In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, over 200 people – in a community of 18,000 persons – are sheltered homeless individuals and families. That is more than one percent of the population of the borough of Carlisle living in a homeless shelter. Carlisle Cares shelters 50 to 70 people each night on the floor of a church: no bed, no privacy, carrying their personal belongings with them each night and each morning.
Each month a different church provides floors, and there is an average stay of 4 to 8 months. When the Salvation Army closed its women and children’s transitional shelter, the average stay more than doubled. In conjunction with the sheltered population, Cumberland County Housing and Redevelopment Authority has a current waiting list of more than 170 individuals and families who are homeless, and there is now a freeze on applying for housing, due to possible budget cuts.