Transitional house to close in Carlisle

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CARLISLE, Pa.-- About 500 families have been helped by the 2 year transitional house program at the Carlisle Salvation Army. It helps woman and children get off the streets and into permanent housing.  This will no longer be the case anymore.

Elizabeth Quinones, a mother of five, was homeless in July and couldn't find shelter until January. Shortly after she found the Stuart House at the Salvation Army.

"This place is home to me," she said. "It's a safe place to have my kids."

The Stuart House provided shelter, food, and helped to get family back on their feet financially. They were offered classes and resources to help find jobs and get their finances in order.

"So that way, you end up going in your home," Quinones said. " You're totally prepared and you're set."

The program started in 1998 and received about $90k a year from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department. That funding will no longer be received.

"We're ranked in the second tier of programs and were not funded because we didn't rank high enough in the program," Salvation Army Major Alma Riley said.

HUD gives out funding after local planning organizations apply for funding. When they apply they put the programs into two tiers. Tier one is high priority funding, and tier two is not as essential, according to HUD officials.

"Transitional housing programs as we know them are not on the top priority for HUD right now," Major Riley said.

When it comes to fighting homelessness, HUD officials said they have evidence that placing people into permanent housing first and then solving their problems is more efficient than transitional housing. Permanent housing first projects are a high priority and are getting the lion's share of the HUD funding.

The families that are still in the Stuart House will be helped with finding permanent housing. They hope to have housing found by summer.