LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Binns Park in Lancaster is a gathering spot for the city’s homeless population.

“We do have homeless but I don’t want to call it a problem because it’s something every community experiences,” Anne Williams of the Lancaster City Alliance said.

It’s also the spot, where the city deployed its first outreach coordinator to get people off the street.

“To learn their stories, find out what they need if she’s not able to get them into services right away she continues that connection and is able to help them down the road,” Williams said. 

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The pandemic has complicated an already complex problem. The city says there are hundreds of people living on the streets, and that’s why they’re teaming up with Lancaster City Alliance to tackle homelessness head-on – along with other issues that often play a factor in it. They plan to track and document all their interactions to try and get a more exact idea of what they’re dealing with.

They hope that this effort will ultimately help people on a path to recovery.

“That word will get out through to the community that is living on the street or suffering from mental illness and substance abuse that there is someone there with a compassionate heart to help them,” Williams said. 

Williams says the outreach coordinator’s work is already paying off.

“In fact, on her first day on the job she was able to connect with someone and get them into services,” she added.