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Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc. Life Center and Merit House

The Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc. offers a range of services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. With his consent, Steven Brown is allowing us to share his story with our community. Steven came to the Merit House in April of 2018 after having to spend several nights in his car. He had been experiencing homelessness for almost five months before entering the Merit House. 

In the begining

Steve had suffered through many years of substance abuse, while also battling mental health concerns and isolation prior to making his way to our program. Steve knew he wanted to do more for himself in order to continue working toward his recovery. Despite not having a place to call home, Steve was volunteering at Skills of Central PA. Steve was spending everyday giving back to a program that had helped him once before as a peer support at Skills, while also attending case management meetings with the staff at CCHC twice weekly. Steve was a client that needed little motivation to work toward the improvement of himself and his circumstances. Although Steve battled ideas of isolation, he always carried such an optimistic sense of empowerment throughout every conversation. It had only taken Steve until the end of May of 2018 to secure permanent housing, making his stay at the Merit House just under five weeks! Although Steve had a dependable source of income, he was eligible for short-term rental assistance to aide in securing his stability and selfsufficiency. It was a recipe for success. But that was not all that Steve was ready for! 

Motivated to do more

As part of our program, the Merit House staffs one stipend volunteer each evening to meet the basic needs of our clients utilizing our shelter as well as intake services. After just a few weeks of gaining permanent housing, Steve was beginning to volunteer a few evenings a week to staffing the Merit House. 

What more can we do

Success would not simply end there for Steve. Before moving to this area, Steve had been a member on two CCBH Boards. In November of 2018, Steve expressed interest in joining the Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc.’s Board of Directors. In December of 2018, the Board had voted in approval to allow Steven Brown to sit on our Board of Directors, fulfilling the seat of a member who had previously experienced homelessness. Even further, in January of 2019, Steve was offered a paid position at Skills of Central PA. Steve has been an asset as both a client who successfully moved through our program, utilizing as much support as he could, but also as a valued volunteer for our Merit House program and Board member for the Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc. The uphill battles that Steve has faced has shaped the person he is today. He is proud to share his story of recovery, homelessness and success with our community.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of experiencing homelessness, please DIAL 2-1- 1 or TEXT your zip code to 898- 211 to connect 24/7 to a trained professional who will assess your housing needs.

Jackie Condor, Northern Tier Regional Manager

Keshia Conway, Senior Case Manager, Clinton County Housing Coalition, Inc. April 2019