2020 Emergency Solutions Grant

The 2020 Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Application and Guidelines are available for review at https://dced.pa.gov/programs/emergency-solutions-grant-esg/.

Important Dates and Deadlines:

2020 Pre-Application Webinar – February 27, 2020 at 10:00am. This webinar will cover the basics of the grant, new changes to the application process, and information on the new Keystone Logon process. You can register for the webinar here.

Electronic Single Application (ESA) – opens today, FEBRUARY 18, 2020, and will close at 5:00pm Friday MARCH 27, 2020.  No application submitted after this time will be considered for funding.

Please contact Stacy Hawthorne at shawthorne@pa.gov if you need assistance.

Western PA CoC Youth System Mapping Events

Are you a community partner interested in helping to prevent and end youth homelessness in Western PA? Then come share your expertise with One by One Youth Committee and Advocates4Change Youth Action Board and the National Network for Youth in an exciting effort to map out systems that serve youth experiencing homelessness in our region.

Your expertise is vital to helping us better understand our region’s strengths and challenges and identify solutions to more effectively serve youth experiencing homelessness in our community.

This System Mapping Project aims to bring together stakeholders and community partners involved in systems that work with youth (those up to 25 years old) experiencing homelessness or housing instability. Through interactive exercises, attendees will provide knowledge, input and context to help One by One identify opportunities to improve our system’s ability to better serve youth. We’ll explore:

  • How youth navigate the current homeless services system
  • Where service connections exist with other systems & the strength of those connections
  • Where service gaps exist that could be filled & how.

We welcome all community partners who work with vulnerable youth, including:

  • CoC agencies and other housing and homeless services providers
  • County Child and Youth Services offices
  • Youth services providers
  • Providers of mental/behavioral health services and/or Drug & Alcohol programs
  • Those who work in the education system
  • Those working in juvenile justice or criminal justice systems
  • Youth employment and workforce development providers
  • Those working with victims of human trafficking &/or domestic violence
  • Any stakeholder or community partner who engages with youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability.

We’ll be holding four (4) system mapping sessions throughout the One by One 20-county region:

  • February 26th, 9:00am-11:30am in Crawford County: CHAPS, 944 Liberty Street Meadville, PA
  • February 26th, 2:00pm-4:30pm in McKean County: Beacon Light, 800 East Main Street, Bradford, PA
  • February 27th, 9:00am-11:30am in Clarion County: Clarion Psychiatric Center, 2 Hospital Dr, Clarion, PA
  • February 27th, 2:00pm-4:30pm in Westmoreland County: Westmoreland Casemanagement and Supports Inc., 770 E Pittsburgh St, Greensburg, PA

*Attendance is limited to 25-30 people per event. To reserve your spot at one of these events, please be sure to fill out this simple registration form to let us know you plan to attend: http://sgiz.mobi/s3/One-by-One-Western-PA-CoC-Youth-Homelessness-System-Mapping-Event-Registration

Western CoC Home4Good Justice Initiative Grant; Partnerships Needed!

The Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc.(FCCAA) was selected for a Home 4 Good (H4G) grant totaling $175,000 to work with inmates prior to their release to secure stable supportive housing.

FCCAA is looking for partner agencies in each of the 20 Western CoC counties to provide housing search and placement as well as case management services in the Rapid Rehousing for Justice Involved Individuals Initiative. The grant can pay for rental costs as well as staffing time to work with these individuals.
Should your agency be interested in partnering with FCCAA for the Rapid Rehousing for Justice Involved Individuals Initiative, FCCAA is requesting that you complete the attached interest form before noon on Friday, January 31, 2020.


FCCAA staff will reach out to the agency contact once an application is submitted to discuss next steps.

If you have any questions, please contact Rita Masi for more information.

