Cumberland County mom talks homelessness to happiness as plans for new day center are revealed

CAMP HILL, Pa. (WHTM) – Family Promise of Harrisburg Capital Region is opening a new day center to help parents and children who are homeless. The organization says its goal is to expand services to more families.

A Cumberland County mom who used to be a part of the program says she’s thrilled more people will have access to the services that changer her life.

Stacy Spooner was homeless for two years.

“We just had the clothes on our backs,” said Spooner, who is from New Cumberland. “We owned nothing at all…I can’t tell you the last time I was in a bed with a blanket and a pillow.”

The mom of four boys said she needed a safe and stable place to find her footing. Then she found Family Promise.

“I was able to clean my clothes and get a shower,” said Spooner.

The organization says it provides intensive case management, which includes lessons about job applications, insurance, and budgeting.

Now, Family Promise is renovating a building in Camp Hill to replace its Leymoyne Day Center. The new facility will give parents and children access to kitchens, bathrooms, laundry, and computers.

“We had a dinner every single day. We didn’t have to worry about where it came from…They were able to go to one school every single day,” said Spooner. “Anything that they might need help with, they direct you in that direction. They don’t just give it to you. You have to do it yourself.”

Family Promise of Harrisburg Executive Director Lissette Gonzalez is hopeful the day center on Erford Road will provide the space to help even more people.

“We now have an opportunity to really expand,” said Gonzalez. “Not only giving a fresh new start for people who need to be served but expanding the services that we provide and the amount of families we serve as well.”

The organization will continue to partner with different churches to guarantee families a warm place to sleep.

“Homelessness is something that has always been an issue in our area,” said Gonzalez. “The need continues to be there and resources continue to diminish.”

Spooner wants to spread the word that there is hope. Within six weeks of starting with Family Promise, she landed a job in home health. Now, she’s working toward her CNA.

“We have our own place for two years now,” said Spooner. “I am hoping to buy my first house in September, which is amazing. It’s so great.”

One of the most important parts of this program is that it allows parents and kids to stay together until they find a place to live.

The new day center is scheduled to open this summer.

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