Housing project creates hope from blight

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jan 24, 2014 4:00 AM

One of the structures at Hummel and Haehnlen streets that's about to be demolished

(Harrisburg) -- Six blighted properties in Harrisburg's Allison Hill neighborhood are being demolished to make way for five new townhomes.

The project aims to not only transform a neighborhood, but lives as well. 

The townhomes planned for the 200 block of Hummel Street will provide transitional housing to single homeless mothers and their children.

It's the latest installment in a quarter century of investment Brethren Housing Association says it's made in the distressed neighborhood. Executive Director Steve Schwartz says families will live in the townhomes for up to two years.

"What we're doing during that time is helping them set goals, get jobs, go to school, work on parenting skills, work on budgeting and then be prepared to move out into their own place," he explains.

Pinnacle Health is partnering with BHA on the project, by covering the demolition costs and abatement costs. Phil Guarneschelli, Pinnacle Health's Chief Operating Officer, says it's a logical extension of their mission.

"Keeping people healthy, warm, fed, educating and teaching them living skills helps throughout the whole health care continuum," he says.

Pinnacle and BHA hope to reduce the project's $925,000 price tag with donated labor and materials.


BHA, PinnacleHealth and government officials participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking on Thursday

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