PA Department of Human Services Study Finds Positives Effects for Medicaid Recipients with Housing Support

Harrisburg, PA Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Teresa Miller announced the findings of a study on the effects of permanent supportive housing programs on long-term health and health care spending among Medicaid recipients experiencing homelessness. The study, conducted in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh’s Medicaid Research Center, looked at nearly 5,900 cases from 54 Pennsylvania counties who received permanent supportive housing services from 2011-2016 and found that people who experienced homelessness saw improving health outcomes and decreased Medicaid utilization and spending after receiving permanent supportive housing services.
“We know that a person’s health is more than what happens inside of a doctor’s office,” said Sec. Miller. “These environmental factors, known as social determinants of health, play a key role and can take many forms, including safe and affordable housing. We are always looking for ways to help people experiencing homelessness improve their health and overall quality of life. This report gives us an initial set of data to work with to achieve those goals.”
DHS is committed to supporting vulnerable Pennsylvanians like those who experience homelessness. By identifying positive trends in health outcomes and health care spending among people who received permanent supportive services, DHS can make data-driven, evidence-based decisions to broaden investments in programs and positive interventions that can help people experiencing homelessness long-term.
Low-income individuals with physical and behavioral health conditions have an elevated risk of homelessness. Permanent supportive housing programs provide long-term housing assistance and support services to individuals with disabling physical and mental health conditions experiencing chronic homelessness.
Among the population studied, 90 percent had a minimum of two chronic health conditions, and 43 percent had seven or more. Medicaid spending for this group averaged more than $1,200 per month in the 7-15 months before people began permanent supportive housing services. Significant, chronic behavioral and physical health conditions can contribute to housing insecurity, and unstable housing can make it difficult for these individuals to manage their health care needs.
Following the introduction of permanent supportive housing services, spending stabilized and declined. The study found that by the third year after beginning permanent supportive housing, total Medicaid spending fell by an average of $162 per person, or 13 percent, each month. Changes in spending were primarily reductions in spending on inpatient care for both behavioral health and non-behavioral health conditions and a 22 percent decline in emergency department use. Instead, cases analyzed showed increased case management and pharmaceutical use, showing a shift towards management of chronic conditions as opposed to dealing with these conditions through emergency or inpatient settings.
“This report affirmed our perspective that housing people experiencing homelessness is both the right thing to do for their health and well-being and is a cost-effective approach,” said Sec. Miller. “Sustaining housing for those that have it—and establishing housing for those that don’t—is a centerpiece of our strategy to address the social determinants of health and help people live healthy and fulfilling lives, and we will continue to look for opportunities to meet this need among people who need it.”
Read the report here.

Eastern PA CoC Home4Good Awards

The Eastern PA CoC was awarded $494,287 in new projects, plus $24,714 in flexible administrative funding to be distributed at the discretion of the Governing Board for a total of $519,001.

Projects funded include:

  • Valley Youth House Committee / The Synergy Project – Allentown – $70,000
  • Clinton County Housing Coalition / Eastern PA CoC Coordinator – $30,000
  • Pocono Mountains United Way / RHAB Homeless Prevention/Diversion – $100,000
  • Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV) / Domestic Violence Housing First (DVHF) Pilot – $94,737
  • Lehigh Valley Regional Advisory Board / Lehigh Conference of Churches / Diversion / Prevention Program – $125,000
  • PA Interfaith Community Programs / Homeless Diversion Adams County – $74,550
  • In addition, the CoC was awarded $24,714 in flexible administrative funding to be distributed at the discretion of the Governing Board.

To view the press release from FHLB-Pittsburgh and PHFA, click here. Thank you to FHLB-Pittsburgh & PHFA and congratulations to all projects selected!


One by One: Western PA CoC Home4Good Awards

The Western PA CoC was awarded $405,000 in new projects, plus $20,250 in flexible administrative funding to be distributed at the discretion of the Governing Board, for a total of $425,250.

Projects funded include:

  • Valley Youth House Committee / Western PA COC Host Homes Program – $75,000
  • Fayette County Community Action Agency / CoC Coordinator Position – $30,000
  • McKean County Redevelopment & Housing Authority / Home Connection – $125,000
  • Fayette County Community Action Agency / Justice Housing Initiative – $175,000
  • In addition, the CoC was awarded $20,250 in flexible administrative funding to be distributed at the discretion of the Governing Board.

To view the press release from FHLB-Pittsburgh and PHFA, click here. Thank you to FHLB-Pittsburgh & PHFA and congratulations to all projects selected!

