Blue Valley Community Action assisted more than 1,100 in York County

YORK – Blue Valley Community Action assisted 1,114 people in York County during their last fiscal year.

This number was presented to the York County Commissioners this week, as the agency made its annual report and budget request.

Shari Webber and Kelsey Peterson met with the commissioners, to talk about the agency’s work here.

“Blue Valley serves nine counties and also has limited services in 15 counties,” Webber said. “Our goal is to help people stabilize their situations and help them set and meet long-term goals. Poverty looks different for everyone and our goal-setting programs are centered around working with families.”

Webber noted that York County’s population is 14,263 and the poverty rate is 8.6&. That equates to 287 children and 940 adults living in poverty in York County.

Of the 1,114 people BVCA served in the last year, they were from 624 households – made up of 495 children, 536 adults and 83 elderly individuals.

BVCA emergency services were provided to 92 individuals who received utility assistance, 69 individuals who received rental assistance and 546 individuals who were assisted with other services. She also noted 26 homeless individuals were provided with shelter and 38 individuals received rapid re-housing and/or transitional housing for homeless.

Regarding local homelessness, Webber said they are seeing an increase locally. “They may be living with a relative or a friend, or maybe in their car.” In 2021, she said BVCA in York County helped 10 people who were homeless. This year, they’ve already assisted 26.

Peterson said, “We are seeing more homeless people here and we are having a very hard time finding them housing and finding housing that is affordable.”

“We are also seeing an increase in food insecurity,” Webber added.

“It seems to grow every single month,” Peterson said, noting food insecurity issues are typically worse during the summer because school is not in session.

Both acknowledged the generous nature of the York County community, regarding donations to the food pantry. Recent drives have greatly contributed to the canned/dried food stock they currently have, but Peterson said there is still a major need for meat – she said they have multiple freezers at York’s BVCA facility that can store donations, which some people may not realize.

In the last fiscal year, 435 people from 197 households received 1,635 food boxes in York County. Fifty-five locals received CARES food vouchers; 67 elderly people received nutritious food via the CSFP program.

It was also noted that 57,247 pounds of Walmart Feeding America food was distributed in York County in the last year. This program does not have income guidelines.

The demographics of those who received assistance shows 32% of the clients are disabled or are caregivers; 25% are employed full-time; 18% are currently unemployed; 16% are retired; and 9% are employed part-time.

She also noted that 22% of household income, in York County, is used for childcare, which can be a contributing factor to financial challenges for families.

Webber told the commissioners of every dollar they receive, 88 cents go back to client services.

They asked for a slight increase in the county’s contribution in the next fiscal year – which is based on population among the counties they serve. They are asking the county to include $11,388 in the next budget.


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