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HELP Ministries

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HELP Ministries, sometimes referred to as "The HELP Office," is a social service hub in Dauphin County, providing a comprehensive approach to homelessness and poverty alleviation through crisis resolution, emergency aid, and housing assistance.

We offer a continuum of crisis management and homeless solutions: from homelessness prevention to short-term aid to long-term solutions, as well as other crisis assistance.

Program Director:
John Scarpato

Office Location:
413 S. 19th Street, Harrisburg, PA  17104 (GPS)
phone: (717) 238-2851   |   fax: (717) 238-1916   |   e-mail:

Walk-In Hours:

  • Mon/Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri: 8:30am-11:00am
  • Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri: 1:00pm-3:00pm (Closed Wed. Afternoon)

If you would like referral or resource information for a challenge you may be dealing with, you can dial 211, available 24 hours a day, or visit the 211 website.

If you need a listening ear to help deal with a problem, you can call the CONTACT Helpline 800.932.4616, also available 24 hours a day.

Homelessness Prevention
  • Case Management and Rental Assistance

    We help households under threat of eviction resolve situations and stay in their housing, thereby reducing stress and trauma for all involved.

  • PPL Assistance

    HELP administers PPL’s regional energy assistance program, Operation HELP, and provides direct services to those in Lower Dauphin County.

  • Heating Fuel

    HELP may provide one-time assistance to people needing heating fuel during the winter heating season. Clients must exhaust any and all other energy assistance programs before they receive assistance.

Short-Term Aid
  • Emergency Shelter

    HELP is the first point of contact for intake into the following emergency shelters: the YWCA of Greater Harrisburg Emergency Shelter, Shalom House, and Interfaith Family Shelter. Emergency shelter is available on a first-come first-serve basis and is subject to availability.

  • Case Management

    HELP works with emergency shelter staff to assist clients in area emergency shelters to identify follow-up housing resources.

Long-Term Solutions
  • Rapid Rehousing and Rental Assistance

    HELP may assist households who are currently homeless (in emergency shelters or on the streets) to obtain an apartment through security deposit and initial rental assistance, along with case management and budget counseling.

Other Crisis Assistance
  • Medication Assistance

    HELP can provide financial assistance to people needing life-sustaining medication on an emergency, one-time basis. This service is often used to bridge gaps in medical insurance.

  • Transportation Assistance

    HELP reserves this service for specific situations, such as 1) stranded travelers; 2) homeless individuals that have verified housing available out of the area; or 3) individuals starting a job who need a limited-time bus pass.

  • Food Referrals

    HELP provides referrals to area food pantries listed in the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s referral guide.

  • Information and Referral

    HELP is a resource for information and referrals for other community resources.

HELP Ministries is supported financially by area churches, businesses, local government agencies, concerned individuals, PPL Electric Utilities, Community Aid and the United Way of the Capital Region.

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