The Western PA CoC’s System Performance Committee is recruiting new membership!

The Western PA CoC’s System Performance Committee is looking for new members to join their committee! See the flyer below for more information about the charge of the committee. The ideal candidate loves data and the stories you can tell with it. Ideally the committee would like to have representation from each county in the CoC. We are currently missing a representative from Indiana, Washington, Westmoreland, Cameron, Elk, McKean, Mercer, and Potter Counties. If you are not from those counties but still interested, please contact either Brendan Auman (breauma@pa.gov) or Stephen Ramey (sramey@lccap.org) for more details!

Wolf Administration Approves Funding to Help Homeless Families and Promote Affordable Housing

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced more than $5 million in funding to help homeless families and promote homelessness prevention across the commonwealth. The funding is provided from the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) program.

This funding comes on the heels of a recent announcement that the Western Pennsylvania Continuum of Care (Western PA CoC) has effectively ended homelessness for veterans in 20 counties.

“The Wolf Administration is committed to ending homelessness across the commonwealth, and in order to achieve that mission, it’s all hands on deck, using all of the resources, funding, and tools at our disposal,” said Sec. Davin. “The funding made available through the ESG program is a critical asset that will impact individuals throughout Pennsylvania, providing a safe haven for those at risk and improving affected communities.”

The ESG funding falls into four categories: rapid rehousing, homelessness prevention, street outreach, and emergency shelter. Rapid rehousing helps individuals and families who are homeless, fleeing violence, or living in a home not suitable for human habitation. Homelessness prevention helps families who are currently housed but may be in jeopardy of losing their housing. Street outreach connects unsheltered homeless individuals with emergency shelter and/or health services. Emergency shelter funding supports costs associated with operating an emergency shelter and renovations.

The $5,473,378 in ESG funding was approved for:
• Beaver County $36,225
• Blair County $150,000
• Bradford County $142,449
• Bucks County $184,448
• Butler County $246,923
• CAP of Cambria County $177,601
• Center for Community Action $120,000
• Central Susquehanna Opportunities, Inc. $154,502
• City of Philadelphia $359,441
• City of Pittsburgh $250,000
• Clinton County $177,601
• Dauphin County $77,812
• Franklin County $200,000
• Indiana County $153,307
• Lawrence County* $1,592,780
• Lehigh County $309,507
• McKean County $196,341
• Monroe County $157,691
• Montgomery County $186,750
• Schuylkill County $200,000
• Transitions of PA $150,000
• Union-Snyder Community Action Agency $100,000
• Wayne County $150,000

NOTE: Lawrence County will distribute funding to a 16-county area, including Armstrong, Beaver, Blair, Butler, Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clarion, Crawford, Delaware, Elk, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Venango, and Warren counties.

For more information, visit the DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

MEDIA CONTACT: Casey Smith, 717.783.1132


US Interagency Council on Homelessness Approves Western PA CoC’s Claim Submission

The Western PA Continuum of Care (CoC) is proud to announce that the U.S. Inter-agency Council on Homelessness has approved the declaration that the Western CoC has effectively ended Veteran homelessness. This means that we have built a system that can quickly identify and house any Veteran experiencing homelessness within the CoC’s 20 County region (Warren, Forest, Crawford, Mercer, Lawrence, McKean, Potter, Cameron, Elk, Venango, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield, Butler, Armstrong, Indiana, Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene, and Washington). We know that we will continue to see Veterans in our community who are experiencing homelessness.

This declaration means that our community has come together to build a system that quickly identifies Veterans experiencing homelessness and assists these Veterans in being housed again. Our goal is that when Veterans experience homelessness that it will be 1) Rare 2) Brief 3) Occur one time (the same Veteran will not cycle back into homelessness again). This declaration is the culmination of four years of work by the Western CoC’s Veteran Committee. The committee, chaired by Lawrence County Community Action staff members Kathy Presnar and Missy Russell, and supported by Doug Tetrault, Sr. Associate from the Technical Assistance Collaborative, brought together key partners including: the U.S. Dept. of Veteran Affairs, the 5 VA Medical Centers serving the region, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, state agencies (Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Dept. of Community and Economic Development), Veteran services providers (Supportive Services for Veteran Families providers, Grant and Per Diem providers, VA-funded providers, local Veterans groups & foundations, etc.), homeless services providers, housing providers, community services providers and the Western PA CoC.

