Clare House History
In the early 1980´s when homelessness gained prominence as a social phenomenon, Lancaster County lacked a special environment specifically for women and children who were homeless. Clare House was developed originally as the mission of a local Catholic diocese to shelter homeless women with children.
In the early years, the shelter essentially provided a safe place for women and children to stay. Today, the program has grown to provide case-management, parenting classes, mentoring, budgeting, nutrition education, job training skills and housing assistance. The service provided by Clare House is a viable, proactive alternative to homelessness.
Clients are served from Lancaster and surrounding counties (York, Lebanon, Berks, Dauphin). Clare House is a United Way member agency and is funded through contributions made by foundations, churches, individuals, businesses and governmental grants.
Clare House Purpose
People who become homeless have many risk factors. The two most prevalent trends nationally and locally, are a lack of affordable housing and poverty. In addition, homeless people are almost always clients of public systems of care and assistance. Issues such as poor health, drug and alcohol addictions, mental health problems, incarceration, violence and victimization, joblessness, low levels of educational achievement, few job skills and a complete lack of family support compound the problem.
As a best practice and endorsed by The Ten Year Action Plan to End Homelessness in Lancaster County, Clare House adopted the "housing first" philosophy over four years ago, to offer a short term shelter stay, with a primary focus on case-management and moving people back to permanent housing as quickly as possible, while still continuing to receive services once in their own homes. The purpose of the agency is to serve homeless women and children by providing a temporary home in a caring environment, life-skills programs and aftercare support leading to self sufficiency.
Clare House operates two twenty four hour transitional shelter facilities at 342 and 344 East Chestnut Street in Lancaster city. One of the facilities targets women with children and the other, single women. Both facilities offer clients a 90-120 day intensive shelter program that through case-management and collaboration with other social service agencies, assist clients in overcoming the barriers that brought them to their current situation of homelessness.
Clare House serves homeless women and children by providing a temporary home in a caring environment, life skills programs and aftercare support leading to self-sufficiency.
About Clare House
Every day Clare House receives calls from women who find themselves homeless as a result of abusive relationships, addiction, loss of employment, or simply slipping through "the system." These women need a safe place for themselves and their children where they can turn their lives around. They need someone who understands and is willing to give them a hand.