Centraide’s campaign supports the fight against housing and food insecurity


UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Lexi and her boyfriend, after years of hard work, had established a healthy and stable life for themselves and their baby girl.

Lexi, a longtime Center County resident who Penn State News only identifies by first name, has worked hard to overcome the lasting impacts of growing up in a broken home. Her boyfriend had started a promising job as a truck driver in his family’s small business. Together, they felt ready to build a foundation to provide their daughter with a happy, healthy life and the kind of security that Lexi lacked during her own upbringing.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The pandemic had costly economic repercussions across the country, including for her boyfriend’s family and their business, ultimately resulting in the loss of her boyfriend’s job and, in turn, their home. They found themselves living in a hotel room, their savings rapidly dwindling and facing the prospect of living out of their car to avoid sleeping on the streets.

“I was like, ‘What are we going to do? You can’t live with a car. We have to take care of our daughter. She comes first, no matter what, ”Lexi said. “That’s when I contacted Housing Transitions. ”

Housing transitions is a local non-profit organization and partner agency of the Central County United Way who works with homeless individuals and families, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, to provide shelter and support to achieve long-term housing security.

Not only did Housing Transitions provide temporary shelter for Lexi and her family, the agency also enrolled them in a program that helped them find more permanent housing, paid their first month’s rent and deposit, and offered a period of rent assistance. The program also works with their individual circumstances to set and achieve goals in order to achieve more permanent housing stability.


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