Volunteer Spotlight: Corinne

Volunteering for CACH can be a very rewarding experience. Just ask Corinne Rebinksi of Mechanicsburg, Pa. Rebinski is the senior manager for Brown Schultz Sheridan Fritz, a certified public accountants and business advisors firm in Camp Hill, Pa. She started volunteering for CACH in 2011 and continues to volunteer today.

The main reason Rebinski decided to volunteer for CACH was because the Harrisburg Rotary Club had established a homeless initiatives committee, of which she is co-chair, in order to find opportunities to help Harrisburg’s homeless community. Upon searching for these opportunities, she came across CACH’s annual Project Homeless Connect event, which provides resources to the hardest-to-reach homeless individuals.

Corinne Rebinski is pictured above cheering about the donations received for Project Homeless Connect.

Corinne Rebinski is pictured above cheering about the donations received for Project Homeless Connect.

“Since our club is established in the City of Harrisburg, and we are comprised of many members of the area business community, I am passionate that we need to “put our money where our mouth is” and offer our service to help address the issues of Harrisburg’s homeless community,” Rebinski says. “CACH is certainly the premier organization dedicated to this cause, so it is a good fit for us.”

Rebinski is very passionate about helping address the issues of Harrisburg’s homeless community. Since 2011, she has coordinated volunteers from the Rotary Club to help, interviewed applicants for a temporary cash assistance program, and co-chaired the children’s room committee. For the children’s room committee, Rebinski has designed and set up the children’s room. This has included addressing the needs of homeless children by designing activity and care areas, obtaining equipment supplies, and being in charge of set-up and clean-up.

“I believe that for the issues of the homeless community, the best results come from a united community effort, and that is exactly what CACH is designed to do,” Rebinksi says. “Many diverse people working together to solve problems. You can’t get much better than that.”

Great resources for the homeless

Are you or someone you know homeless or close to becoming homeless? CACH is here to help! There are many great resources out there to help individuals who are homeless, and we make it our priority to point individuals in the right direction to crucial resources that will help them get back on their feet.

There are several emergency shelters for individuals who are homeless in Harrisburg and Dauphin County. These include, but are not limited to, HELP Ministries, Bethesda Mission, Interfaith Shelter, Shalom House, and the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg’s emergency and domestic violence shelters.

HELP Ministries

HELP Ministries provides emergency shelter placement to the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg, Shalom House, or Interfaith Shelter. This placement is for single women, single women with families, or families. They also provide emergency housing placement for single men at the YMCA or available rooming. Assistance includes food, clothing, heating prescription, and travel, along with a rental assistance program.

HELP Ministries is located at 413 S. 19th Street in Harrisburg, PA. Walk-ins can be made Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. through 3 p.m., in addition to Wednesdays from 9 a.m. through 11 a.m. HELP Ministries can also be contacted at (717) 238-2851 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The crisis intervention line can also be called on other days or hours at (717) 232-7511.

Bethesda Mission

Bethesda Mission provides emergency shelter placement at its Men’s Mission. They provide a residential and spiritual development program, along with a medical clinic. They also serve meals and have a community soup kitchen. Bethesda also provides a mobile food and clothing mission.

Bethesda Mission is located at 611 Reily Street in Harrisburg, PA. The mission can be reached by phone at (717) 257-4440.

YWCA of Greater Harrisburg

The YWCA, located at 1101 Market Street in Harrisburg, PA, provides two emergency shelters: an emergency shelter and a domestic violence shelter. The domestic violence shelter is for women and children and provides a 30-day stay with domestic violence counseling and a case manager. The shelter also includes food and a clothing bank. The shelter can be contacted at (717) 238-7273.
 

The YWCA’s emergency shelter provides a 28-day emergency stay for women and women with children. It provides housing goals, case management, food, and clothing. The shelter can be reached at (717) 234-7931.

