STEP partners with a limited number of community Referral Partner agencies and selected Supportive Housing Program (SHP) customers. SHP concentrates on Lycoming County’s rental community with the goal of helping customers avoid eviction from their rental dwellings and assist homeless residents who are sheltered or unsheltered to obtain safe, affordable rental accommodations. SHP is also structured to assist homeowners who are behind on their mortgage. Rental or mortgage arrears cannot exceed $3000.00 and there must be self-sustaining income in the household. To extend the reach of SHP funding, Service Navigation uses other eligible STEP funding streams—federal, state, and local—to meet customers’ needs, as well as leveraging other community resources, before allocating SHP resources.
Referral Partners are crucial to the success of SHP. All Lycoming County community organizations are encouraged to apply to become an SHP Referral Partner. STEP seeks those agencies who have demonstrated past success with county residents who have faced complex and multi-tiered social and economic challenges and need rental or mortgage assistance.
SHP has two tiers:
- Tier One individuals and families participate in a multifaceted, strengths-based approach to regain self-sufficiency and overcome the circumstances causing their instability. These individuals and families were previously self-sufficient; however due to a crisis, their security was compromised, thus requiring short term- assistance to stabilize. Customers in Tier 1 will receive STEP’s Service Navigation assistance to build upon their strengths while addressing their barriers in pursuit of achieving long-term self-sufficiency. Tier One customers may be referred by referral partners but may also be self-referred. Financial assistance, if given, may not exceed 6 months and is offered on a graduated scale.
- Tier Two individuals and families have made some progress towards self-sufficiency but need substantial long-term assistance and supports to stabilize. These individuals and families have experienced a crisis that cannot be resolved with a Tier One enrollment. They receive supports from both a Referral Partner agency and STEP’s Service Navigation Department for the duration of the enrollment, capitalizing on their strengths and addressing their barriers. Tier Two customers are only accepted by referral from approved Referral Partner agencies. Financial assistance may not exceed 12 months and is offered on a graduated scale.
A.C. entered our Supportive Housing Program (SHP) after being referred from American Rescue Workers. A.C. has worked for his entire adult life and suddenly found himself homeless after a volatile breakup with his long-time girlfriend of 15+ years. Through this, A.C. maintained his employment and found safe and affordable housing. With the assistance of SHP, A.C. continuously completed goals (i.e., increased savings, increased wages through raise, improve living environment, etc.).
A.C.’s landlord has nothing but great things to say about him and reports that A.C. is always on time or even early with his portion of his monthly rent. Upon exiting SHP, A.C. was confident that he would be able to continue being self-sufficient.