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Grant from Scranton Area Community Foundation Supports Shelter for Homeless

SAF grant Diocese
Diocese of Scranton Catholic Social Services officials accept grant award from the Scranton Area Community Foundation to support St. Anthony’s Haven, an emergency shelter in Scranton that serves homeless men and women. From left: Cathy Fitzpatrick, Scranton Area Foundation Grants Administrator; Stephen Nocilla, Diocesan Director of Housing/Residential Services and Bridget M. Haggerty, Assistant Director; and Laura Ducceschi, Scranton Area Foundation President/CEO.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation has awarded a grant to Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton to support the agency’s efforts to provide shelter to the homeless.

The $5,000 grant will help to fund the operation of St. Anthony’s Haven, an emergency shelter in Scranton that has been serving homeless men and women since 1987.

“Providing a warm, safe shelter for those who have no home of their own is among the works of mercy that our faith calls us to perform,” said Bishop Joseph C. Bambera. “Pope Francis reminds us to be attentive to the cry of the poor and come to their aid, at all times and especially during this Jubilee Year of Mercy that he proclaimed. We are certainly grateful to the Scranton Area Community Foundation for their generous support of this mission.”

St. Anthony’s Haven provides separate sleeping and shower areas for men and women over 18 years of age, with 6 beds available for women and 20 beds available for men. It is the only men’s and women’s shelter in Lackawanna County open 365 days a year. The shelter provides a place to sleep and share companionship; snacks and laundry services are also available. Working individuals are provided with a bag lunch and may request that a bed be held for them .

St. Anthony’s Haven provided services to 656 homeless individuals (503 men and 153 women) in fiscal year 2014/2015. Staff is onsite every night for 13 hours to ensure a safe and orderly environment.

In addition, staff assesses and coordinates the delivery of individualized services to meet the needs of shelter residents. All residents are provided the opportunity to participate in various programs and case management services provided by Catholic Social Services, and they are introduced to the housing and supportive services in the area that can enable them to achieve self-sufficiency.

Coordination  of services occurs with United Neighborhood  Centers, Community Intervention Center, Catherine McAuley Center, Veterans Administration, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services (DATS), Scranton Counseling Center, and St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen.

“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is proud to be able to support the important work of St. Anthony’s Haven, which provides such a critical service for the most vulnerable people in our community,” said Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO, Scranton Area Community Foundation.

Pennsylvania is one of 16 states that have experienced an increase in homelessness in recent years. Also, many people (not counted as homeless) are living with family and friends, described as doubled up. Living doubled up is the most common, prior living situation of people who become homeless.

Nationally, the number of persons in poor households living doubled up increased by 3.7%. Pennsylvania increased by 8.5%. Nationally, 37% of people experiencing homelessness were part of a family unit; 45% of people experiencing homelessness in PA (and 59% in Scranton) were part of a family unit.

One wage earner making the state’s minimum wage would need to work 81 hours per week, 52 weeks per year to afford a two-bedroom apartment at fair market rate.