Other emergency shelters for the homeless include Interfaith Shelter and Shalom House. For more resources and service providers for the homeless, please check out CACH’s Homeless Services Reference Manual.

6 Myths about homelessness dispelled

1. Most homeless people are middle-aged men.

While last year’s Point in Time survey of Dauphin County’s homeless population did not take into account exact ages, females made up the majority of the population. In 2012, 58.9% (159) of Dauphin County’s homeless population were females, and 41.1% (111) were males. Also, there were 127 homeless children counted in the 2012 Point in Time census.

2. Homeless people need to “just get a job.”

According to our Point in Time survey last year, 19.6% (55) of the area’s homeless population were employed. There are many resources available to help these individuals find jobs, but finding a job with limited resources, such as lack of home or transportation, makes the process more difficult.

3. People are homeless by choice.

No one chooses to be homeless – many factors can make any individual suddenly homeless. During our 2012 census, it was discovered that drug or alcohol abuse, family breakup, medical problem, and domestic violence were the top reasons for being homeless in Dauphin County. 24% said that drug or alcohol abuse was the top reason, followed by family breakup (16%), medical problems (9%), and domestic violence (8%).

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Homelessness can effect anyone, including families with children. Last year, there were 127 children homeless in Harrisburg and Dauphin County. Pictured above are two homeless children at CACH’s Project Homeless Connect last year.

4. Homelessness will never happen to me.

Many people never intend or expect to become homeless. Many had jobs, a house, and a family before they became homeless. According to facts from our Homeless Services Reference Manual, the odds of anyone experiencing homelessness over the course of a year is approximately 1 in 194.

We also discovered through our Point in Time survey that there were 63 households with children who were homeless. This meant that 23% of the area’s homeless population last year consisted of homeless families.

5.  Homeless people all come from the City.

Nearly half (46.3%) of people receiving homelessness assistance lived outside the City of Harrisburg, according to last year’s Point in Time survey.  –

6. Homelessness will never end.

Many cities in the U.S. have established 10-year plans to end homelessness that include very ambitious goals, according to the Portland Rescue Mission. CACH is in charge of Harrisburg’s plan, which is a 10-year blueprint plan to eliminate homelessness in Harrisburg and Dauphin County.

This plan, called “Home Run,” serves for us to develop initiatives that are necessary to prevent and eliminate homelessness in the community.  Every day, every week, all year long, CACH works to change the lives of our community’s homeless.

Walk for CACH to help us make a difference!

Help CACH make a difference by registering to walk in the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community! The walk will be held on Saturday, May 18, at the Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) on 1 HACC Drive in Harrisburg, PA.

That Saturday, registration and check-in will begin at 7:45 a.m. At 9 a.m., the 5K Walk will start, and at 9:15 a.m., the 1 Mile Fun Walk will start. The walk is expected to be held rain or shine, and there is expected to be food, beverages, music, fun activities, and prize drawings following the walk!

Everyone who walks has a chance to win one of several great prizes, which are collectively valued at $1,000. In addition, for every $50 you donate or raise, you will receive one raffle ticket toward the prize drawings. If you donate or raise $25 or more, you will receive a Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community t-shirt while supplies last.

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Last year’s Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community

CACH will be one of 41 local health and human service agencies participating in this year’s Highmark Walk. Our goal this year is to raise $4,000. But this goal cannot be met without your help, so please consider registering for the walk! If you are not able to walk that day, you can still register as a virtual walker!

There are also many incentives to register during this month! Walkers who register this month and have at least $100 in paid donations will be placed in a drawing to win a $50 Visa gift card.  Organizations that raise at least $1,500 this month will be placed in a drawing to win a $100 Visa gift card.

Please help us out by donating and/or registering for the walk at http://highmark.towercare.com/Markslist/site/displaySite.do?siteIdCode=VDRPA4SS! We are very grateful to those individuals who have already registered to walk with CACH! All of you are helping us move individuals and families out of crisis into meaningful and lasting success!