Pandemic Puts Added Pressure on Homeless Shelters and Pantries

Written by on May 8, 2020

Pandemic Puts Added Pressure on Homeless Shelters and Pantries

By K.C. Lopez

May 8, 2020

Photo | K.C. Lopez / WLVR

Additional pressure during the COVID-19 outbreak is exhausting the Lehigh Valley’s homeless shelter resources. As WLVR’s KC Lopez reports, a local lawmaker has a plan to help ease that burden.

Lehigh Valley resources that typically serve the homeless population are now experiencing an uptick in need. House Bill 2451, also known as the Emergency COVID-19 Homelessness Grant Program, would allocate additional funds to homeless organizations. 

Lehigh County-based State Representative, Peter Scheweyer is the bill’s primary sponsor.

“What we are seeing now is so many more people are trying to access government programs for healthcare, for example, trying to address their own food insecurity, who otherwise may have the ability to go to the grocery store to pick up something but now are relying on meals on wheels or second harvest food bank, things like that. The system is just overwhelmed,” said Scheweyer.

The increase in need has caused shelters and pantries to break budgets so they can continue offering resources. Some organizations say they have been forced to take out lines of credit to meet immediate need.

“We are still going to need these organizations to be on their feet. And what we can’t do is have a number of organizations close shop because they ran out of money.”

HB 2451 now heads to the House Human Services Committee for consideration.

Watch K.C’s PBS39 News Tonight Report.


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