Three years ago, Zachery King’s life changed when a student he was teaching at McKinley K-8 approached him after class.

“He was really upset, really distraught,” King said. “I took him aside and he looked up at me and said ‘I don’t know where I’m going to stay tonight.'”

Homelessness in York County affects many people, including families, and King knew he had to do something. In a week, his passionate project Miss Bobbi’s Place will come true.

Miss Bobbi’s Place, a shelter for the whole family, will provide secure housing for six months to a year. There are five units in total, each approximately 1,600 square feet with three floors.

Each apartment is fully furnished, King said, thanks to donations from community members and LifePath ministries.

“There is just a huge need right now in general for homeless families,” King said. “We want a family that is ready to make the changes they need to have this lasting independence. “

Zachery King shows off the progress of unfinished units at Miss Bobbi's Place, a family homeless shelter on Hope Avenue in York on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. He obtained ownership from the York Redevelopment Authority and is working with the Community Progress Council while by renovating the five-unit townhouse block.  Photo by Bill Kalina

Miss Bobbi’s Place has partnered with the Community Progress Council to find the right families for each unit. Those at risk of becoming homeless will be selected for an interview and will move into one of the five apartments.

So far, only one of the five units is fully built and furnished. Later, more apartments will become available, King said.

Initially, all rents and charges will be fully paid by Miss Bobbi’s Place. With the financial literacy and budget preparation programs provided by CPC, the family will be able to start contributing a small portion of rent and utility payments.

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At the end of the program, King said Miss Bobbi’s Place would hand this money over to the family as a down payment on their next move.

“We’re really allowing them to take root here and have that stability for this time and work on some of the issues they’re facing,” King said. “We’re not naive that there is obviously a reason why they become homeless, so being able to give them the skills to overcome that is really important to us.”

The budget for the first apartment averaged $ 30,000.

A dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the first unit is scheduled for Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 461 W. Hope Ave.

“As you walk here over the past two weeks, you realize that you have the potential to change a family’s trajectory in a positive way,” King said. “And it’s just a really powerful thing.”

– Contact Tina Locurto at [email protected] or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.

Zachery King speaks inside one of the finished units at Miss Bobbi's Place, a family homeless shelter on Hope Avenue in York on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. He has been granted ownership by the York Redevelopment Authority and is working with the Community Progress Council while renovating the five-unit townhouse block.  Photo by Bill Kalina


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