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Homeless Assistance Program

Homeless Assistance Program


Contact the Berks County Coalition to End Homelessness at 610-372-7222.

Funding for the Homeless Assistance Program (HAP) is provided to Counties by the State Department of Human Services. It makes available a continuum of services to homeless and near homeless individuals and families. HAP funds help to assure 1) homelessness can be avoided through a variety of prevention services assisting clients to maintain affordable housing; 2) people who are homeless can find refuge and care; and 3) homeless and near homeless clients are assisted in moving toward self-sufficiency.

Program Goals

HAP funds are made available to Counties to mitigate the effects of homelessness on families and individuals through the provision of housing, prevention activities, and case management services. The primary goal is to assist homeless families and individuals in becoming self-sufficient, which includes permanent living arrangements as the final goal. Equally important are the funds provided for prevention activities. Prevention remains one of the most effective and cost-efficient ways to resolve homelessness.

Client Eligibility

To be eligible for services in any one of the HAP components, clients must be low-income, homeless or near homeless as defined below and meet the eligibility requirements for the specific service component from which they are seeking services. Low income is defined as those who are at or below 200% of the Federal Income Poverty Guidelines. This does not apply to those who need HAP services due to a disaster or domestic violence or persons seeking Emergency Shelter services, in these cases, eligibility is based solely on need. People 17 years of age and younger not living as part of a family unit or not emancipated are not eligible for HAP services. However, a person 17 years of age and younger who is married, separated from a spouse or has children may be considered an emancipated minor.

Individuals or families are homeless if they:

  • are residing in a group shelter; domestic violence shelter; hotel or motel paid for with public or charitable funds; a mental health, drug, or alcohol facility; jail; or hospital with no place to reside; or living in a home, but due to domestic violence, needs a safe place to reside
  • have received verification that they are facing foster care placement of their children solely because of lack of adequate housing, or need housing to allow reunification with children who are in foster care placement
  • are living in a "double-up" arrangement for six months or less on a temporary basis are living in a condemned building
  • are living in housing in which the physical plant presents life and/or health threatening conditions
  • are living on the streets, in cars, doorways, etc.

Individuals and families are near homeless if they:

  • are facing eviction (having received either written or verbal notification from the landlord that they will lose their housing unless some type of payment is received. Verbal notification must be followed up with written documentation)