Bell Family Shelter – emergency help for homeless families

Emergency shelter and transitional housing programs are part of Bell’s shelter services department. 


Bell Family Shelter opened in 1986 and remains York County’s only 30-day emergency shelter serving homeless families.  [717-845-9536]

Many of the families served by the Shelter are 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 independence.

The 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 basic needs for food, clothing and shelter.

When families arrive at the Shelter doorstep they often require more than just a safe place to sleep for the night. Throughout their stay with us they meet with service and supports coordinators to build a personalized family goal plan to help them regain and maintain independent living in the community.

Intensive guidance sessions, workshops and classes help people learn budgeting and parenting skills, offer assistance to secure permanent housing and job placement, and provide access to a network of community resources.

Shelter staff support many families to 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.

Email Bell Family Shelter Program Coordinator, Patricia Graham for more information.

How can you help?


Consider an Adopt-a-Day or Adopt-an-Hour contribution or check out OUR WISHLIST and organize a gathering of in-kind donations or share your time as a volunteer.