LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — It was years in the making, but it’s finally here: an innovative project tackling homelessness head-on. It’s called “Refresh Lancaster,” and it’s the only project like this roaming in Pennsylvania.
“It’s a trailer containing two showers and a community paramedicine office,” said Ismail Smith-Wade-El with Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition.
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A much-needed service in Lancaster, where many continue to experience homelessness.
“Regardless of income, regardless of housing status [they] deserve the same things that we all want. They deserve dignity, hygiene, individual care, and attention,” Ismail Smith-Wade-El added.
The new unit is making stops in Lancaster city and then out into the county — all the way up to Elizabethtown — and the needs vary from place to place.
“Transportation is always a challenge once you get outside the city. It’s hard for folks to get connected to services if they don’t have a car, if they don’t have the internet, if they don’t have any of that technology that we typically take for granted and they don’t live on a bus route,” Jennifer Koppel, executive director for Lancaster County Homelessness Coalition, said.
EMS will play a crucial role, as well, offering medical checks like blood pressure screenings and helping get people connected with other vital health services.
“It makes it as easy as possible. We want to be as open, no barriers, no questions,” said Bob May, executive director for Lancaster EMS.