Homeless Shelter May Soon Be Displaced

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WILLIAMSPORT -- A homeless shelter in Williamsport may soon become homeless itself.

Officials at Family Promise of Lycoming County say they must move out of their current building by March 1 and they are scrambling to find another facility.

Family Promise of Lycoming County has been located on Sherman Street inside a church parsonage since 2010.  The shelter recently found out it has until March 1 to find a new home for its day center.

“The church that donates the building to us currently has a call for a new pastor.  They're hoping to give the building to the new pastor as part of the package,” explained Family Promise Executive Director Melissa Magargle.

Magargle says the shelter serves about 80 people a year in Lycoming County.  Clients of the shelter sleep at various churches in Williamsport but the day center is where they spent much of their time.

“This is where they shower, do their laundry, everyday things, breakfast lunch things,” Magargle said.

“We had no place to go and we ended up in the shelter,” said Daisy Walter.

Walter and her 2-year-old son George rely on Family Promise.

"They help you out with your budgeting.  They help you out with your food, clothing, shoes.  They help you out a great deal."

Everything from shampoo to food is donated, so finding a facility that is affordable is crucial.

“We're really a tight-run budget and to add maybe up to $1,000 a month in rent is going to hurt our budget this year,” said Magargle.

A church official from Lutheran Church of the Redeemer says the parsonage was donated to the shelter temporarily but it is now needed by the church.

Magargle says Family Promise's board of directors will meet within the next week or two to discuss possible locations.


  • David Lutcher

    Instead of throwing it all on one congregation to provide the space, why don’t churches work together to find a place or provide rent money to the church who owns the building. This is supposed to be a community ministry, not one congregation taking the burden.

    • Jenny Hull

      Family Promise of Lycoming County is an organization that works with 23 congregations in Lycoming County. Those 23 congregations provide support. In turn, where ever the Day Center is located Family Promise pays all utilities and most times makes all the reparirs to the property. Family Promise is organized not to be a burden on any one congregation, but a blessing to not only the homeless familes that are served, but also on all the wonderful people who participate.

  • helpifucan

    That is so sad. What better way for a church to put a “building” to very good use by housing the homeless in a community. That is what churches should do, I thought. Help feed, clothe and house those who are struggling, for whatever reason. WWJD is what every community should be asking its people, pastors and church congregations!

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