VIDEO BELOW: The City of Harrisburg is proposing to use approximately $12.35 Million Dollars of American Rescue Plan Funds to help Harrisburg senior citizens living on a fixed income. Mayor Eric Papenfuse held a press conference Thursday, October 21st, at the Heinz Menaker Senior Center to announce the plans and solicit public feedback.
The bulk of the funding ($10.8 Million Dollars) will guarantee 3,000 seniors living below the poverty line in the City of Harrisburg supplemental checks of $300 a month for one year.
“Our seniors need our help now more than ever,” said Mayor Papenfuse. “They have been disproportionately affected by the Covid crisis. New partnerships with the Heinz Menaker Senior Center and the Harrisburg Housing Authority will strengthen the community’s intergenerational bonds and ensure our seniors are not forgotten as the City seeks to transition to a post-Covid era.”
In addition, the guaranteed income pilot program, will be administered in partnership with the Harrisburg Housing Authority, $1 Million Dollars is also earmarked for senior affordable housing, $500 Thousand Dollars to reinvigorate and reopen the Heinz Menaker Senior Center, and $50 Thousand Dollars to purchase a senior shuttle to meet essential transportation needs.
The City will also be establishing a new Senior Services Advocate position in City Hall to help coordinate wrap-around services for seniors and work with the State and County Departments of Aging.
Pending City Council’s approval during the budget process later this year, enrollment in the new guaranteed income pilot program for seniors would begin next year with checks being issued for a period of one year beginning in July 2022.