Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Tom Wolf, Governor
Dennis M. Davin, Secretary

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Homeless Programs

DCED helps local governments, stakeholders and other community leaders address homelessness.

Individuals across the nation experience homelessness due to a variety of circumstances and complex variables, but the most common reason is that they cannot maintain or acquire affordable housing.  Whether it's providing funding, guidance and technical assistance, or co-facilitating the Statewide Homelessness Steering Committee, DCED's Center for Community Financing is dedicated to addressing homelessness in Pennsylvania and works closely around this issue with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and other Federal Partners, as well as local governments, stakeholders, and service providers.

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HUD-funded Programs State-Funded Programs
Other Federally-funded Programs Statewide Homeless Steering Committee
Homeless Data Events & Training
Resources Archive

HUD-Funded Programs

Continuum of Care (CoC) Programs (Competitive)

Supportive Housing Program (SHP)
Provides housing, including housing units and group quarters, that has a supportive environment and includes a planned service component.

Shelter Plus Care (S+C) Program
Provides grants for rental assistance for homeless persons with disabilities through four component programs: Tenant, Sponsor, Project, and Single Room Occupancy Rental Assistance.

Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Program
The SRO Program provides rental assistance for homeless persons in connection with the moderate rehabilitation of SRO dwellings. SRO housing contains units for occupancy by one person. These units may contain food preparation or sanitary facilities, or both. 

Formula Programs (Non-Competitive)

These funding sources are provided to DCED as well as local HUD entitlement jurisdictions (large cities and urban counties).

Emergency Shelter Grant
Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) awards grants for the rehabilitation or conversion of buildings into homeless shelters. It also funds certain related social services, operating expenses, homeless prevention activities, and administrative costs.  This program will no longer be funded independently; instead many of its components are being rolled into the Emergency Solutions Grant Program.

Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG)
Funded under the McKinney Vento Act as amended by the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009, this grant combines Emergency Shelter, Street Outreach, Homelessness Prevention, and Rapid Re-housing activities under one umbrella.  It is designed to assist individuals and families quickly regain stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis of homelessness. It provides essential street outreach and emergency shelter services as well as emphasizes homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing assistance. The program requirements facilitate coordination at the state and local levels to utilize all available services, consult closely with the jurisdiction’s Continuums of Care, and evaluate progress in accordance with a comprehensive homeless strategy and annual action plan.

Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Re-housing Program (HPRP)
A Federal funding source under Title XII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), HPRP provides financial assistance and services to either prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless or help those who are experiencing homelessness to be quickly re-housed and stabilized. This program will expire in August 2012.  Many of its activities will be continued in the Emergency Solutions Grant Program.

Other HUD-funded Programs

Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA)
The HOPWA program, managed by HUD's Office of HIV/AIDS Housing, is the only Federal program which was specifically established to provide housing assistance and related supportive services for low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS and their families.  This grant is funded through the PA Department of Health as well as the cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH)
The HUD-VASH Program combines the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans and their families with case management and clinical services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) at its medical centers and in the community.  These vouchers are administered by Pennsylvania Housing Authorities.

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Other Federally-funded Programs

PATH - Projects for Assistance in Transition From Homelessness
The PATH program was authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990 and is administered by the PA Department of Human Services  , who receives funding from the Center for Mental Health Services, a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), one of eight Public Health Service agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. PATH services are for people with serious mental illness, including those with co-occurring substance use disorders, who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. PATH services include community-based outreach, mental health, substance abuse, case management and other support services, as well as a limited set of housing services.


SSVF - Supportive Services for Veteran Families
A program funded by the U.S. Department of Veteran's Affairs (VA) and administered locally by Homeless Service Providers, SSVF is conceptually similar to HPRP.  The VA aims to improve very low-income Veteran families’ housing stability. Grantees (private non-profit organizations and consumer cooperatives) will provide eligible Veteran families with outreach, case management, and assistance in obtaining VA and other benefits, as well as providing time-limited payments to third parties (e.g., landlords, utility companies, moving companies, and licensed child care providers) if these payments help Veterans’ families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.

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State-Funded Programs

Homeless Assistance Program (HAP)
HAP is a program of the PA Department of Human Services that provides each county with funding in order to provide case management, rental assistance, bridge housing, emergency shelter and innovative supportive housing services. Click here for DPW's HAP webpage.


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Homeless Data

Pennsylvania Homeless Management Information System (PA HMIS)
The technical assistance page for PA HMIS, a community-based software used to help us better understand and address homelessness.  This page is targeted towards PA HMIS users and includes documentation, training materials, recordings of past trainings, and upcoming training dates.

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Statewide Homeless Steering Committee

 A Collaboration between various State Agencies, Entitlement Grantees, and direct Homeless Service Providers with the responsibility of providing guidance to and improving coordination of Pennsylvania's Homeless Delivery System.

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Resources powered by

PA Department of Human Services

PA Department of Aging

US Department of Housing and Urban Development | HUD's Technical Assistance Website

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

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Events & Training

PA HMIS Training Dates and Recordings

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Events Archive Page

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The page was last modified: 02/17/2015