IHN – Main Line serves homeless families with children and single women. Our families include infants, children, and teenagers. The majority of our families are single mothers with children.
Before becoming homeless our families/single women have been working, paying their bills, and paying their rent. Then something unexpected happens, such as a healthcare crisis or the loss of a job. Suddenly they find themselves without enough money to cover their bills and, given the high cost of housing in our region, they then lose their housing.
Homelessness disrupts virtually every aspect of a family’s life, occasionally damaging the physical and/or emotional wellbeing of all the family members. It interferes with a child’s education and development, and frequently results in the separation of family members.
It is a devastating experience.
Our families/single women have lost their housing and exhausted their resources. They come into our programs with very little material possessions and very little hope. We provide them with the hope and help they need to rebuild their lives.
The causes of homelessness are complex. Some of the root causes are poverty and the lack of affordable housing. Many families are living one or two paychecks away from homelessness. An unexpected event, such as a healthcare crisis or loss of a job, can tip the scales leaving a family without a home.
On any given day 400 – 500 people are homeless in Montgomery County and over 50% of these are families with children.
Consider these facts:
- 12.6% of people and 8.8% of families in Pennsylvania are living below the poverty line.
- 19.4% of home owners and 47.2% of renters in Montgomery County are paying more than 30% of their income towards housing expenses.
- A family making minimum wage in Montgomery County ($7.25) and working full time cannot afford the fair market, monthly rent of $1,135 for a two bedroom apartment.
- There is currently a two year waiting list for subsidized housing and a decrease in funding for transitional housing in Montgomery County.