Serving the homeless and potentially homeless in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
The Emergency Shelter is designed to be the first step in a continuum of assistance for eligible homeless individuals and families
as they move to independent living. The program provides refuge and care to persons who are in immediate need and have no
residence of their own. The facility at James Wilson House opened in July 2003.
Residents may live in the Emergency Shelter 90 days. The shelter is comprised of two separate units, one being five (5) units for
single women and the four (4) units for couples and/or individuals with children. The women's shelter is physically separated from
the family shelter, with each having their own separate kitchen and bathing facilities. Food for two meals per day per resident is
available so that they can make their own meals. Items such as toiletries, clothing, linens and other necessities are available.
Emergency Shelter residents must meet low-income criteria and have a history of residence in Cumberland County. Admission to
the shelter is available 24 hours, seven days per week based upon availability of units and no previous discharge from any Safe
Harbour program within the previous six months. Entry into the program is on a first come-first served basis. Individuals, families,
and agencies must contact Safe Harbour on a daily basis to ascertain occupancy status. All perspective applicants are required to
have a criminal background check through the Carlisle Police Department and to be free of drugs and alcohol prior to acceptance
into the shelter. Security/resident assistant staffing is a component of the facility's operation.
The Emergency Shelter Program's goal is to stabilize the individual/family and develop objectives for residents that will lead to
permanent housing. This is accomplished by utilizing existing health and social service agencies, as well as trained on-site
professional staff, to provide clients with an optional rehabilitative plan to increase their basic life skills and prepare them for
self-sufficient and independent living. For those residents that are not prepared to move to independent living within 90 days,
Safe Harbour will transition them into bridge housing (transitional housing) as soon as possible.
Immediately upon intake into the facility, Emergency Shelter residents become involved in Safe Harbour's supportive services
program. A case manager assists residents in accessing available community services. By affording residents the ability to stay
up to 90 days, the program endeavors to prepare residents for self-sufficiency and help them maintain an independent life style.
Supportive services program are designed is direct and focus the residents' lives so that they do not continue to live from "crisis to
crisis." This is accomplished by providing education and counseling to help residents experience healthy, wholesome living, and,
ultimately, improvement in the quality of their lives.
Bridge (Transitional) Housing
The Bridge Housing program, located at the James Wilson facility, opened in 1986. The program is designed to make a connection
between the emergency shelter and independent living within the community. The 27-unit residential facility(19 single rooms and
eight apartments) aids "homeless or potentially homeless" individuals and families by providing housing coupled with individually
planned services to develop values and skills for independent and self-sufficient living. Residents are eligible to participate in this
temporary housing and supportive living environment for 12 months.
Similar to the emergency shelter program, residents in the Bridge Housing facility must meet low-income criteria and have a
history of residence in Cumberland County. A service plan is developed in partnership with Safe Harbour's case management staff
to assist the resident in obtaining permanent housing.
This assistance assists in breaking the cycle of homelessness and help residents increase their emotional and physical stability.
Activities for the children of residents are specifically designed to aid in developing healthy and wholesome individuals. In 1993, a
parent support program was created to assist parents in developing appropriate and helpful parenting skills. In addition to education
and counseling opportunities, recreation and leisure activities are provided to be fun and informative. All activities are focused on
directing residents' lives in a manner that will help them to not continue living from "crisis-to-crisis."
By providing a safe environment, as well as education and counseling opportunities, Safe Harbour strives to strengthen our residents'
emotional stability, life and employment skills, and self-esteem. Ultimately, we endeavor to improve the quality of their lives.
Permanent Housing-Single Room Occupancy (S.R.O.) is available for single individuals who have successfully completed Safe
Harbour's Bridge Housing Program. This program provides U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8
rental assistance for permanent residents. Under HUD's Housing Choice Voucher Program, Safe Harbour receives funds over a 10-
year period to subsidize rents for homeless individuals who live in single-room housing.
Similar to the Bridge Housing Program, permanent residents work with a case manger who continues providing supportive services
to increase their emotional and physical stability. By continuing to provide education and counseling opportunities, the focus remains
on directing residents' lives in a manner that will help them to not continue living from "crisis-to-crisis."
Safe Harbour offers Permanent Housing (S.R.O.) at three facilities in Cumberland County. Five apartments are available at the
James Wilson House in downtown Carlisle. At Harbour Place, located on West St. in Carlisle, there are five S.R.O. apartments.
Additional communal-style S.R.O. options exist for six female residents at MecHarbour Place, a double home located in
A variety of on-and-off-site programs are available to all clients.
Basic financial management including budgeting and banking skills
Basic Life Skills
Nutrition and cooking, housekeeping, and personal hygiene
Keys to Success
Employment skills, resumes and applications, interviewing, and communication skills
Sexual responsibility, family planning and AIDS/STD prevention
Purposes and methods of parenting, instilling self-esteem, winning cooperation and understanding your child
Women's and Men's Support Groups
Discussion group featuring issues of interest
Behavioral health and other issues may be addressed at off-site locations and areas specific to each individual's needs. In addition
to educational programs and counseling services, recreation and entertainment activities are provided for children and adults.
A community room is open to residents for television, movies, and games. This area also includes a play area and library for residents.
Special activities are often presented by community groups.