Administrators and staff of Decade to Doorways, Chester County's initiative to end homelessness, recently honored a number of organizations that are working to prevent and eventually eradicate chronic homelessness in the county. Representatives from approximately 40 groups attended the event, and 10 Hometown Heroes were nominated by their peers for their dedication to pursuing an end to homelessness within Chester County.
The event included an address by keynote speaker Julia Orlando, who, as director of the Bergen County, N.J., Housing, Health and Human Service Center, led that county to be the first in the nation to successfully reach and maintain what is known as functional zero for chronic homelessness.
Since the inception of Decade to Doorways in 2012, Chester County has served more than 6,200 clients experiencing homelessness, of which more than 1,300 were children. Nearly 225,000 nights of emergency shelter were made available to the most vulnerable in Chester County, and 1,451 people found permanent housing.
Earlier this year, Decade to Doorways published its most recent operational plan to ensure the program continues to prevent homelessness and quickly re-house those experiencing homelessness rather than just manage homelessness. The updated plan will guide the approximately 35 organizations that work to see that the Chester County community is healthy, housed and stable.