Changing Lives in Elizabethtown

The Elizabethtown Area HUB (“EHUB”) is a collaboration of community social service agencies serving the northwest quadrant of Lancaster County.  This collective impact partnership began it’s expanded collective efforts in July 2015 through an initial grant by United Way of Lancaster County.  The mission of EHUB is to empower community members to meet the needs and improve the quality of their lives using collective community services and resources. EHUB is the vehicle that fosters connections, communication, collaboration, and partnerships among providers and with residents to support this endeavor.  Our vision is that all Elizabethtown residents will be healthy in every way: quality of life, educational, financial, physical, and emotional needs have been met as everyone is empowered to pursue personal growth and goals.

Together we are changing lives in Elizabethtown.  By 2025, our goal is to reduce poverty by 50% through strategies of changing systems (service delivery) and changing lives (empowerment of individuals and families).  Our Collective Impact Partnership is addressing poverty from pre-natal through adulthood.  First, we are making sure people have access to the basic necessities of life – food, shelter and clothing (community clothing bank and Winter Shelter). Second, we are enhancing educational opportunities for early education, parents, and individuals seeking continued education (i.e. Parents as Teachers, Adult Education Classes). Third, our holistic approach to attack poverty includes health in a variety of forms: physical health, mental health & substance abuse (i.e., Compass Mark working with students at EASD, Jewel David Ministries). Finally, short term interventions often do not work; so we incorporate longer-term solutions of financial counseling, local job training, and AmeriCorps VISTA positions. 

Elizabethtown is seeing first-hand how families’ lives are changing.  Most recently, as an example, Hope Within Ministries (a local physical and mental health center) treated a patient for depression.  The patient experienced a head injury from a fall and was treated at a local emergency department. As part of a discharge plan, the patient was encouraged to limit alcohol usage and pursued counseling with Hope Within. During that time, the patient received mediation from Hope Within’s medical staff.  To date, he has been alcohol-free for 3 months, obtained Medical Assistance, decreased his depression, improved his personal relationships. Additionally, increased supports in Elizabethtown have allowed for families to be sheltered during the winter months, receive mental health treatments and depression screenings in the community, increase financial literacy and parenting skills, and overall education.  Together, we are changing lives in Elizabethtown.

Deb Jones
Executive Director
Elizabethtown Community Housing & Outreach Services (ECHOS)