of daily living, etc.. If it is an individual that requires a great deal of care, this setting would not be appropriate.




What is expected from the residents at the Resource Center?


We ask that residents utilize their time at the Resource Center for purpose-oriented activities. The Resource Center is not intended to be solely a 'hang out' spot. Each resident is also assigned a chore on a weekly basis, to ensure the facility stays clean.




Where do residents keep their belongings?


When available, we provide a locker for each residents to keep clothing or other personal items. However, this space is limited, and we do not have enough space for all residents to bring all of their belongings.We also have pantry and refrigerator space available for the residents to store their food.




What services are provided to veterans?


We are very fortunate to have several local agencies that specialize in working with veterans experiencing homelessness. When a guest is identified to be a veteran, his/her SSC will make referrals to these agencies – including the Lebanon V.A., YWCA Homeless Veterans Program, and Volunteers of America (Supportive Services for Veteran’s Families). All of these agencies work to house homeless veterans and provide other beneficial services (including medical, case management, transportation assistance, etc.).




Do you help people find housing?


As SSCs, helping our residents find housing is our number one priority. We work very closely with the Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority (CCHRA), as there are many housing programs available that most of our residents are eligible for. If independent housing is not the best option for a resident, we try to place them in a more appropriate setting (Ex. Community Residential Rehabilitation; Personal Care Homes; Group Homes, etc.)




What does a typical day look like for a resident?


6:15 AM - Wake up at the church; pack up bedding 6:30 AM - Leave the church (churches outside of walking distance from RC) 7:00 AM - Leave the church (churches within walking distance of RC) 7:15 AM - Resource Center opens for showers/getting ready for school or work/meds/etc. 8:15 AM - Resource Center closes as residents leave to go to breakfast at The Salvation Army 8:15 AM - 4:15 PM - RC available for residents to meet with SSCs, utilize the Wellness room (ill or sleeping after working overnight hours etc.), or engage in other purpose-oriented activities. Residents not working during these hours, and not eligible for RC access during the day engage in local activities, etc. Some residents may assist with various activities around the RC. 9:15 AM - Resource Center re-opens for residents to meet with SSCs, etc. 4:15 PM - Resource Center closes as residents leave to go to dinner at The Salvation Army 5:15 PM - Resource Center re-opens as residents return from work/school/etc. for showers/homework/laundry/etc. 7:30 PM - Residents complete evening chores/meds/etc. 8:15 PM - Shelter numbers (spots) are distributed to residents and residents are released to make their way to the shelter(s) 8:30 PM - 9:45 PM - Residents arrive at shelter(s), prepare bedding/sleeping area and get ready for bed 9:45 PM - Lights Out (Family Shelter) 10:00 PM - Lights Out (Men's Shelter)





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Telephone :  717.249.1009

Email : info@morethanshelter.org

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Community CARES is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. EIN: 26-3194660


A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the PA Dept. of State by calling toll-free, within PA, 1-800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.