An open house marked the official opening of Community Place on Washington in Elizabethtown on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Photo: Kyle Gamble)
An open house marked the official opening of Community Place on Washington in Elizabethtown on Thursday, April 7, 2022. (Photo: Kyle Gamble)

Community Place on Washington in Elizabethtown marked the official opening of its new Social Services Complex with a ribbon-cutting on Thursday.

The building is home to ECHOS, which occupies 80% of the space. ECHOS is a social services organization that works to eradicate financial and housing insecurity and homelessness.

The building allows for new opportunities to help the community, said Briana Anderson, ECHOS' executive director.

The Elizabethtown Emergency Shelter has been operating there since December.

"If we had been in our previous space, we would have had to turn people away," she said.

ECHOS has been able to start a new program, Homestead Housing, which provides apartment-style housing for adults 55 and over at risk of homelessness, with preference given to veterans.

"United Churches Elizabethtown Area, who are the property owners for the campus, made this all possible", Anderson said.

The facility houses an expanded emergency shelter, ECHOS office and program areas, the Bear Bags program (an initiative led by Elizabethtown Area School District to combat food insecurity), meeting rooms and space for other community service organizations.

Funding came in part from a Community Development Block Grant through the Lancaster County Redevelopment Authority, along with local contributions.