Being confirmed to have effectively ended homelessness among Veterans means our CoC have met the benchmarks outlined here and can now say the following:

o Whenever a Veteran experiences homelessness, we identify them quickly and house the Veteran in less than 90 days on average.

o We have identified Veterans experiencing chronic and long-term homelessness and have worked to house these Veterans.

o There are enough housing and service resources available in our community to assist any Veteran experiencing homelessness.

o We are providing long-term housing resources to Veterans and not relying on short-term housing interventions except when the Veteran needs specialized services.

The work to serve Veterans experiencing homelessness will never be “done”. This claim affirms that our CoC has built a solid system that can quickly and effectively end homelessness when a Veteran experiencing homelessness is identified.


If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kathy Presnar (724-658-7258 x1213 kpresnar@lccap.org) or Missy Russell (724-658-7258 x1414 mrussell@lccap.org)

PHFA issues RFP for local groups to request funding for housing initiatives

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency today is issuing a Request for Proposals soliciting applications from organizations for projects to improve the availability and affordability of housing across the commonwealth. Funding for this RFP is being provided through the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitation Enhancement (PHARE) Fund. The total PHARE funding available this year exceeds $54 million.


PHARE receives its funding from a number of sources. These include the impact fee levied on natural gas drilling companies, a portion of the Realty Transfer Tax, and money from the National Housing Trust Fund. Funding is available for housing initiatives in all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. PHFA is charged with administering the allocation of PHARE dollars.


“Now in its seventh year, it’s been gratifying to see the many ways this funding has been put to work expanding affordable housing options across the state,” said Brian A. Hudson Sr., PHFA executive director and CEO. “We’re grateful to Governor Wolf and the General Assembly for their continued support of the PHARE program that lets us address local housing needs.”


PHARE applications can be completed entirely online, eliminating the need for paper submissions and simplifying the process for applicants. The RFP is located on PHFA’s website at www.phfa.org, and the application is accessible at https://phare.phfa.org/. Applications are due to PHFA no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15.

PHFA is planning two informational webinars for groups interested in applying for PHARE funds. Both webinars will cover the same information. Webinar dates and times are:

Sept. 25 – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Oct. 2 – 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Interested groups are encouraged to watch the PHARE webpage for links to be posted for webinar registration. The PHARE webpage is available on the PHFA website at www.phfa.org; click on the PHARE link at the bottom of the page under “Resources.” Questions also may be directed to Bryce Maretzki at PHFA via email at bmaretzki@phfa.org or by phone at 717.780.1867.


The PHARE fund has been allocating money for local housing initiatives since 2012. These funds have resulted in significant benefits that include:

  • 6,137  individuals and families have received rental or utility assistance
  • 1,972 homes have been rehabilitated and preserved for continued use
  • 1,848 new rental units have been created
  • 147 new single-family homes have been constructed
  • 377 future home sites have been prepared through site acquisition and demolition
  • 182 homeowners are receiving purchase assistance
  • PHARE funds have been used to leverage an additional $564 million investment in housing in Pennsylvania


About PHFA

The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency works to provide affordable homeownership and rental housing options for older adults, low- and moderate-income families, and people with special housing needs. Through its carefully managed mortgage programs and investments in multifamily housing developments, PHFA also promotes economic development across the state. Since its creation by the legislature in 1972, it has generated more than $14.3 billion of funding for more than 176,600 single-family home mortgage loans, helped fund the construction of 136,215 rental units, distributed more than $109.2 million to support local housing initiatives, and saved the homes of nearly 50,000 families from foreclosure. PHFA programs and operations are funded primarily by the sale of securities and from fees paid by program users, not by public tax dollars. The agency is governed by a 14-member board.


Media contact:

Scott Elliott


717-649-6522 (cell)