Housing Supports

Safe, affordable housing is the foundation upon which people can build their best possible lives. When major challenges of health or circumstance are being faced, a safe place to live is paramount. Without worry to this basic human need, more attention can be focused on taking other necessary steps toward a balanced life.

Bell Socialization Services offers housing supports to homeless families, to individuals living with mental illness, and to people with intellectual disabilities.

Housing Supports for homeless families:

Bell Family Shelter opened in 1986 and remains York County’s only 30-day emergency shelter serving homeless families. Many of the families served by the Shelter find themselves homeless because of insufficient income, job loss or poor housing conditions. As a safe, temporary place with supportive services, staying at the Shelter helps families navigate the challenges of homelessness and regain their independence.

Bell Family Shelter’s eleven-bedroom facility houses as many as forty people per night (about half of whom are under the age of 12) and provides all the basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. The Shelter’s intensive staff support helps many families secure permanent housing in fewer than 20 days.

Most of the families (89%) utilizing the Shelter never need to access emergency housing again.

The Shelter is open  365 days/nights a year and accepts drug-free couples or single parents with children, couples in long-standing relationships, and single women who have been residents of York County for at least 60 days.

Bell Bridge Housing is a rehabilitative housing program providing clients with transitional housing and staff supports for up to one year. Qualifying participants must meet the definition of homelessness, have an income, not require  a drug/alcohol treatment program or been convicted of a violent crime, and  demonstrate a desire to accomplish goals they establish working with staff.

Individualized support services include budget counseling that encourages debt payment and savings, educational workshops, and referral services to other community agencies.

The Bridge Housing program utilizes eight apartment units in York City and two single room occupancy units on the third floor of Bell Family Shelter.

Housing Supports for individuals with intellectual disabilities:

The Intellectual Disability department offers a full spectrum of innovative community-based services that help individuals maximize the quality of their life.  

Bell provides 14 structured group home opportunities for individuals needing intensive support and specialized housing accommodations in order to live successfully within the community. In an effort to assist each individual in developing their fullest potential, staff provide supervision and training in daily living skills, social skills, personal hygiene and medication administration.

Bell’s residential programs are licensed, inspected and monitored by a variety of state and local authorities on a regular basis, each serving two to six individuals.

Community participation through the use of generic services, opportunities to exercise their rights and integration into community activities are essential parts of Bell’s residential programs.

Support and Empower Living Fundamentals (SELF program)

The purpose of the SELF Program is to provide services and supports to individuals so that they may live where they wish in the community; to teach skills that will enrich lives; to enable people to have a quality life; to become productive members of the community, and to become as independent as possible.

Family Living

Family Living gives the opportunity for an individual to live with a family, in a real family setting. Both the family and the individual select each other in pursuing this special opportunity.

Housing Supports for individuals living with mental illness:

CRAS (Community Residential Apartment Services)

This program provides a structured environment for consumers who need to learn skills for community living. Group homes provide maximum supervision and apartments give moderate and/or minimum levels of care. Staff is available 24 hours a day to help residents adjust to community living. Residents work on personal goals as part of their rehabilitation. Referrals need to be directed through the York County MH/MR Case Management Unit.

Supported Housing Program

This program assists consumers to secure and maintain safe and affordable permanent housing in the community. Services include assistance in obtaining housing, with budgeting, and with building skills that enable consumers to successfully live on their own. The program also maintains an inventory of new and donated household items that are made available to consumers. Subsidies for various apartments throughout the city are available through our Supported Housing Program.

CHIPP (Community Hospitalization Integration Project Program)

This program, a partnership between three agencies: the York/Adams MH/MR Program, Wellspan Behavioral Health Services, and Bell, provides residential services for 35 consumers with serious mental illness who were previously long-term patients (2 + years) at Harrisburg State Hospital.

* This program also provides temporary support (30-90 days) for one mentally ill consumer at a time who is recovering from a local psychiatric hospitalization.