A United Way of Lancaster County staff member is now overseeing homelessness services in Lehigh and Northampton counties in eastern Pennsylvania.
As manager of Coordinated Entry for the Lehigh Valley region of the Eastern PA Continuum of Care, Julie Kennedy will assume all responsibilities for By-Name List management and Coordinated Entry. She began her new role on Feb. 8.
A By-Name List is a real-time master list of individuals experiencing homelessness in a given area. "Coordinated Entry" refers to the process of allocating homeless assistance effectively and equitably in accordance with U.S. Housing & Urban Development guidelines. The Connect to Home Coordinated Entry System Of Eastern Pennsylvania handles access, assessment, prioritization and referral to housing and services for people experiencing or at imminent risk of homelessness in 33 counties in central and eastern Pennsylvania.
Kennedy has been lead housing specialist for PA 211 East, the 24-hour social-service referral hotline sponsored by the United Way of Lancaster County. Housing specialist Kate Anderson will be promoted to that role.
Julie’s passion for her career makes her the perfect fit for the Coordinated Entry manager position.
“For the past two years as a housing specialist with PA 211, I have had the opportunity to hear straight from our neighbors who face the unimaginable," Kennedy said. "They have been forced from their homes due to eviction, sickness and violence among so many other injustices. As someone who has never stopped asking 'why,' I have found myself asking this question more often as of late.
"I care deeply for our vulnerable neighbors – I have dedicated the remainder of my professional career to advocacy and a passionate pursuit for social justice. I am fortunate to have been raised in a stable home with supports who carried me when I faced possible homelessness. Knowing not everyone has these supports available to them, my colleagues and I will be the bridge they need to get back home.
"The work to end homelessness knows no county lines, no borders. It is a collaborative effort that every county in every state strives for daily. Coordinated Entry is the weapon our country utilizes in this fight, and I am so proud to have been selected to manage the endeavors of our Lehigh Valley region.”
Julie is local to Lancaster, where she lives with her husband, two daughters and six pets.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to add Kate Anderson's promotion.