Housing has become increasingly unaffordable for many in the Lehigh Valley, but now there is an effort to help.
The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley and PPL Corp. have announced an initiative to increase awareness and funding around the region’s growing housing crisis.
During an event at Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, they officially kicked off Be a Housing Hero as an added initiative to United Way’s 2022 campaign.
In support of PPL’s United Way campaign, the PPL Foundation has committed up to $500,000 this year through a matching program for all new or increased campaign contributions.
The funds will go directly to United Way’s work in the community to aid neighbors and families experiencing housing insecurity.
“PPL Foundation’s pledge of up to $500,000 will provide support for thousands of people who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity right here in the communities we serve,” said Vince Sorgi, CEO and president of PPL Corporation and co-chair of the 2022 UWGLV campaign. “By partnering with United Way, we know that these funds will be invested into organizations like Sixth Street Shelter and others in the community whose missions align with addressing housing insecurity through prevention and intervention.”
Additionally, PPL Foundation’s gift will apply to all new or increased participation in corporate campaigns or online donations made to unitedwayglv.org/housinghero.
“Many people in the Greater Lehigh Valley are only one paycheck or emergency away from hunger or homelessness,” reported Dawn Godshall, executive director of Community Action Lehigh Valley. “Through the PPL Foundation’s commitment, Community Action’s Sixth Street Shelter, with vital assistance from United Way, can invest in more solutions to help the ever-growing need in our area.”
The housing crisis in our community has increased due to many factors, including the past two years’ health and economic crises, she said.
The Lehigh Valley’s most recent homeless reports depict a 36% increase in people experiencing homelessness in the region since 2020, including 50% more families with children and almost twice as many veterans. About 122,000 families (or 44%) are also currently experiencing serious financial instability and are forced to make difficult decisions daily, such as whether to buy groceries or pay rent.
“There is no doubt that the nationwide housing crisis is being felt right here in our communities,” said Sorgi. “With thousands of people at risk of homelessness or eviction, PPL Foundation is honored to help those impacted by this situation.”