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COVID-19 Update (April 2)

HELP Ministries

For the foreseeable future, while our state is under stay-at-home orders, all HELP Ministries assistance is being coordinated by phone. Please do not come in person to the HELP Ministries office. If you need help, call HELP Ministries at (717) 238-2851 weekdays between 8:30am and 3pm to communicate your request for help. If there is no answer, please leave a message or e-mail A HELP Ministries staff member will contact you within 1 business day. In the case of a crisis need off hours, please call 911 if a medical emergency, otherwise call Dauphin County Crisis Intervention at (717) 232-7511. For information and referral off hours, dial 211 for Contact HELPline.

Update on Community-Wide Homelessness Street Outreach

This is a challenging time with local congregant shelters full and precautions taken to reduce the chance of a COVID-19 infection entering these shelters. Downtown Daily Bread and Bethesda Mission provide daily feeding, but have switched to handing out boxed hot and cold meals rather than hosting large group meals in their dining halls.

Agencies, churches and grassroots groups, including CCU, have been working together on how to best support people living on the street. Out of this discussion, the City of Harrisburg has installed the following to be available for people on the street as many walk-in locations for comfort use, such as Strawberry Square downtown, are closed:

  • 2 porta-latrines on South 10th off Cameron and Mulberry under lighting to facilitate the Mulberry and Speedway encampments
  • 2 porta-latrines on S River street between Market Street and Blackberry Alley, to serve the Market Square area
  • 2 porta-latrines in the 900 block of S. Front Street near the I83 bridge under lighting to serve the PennDOT encampment.
  • Harristown Development Corporation also put porta-latrines near the corner of 4th and Market Street across from Strawberry Square.

Each unit comes equipped with hand sanitizer.

Additional planning is underway by our community-wide coalition to provide for the shelter and health needs of people living on the street in Harrisburg.