County endorses application for ‘shelter’ grant

SMETHPORT – A high rate of poverty and substantial unemployment have led to an ongoing “homeless” problem in McKean County.To address this dilemma, the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) in Bradford is seeking a grant of $68,374 from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).Using funding from the United Way and other sources, the YWCA will match the grant “dollar-for-dollar,” according to Amy Pierce. She is the executive director of the YWCA, which operates the only “homeless shelter” in McKean County.Acting at a meeting Tuesday, County Commissioners Joe DeMott and Al Pingie agreed to endorse the YWCA grant application under the DCED “emergency solutions” program. Commissioner Cliff Lane did not attend the meeting.According to the application, the YWCA plans to “target individuals and families who are homeless or imminently facing eviction.” This includes tenants who are facing eviction within two weeks.“We will work to help stabilize a population in which we see a great deal of need—the literally homeless families living in an emergency shelter or other temporary living arrangements or individuals or families imminently facing eviction,” according to the application form.Figures included in the application show McKean County with a 7.7 percent unemployment rate and a poverty rate of 13.9 percent.“We have one of the higher rates of poverty in the state,” the application shows.The YWCA’s “homeless shelter” in Bradford includes 13 beds, three cribs and three toddler beds, according to the application.See full article by purchasing the July 25 edition of The Kane Republican. McKean County CommissionersWhen: Tuesday, Aug. 7Time:  10 a.m.Where: County Courthouse, Smethport