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Chester County Government News

Posted on: December 3, 2019

Decades to Doorways Initiative Calls on Public to “Be The Key”

National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

County recognition of National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week includes debut of new campaign.

The recent proclamation recognizing National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, signed by Chester County Commissioners Michelle Kichline, Kathi Cozzone and Terence Farrell, set the stage for Chester County Decade to Doorways’ latest effort to end homelessness in the county.

At a reception hosted by the County’s Decade to Doorways team during Thanksgiving week, a new public engagement initiative, “Be The Key”, was introduced, petitioning the public to meaningfully take part in efforts to prevent and end homelessness in Chester County.  

In 2016, Chester County reported 682 people experiencing homelessness during its annual one- night census, also known as the Point in Time Count. In 2019, that number reduced to 517, representing a 24 percent decrease in people experiencing homelessness on any given night in Chester County. 

Addressing guests at the Decade to Doorways reception, Kelly Raggazino, Decade to Doorways Governance Board Chair and Executive Director of Open Hearth, Inc. said, “In Chester County, we are fortunate to live in a community that has coordinated its efforts, where our neighbors are able to use shelters, rapid rehousing and permanent housing programs to effectively resolve their housing crises.

“But our coordinated efforts have also helped us to identify areas where there are still gaps in the system that provide the resources needed to meet the needs of everyone who is currently experiencing homelessness, or may be at risk of homelessness. Those areas are where we now turn to the public for support.”

Rob Henry, Chester County’s Decade to Doorways Administrator, noted, “Through the tireless work of Decade to Doorways partner providers we have made significant progress in the efforts to end chronic homelessness, yet there is still much to be done. 

“In this latest effort – a call to ‘Be The Key’ – we invite everyone to join the partnership, to be a critical link in achieving the meaningful and realistic goal of ending homelessness in Chester County.   It can happen by raising awareness, volunteering, creating housing opportunities and providing financial resources,” added Henry.  

For more information on Decade to Doorways and the call to Be The Key to ending homelessness, visit or call 610-344-6900.

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