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United Way of Lancaster County


County authorities seek state grants for homelessness hub, supportive youth housing

The long brick building is 134 S. Prince St., the former Neighborhood Services building. The yellow building to its right is 132 S. Prince St. (Photo: Tim Stuhldreher)

The boards of the Lancaster County Land Bank and the county Redevelopment Authority signed off this week on applying for “Local Share Account” grants for four local projects, including the planned homelessness services hub on South Prince Street.

The Local Share Account program makes state gaming revenue available to “projects of public interest.” Local governments and authorities can apply for themselves or on behalf of community organizations.

Previously, only jurisdictions with gaming facilities were eligible, but the state launched a statewide expansion of the program last year.

The maximum allocation is $1 million. That’s how much the Land Bank will seek for a project in the 100 block of South Fifth Street in Columbia, where it is building four single-family homes, replacing homes that were destroyed by fire.

It is hoping to start construction next year and wrap up by summer 2025. The project budget is still in flux, and could range from $1.9 million to $2.4 million, program coordinator Sean Krumpe said. The houses will meet affordability criteria, although it hasn’t been determined yet if they’ll be owner-occupied or rentals, manager of planning and resource development Jocelynn Ritchey said.

The redevelopment authority will submit the other three applications, one for itself and two for local nonprofits, as follows:

• Manor Youth House ($1 million): Manor Youth House will be a supportive housing site for young people aged 18 to 25 who have aged out of foster care, the first of its kind in Lancaster County. Partnering on it are local nonprofit housing developer Community Basics and Valley Youth House, a regional provider of social services to homeless and at risk youth. Community Basics is planning a three-story building at 759 Manor St. with six single rooms and three one-bedroom apartments. Valley Youth House will provide on site supervision and guidance toward independent living. The project is budgeted at $3 million with completion tentatively slated for spring 2025, Community Basics Director of Real Estate Development Lauren Reilly said.

• Pleasant View Communities ($632,000): The nonprofit retirement community in Penn Township is seeking the money for technology upgrades, including security cameras and community accessible wifi, as part of a larger expansion and redevelopment project.

• Prince Street Community Hub: ($1 million) The authority is planning to redevelop the former Neighborhood Services Building at 134 S. Prince St., Lancaster, into a homelessness services center, a project budgeted at $5.2 million. The authority has dropped plans to seek a $500,000 Keystone Communities grant and is pursuing this option instead, Executive Director Justin Eby said.

The two boards voted at their respective meetings this week. The Land Bank’s board is the same as the Redevelopment Authority’s, plus one additional member.

The application deadline is the end of November. Outcomes will not be announced until next spring at the earliest.

Earlier this month, City Council authorized city government to apply to the program on behalf of eight nonprofits that are collectively seeking just over $5.5 million. Another eight organizations are expected to come before City Council next month, just in time to meet the deadline, and the city intends to apply, too.