Since launching its Neighbors in Need NOW campaign in spring 2022, the Village Improvement Association of Doylestown (VIA) has continued to fund programs aiding Bucks County’s neediest residents.
In July, the VIA’s Welfare Committee was able to provide $2,500 to help the Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) with its summer program for children.
According to BCHG’s Executive Director, Erik Clare, “With children out of school and expanded SNAP and CARES benefits ending in July, the need for healthy food and safe activities was greater than ever. We used the $2,500 to purchase a refrigerator and freezer for the community room, as well as three laptop computers, an assortment of equipment and storage for outside play entertainment.”
The organization’s mission is to end food and housing insecurity within the community, and it focuses a lot on the children. “We’ve discovered that one of best ways to build community is through the children and we provide services that aim to empower families to become permanently housed, food secure and self-reliant,” Clare said.
Examples of efforts to build self-reliance include two community gardens where residents and the children can learn how to grow and eat healthy food. BCHG employs a “community builder” and case managers to support the residents in a host of critical ways, from rent and utility support, to job skill training, and staying healthy.
Since mid-August there has been a 40% increase in the number of pantry patrons due to inflation, reduced food benefits and fuel oil reached $5.89 per gallon, placing greater demands upon our social service providers.
In its 43rd year, BCHG is the largest provider of homeless services in Bucks County.
The Village Improvement Association of Doylestown is a nonprofit women’s organization whose mission is to enhance the health and welfare of Bucks County and surrounding communities. It was founded in 1895 by 14 women. In 1923, the organization founded Doylestown Hospital, now an award-winning regional healthcare system. To learn more about the VIA’s work, how to join or how to provide support, visit via-doylestown.org.