Allentown, PA – Today, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (UWGLV) and PPL Corporation (PPL), along with representatives from Community Action Lehigh Valley (CALV) and the City of Allentown, announced an initiative to increase awareness and funding around the region’s growing housing crisis. The event, held at Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown, officially kicked off Be a Housing Hero with PPL Foundation and United Way as an added initiative to United Way’s 2022 campaign.
PPL Corporation and UWGLV believe that a strong, resilient and united community can address the area’s housing crisis and invest in prevention and intervention solutions. In support of the PPL Corporation’s United Way campaign, the PPL Foundation has committed up to $500,000 this year through a matching program for all new or increased campaign contributions. The funds will go directly to United Way’s work in the community to aid neighbors and families experiencing housing insecurity.
“PPL Foundation’s pledge of up to $500,000 will provide support for thousands of people who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity right here in the communities we serve,” stated Vince Sorgi, President adn Chief Executive Officer of PPL Corporation and co-chair of the 2022 UWGLV campaign. “By partnering with United Way, we know that these funds will be invested into organizations like Sixth Street Shelter and others in the community whose missions align with addressing housing insecurity through prevention and intervention.”
Sorgi, along with his wife, Michelle and fellow co-chairs, Ashley and Joe Russo, are committed to investing in United Way solutions to combat the growing housing insecurity felt by so many.
“At United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, we believe that through a united approach, we can truly make a difference,” said David Lewis, president of UWGLV. “I am grateful to the PPL Foundation and for Vince, Michelle, Ashley, and Joe’s leadership and passionate commitment toward this growing need.”
Between now and March 31, 2023, the community is encouraged to Be a Housing Hero and make a donation to the campaign by texting HOUSE to 40403. Additionally, PPL Foundation’s gift will apply to all new or increased participation in corporate campaigns or online donations made to unitedwayglv.org/housinghero.
“Many people in the Greater Lehigh Valley are only one paycheck or emergency away from hunger or homelessness,” reported Dawn Godshall, executive director, CALV. “Through the PPL Foundation’s commitment, Community Action’s Sixth Street Shelter, with vital assistance from United Way, can invest in more solutions to help the ever-growing need in our area.”
The housing crisis in our community has increased due to many factors, including the past two years’ health and economic crises. The Lehigh Valley’s most recent homeless reports depict a 36% increase in people experiencing homelessness in the region since 2020, including 50% more families with children and almost twice as many veterans. 122,000 families (or 44%) are also currently experiencing serious financial instability and are forced to make difficult decisions daily, such as whether to buy groceries or pay rent.
“There is no doubt that the nationwide housing crisis is being felt right here in our communities,” said Sorgi. “With thousands of people at risk of homelessness or eviction, PPL Foundation is honored to help those impacted by this situation.”
Additional information about UWGLV can be found at unitedwayglv.org.
Photo credit: United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley/Marco Calderon Photography