Winter Shelter

Serving Elizabethtown, Rheems, Bainbridge, Mount Joy, Marietta, and Maytown

December 2, 2019 – April 3, 2020

Growing recognition that there were individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our own community led to the establishment of the Winter Shelter in 2015. Local churches, civic organizations, community members and Elizabethtown College worked together to provide a warm, clean, safe overnight shelter during the winter season for men, women and children.

Services Provided

The Winter Shelter provides a secure place for community members experiencing homelessness to get out of the cold and off the streets during the winter months. ECHOS/Elizabethtown Community Housing Services supports clients with case management.

The churches of Elizabethtown and community volunteers are the backbone of the shelter operation which offers:

  • Sleeping quarters
  • Showers
  • Supper
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing
  • Breakfast
  • Snacks to go

“We are pleased to have ECHOS as a partner in the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness.  The work that ECHOS provides, on our behalf, for individuals and families experiencing homelessness is invaluable.  The strengths that ECHOS demonstrates, combined with their guided client centered focus, give me great hope that we can indeed end homelessness and poverty in Lancaster County.  One community at a time.  Job well done, ECHOS!”

Jennifer L. Koppel, MHA, Director, Office for the Lancaster County Coalition to End Homelessness

It takes 70+ volunteers weekly to operate the Winter Shelter. We need your help; VOLUNTEER TODAY!

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Requesting Shelter

Those experiencing homelessness and requesting shelter must first be authorized through an intake screening. The screening process for access to and pre-registration for the shelter takes place by appointment at the Community Place on Washington, 61 E. Washington St., (717) 361-0740:

Monday – Friday, 8 am–4 pm
Daily, 6:30-8 pm

Individuals are also strongly encouraged to call 211 to secure additional assistance. The Winter Shelter Coordinator can be reached at (717) 690-9260 or email


ECHOS works with Tabor Community Services and 211 to assist individuals find permanent housing.

For guests who receive authorization:

  • The Winter Shelter opens its doors in the evening at 6:30 pm (with or without a referral from 211) and closes them for the night at 8 pm.
  • After 8 pm, entrance to the shelter is by police escort only.
  • In the morning, all guests leave no later than 8 am and may not leave before 6:30 am unless approved by ECHOS.

Shelter for All

Men, women, and children of all ages are welcome. Accommodations will be made for handicapped guests. Because shelter space is limited, guests will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.