Shalom House opens community drop-in center

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A Harrisburg nonprofit is opening a new community drop-in center to make it easier for women to get the help they need.

Shalom House is an emergency shelter for women and children based in Allison Hill.

Being homeless does not just mean living on the streets.

“When I was homeless, I was living in my car. And then Help Ministries helped me pay for a hotel and Shalom House helped me pay for a hotel too at the same time,” Yaira Cruz said.

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Cruz was homeless for almost a year, unable to get an apartment due to a high bond and previous eviction due to job loss.

“The bail was too high for what I could afford. And right now, nobody wanted to take someone who had been kicked out before,” Cruz said.

She now has an apartment for herself and her two children. Shalom House helped with necessities.

“Rent, daycare, health insurance, living support, jobs,” Cruz said.

The nonprofit has a 22-bed shelter for temporary stays on South 15th Street and plans to turn a former church into 14 apartments.

“But how do you prevent them from becoming homeless in the future? So my idea for developing this drop-in center was to provide community members with a safe place within their community to come and seek help,” said Executive Director Kyla Harvey.

The drop-in centre, open two days a week, will be where women can be connected with case managers to understand their situation, review budget, housing needs, etc., giving them the resources needed to become self-sufficient.

“We want to help in any way we can. Nothing is too small. Our case management team and my staff are here. You know, our doors are open,” Harvey said.

Harvey says sometimes large systems are harder to navigate, like CMU (Case Management Unit), and can be a bit overwhelming for a new customer.

“We’re hoping they can come to this little place so they can start the process and get support to navigate the services,” Harvey said.

Shalom House is located at 1508 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17104. Hours of operation for the new Visitor Center are 3-7 p.m. Monday and 12-4 p.m. Wednesday.

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