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United Way of Lancaster County


April ‘Conversation About OUR Community’ to look at student homelessness

From left: Donovan Arnold, Melissa DeMotta, Barbara Huggins, Lisette Rivera. (Sources: Provided)

United Way of Lancaster County will examine the issue of student homelessness in this month’s “Conversation About OUR Community.”

The free online panel discussion will take place on Zoom from 11 a.m. to 12 noon Tuesday, April 16. To register, click here.

There were roughly 2,300 homeless students in Lancaster County in 2021-22, according to the state Department of Education. The category includes students sharing housing with other families due to eviction or economic hardship; those in shelters or sleeping out of doors.

Initiatives to assist them include Pennsylvania’s Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness program.

United Way of Lancaster County director of volunteerism & community listening Joel Janisewski will moderate the April 16 forum, which will feature the following panelists:

  • Donovon Arnold: Co-founder, Lancaster Youth Action Board
  • Melissa DeMotta: Supervisor, Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) program, Pa. Dept. of Education
  • Barbara Huggins: Community strategies associate, National Network for Youth
  • Lisette River: site Coordinator, Families in Transition Program, School District of Lancaster

They will discuss the factors that lead to student homelessness and discuss solutions.

The session will be recorded and made available to registrants afterward.

To contact the organizers, email