The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

June 17, 2014

Montour County runs out of homeless help funds

DANVILLE — Montour County’s Human Services Department ran out of the $10,000 grant it was allocated to help the homeless in February, according to Director Greg Molter.

“Last year, we had to turn away 31 kids and adults,” he said of running out of the same state grant to help the homeless.

His agency provides $6,000 a year from that grant to The Gate House shelter for the homeless per year.

That money can be used to help people pay their rent with the people needing to meet criteria of being evicted or being on the verge of being homeless, he told the county commissioners Tuesday.

Of that grant, $4,000 is used for administration.

Molter also spoke about a $50,000 human services block grant his agency should receive for fiscal year 2014-15 starting July 1.

He estimated that grant will help 103 people.

Molter said he is on call through the county 911 center to receive referrals for emergency needs.

Among services his agency provides are homemaker services where someone is paid to do laundry and to keep a home clean. Human services provides transportation for eligible people for appointments.

Molter said he was recently told his agency will be able to provide transportation for veterans. “This should be a tremendous help. We have a large contingent of veterans,” he said.

“Thank you for the work you do for people who are very much in need,” Commissioners Vice Chairman Jack Gerst said.

He said mentally ill people have been pushed out of facilities closed by the state. “They think they are being warehoused but they were receiving proper care by nurses and doctors,” he said. Sending them to jail doesn’t provide them with the care they need, he said.

“We have mentally ill people in jail and it’s not a facility to deal with that,” he said.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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