Summer SHP Events

This summer, our staff has been hard at work creating fun and unique events for our Supportive Housing Program locations. We want to highlight three incredible activities that have helped to foster a strong sense of community for our residents.

Bucks 4-H Community Bonding

To kick-start our summer events, we partnered with Bucks 4-H in early June to host an event at SHP Doylestown. Families came out to enjoy a beautiful day outside filled with fun activities. Kids expressed their creativity with crafts, participated in fun games, and strengthened their leadership and collaboration skills through teamwork-building exercises. It was truly fantastic to see families come together, relax, and enjoy the day of community bonding.

Workforce of Wheels Career Day

Later in June, Workforce on Wheels Career Link visited SHP Doylestown. Career Link provided our Doylestown residents with the necessary technology and guidance to help build their resumes and apply for job opportunities. Job security is essential in feeling positive about the future, and we are very grateful that Career Link created such a welcoming space for everyone to come together and work towards their goals. We are proud to be empowering the community through such incredible workshops and look forward to working with Workforce on Wheels again in the future.

Wild Things Preserve Visit

Later on, in early July, we had a magical visit from Wild Things Preserve! Animals like snakes, ducks, parrots, and reptiles were met with pure excitement from the kids throughout the afternoon. They were able to feed, pet, and hold the animals while also learning more about their habitats and backgrounds. Everyone truly had a blast and it was an incredible and educational afternoon.

These events would not be possible without our wonderful staff, volunteers, and families who are passionate about building a welcoming and empowering community. We also want to thank our incredible community partners – Bucks 4-H, Workforce on Wheels, and Wild Things Preserve – for making these events even more special. It is incredible how these fun and productive days have been so successful in building strong connections and we look forward to more events like this in the future! 

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Instagram: @buckscountyhousinggroup
Facebook: Bucks County Housing Group
Twitter: @housing4all

Importance of Community Gardens

As the summer months approach, we want to highlight the importance of community gardens in providing fresh produce to many residents within Bucks County. With around 7.3% of Bucks County’s population food insecure and food donations dwindling in the summer months, community gardens increasingly need to help bridge this gap.

Community gardens help to provide fresh produce to low-income households. This allows families to have access to healthier food options to incorporate into their daily diet, creating the opportunity to make nutrient-dense meals and procure necessary vitamins and minerals that might not have been accessible before. Community gardens are essential for creating an opportunity where fresh food is abundant and easily attainable for everyone.

Along with helping reduce food insecurity within the county, gardens also help strengthen social connections. Volunteers are able to come together and work towards a good cause while exercising and spending time outside. Working hard to help the garden thrive fosters a strong sense of connection between volunteers and community causes. 

BCHG’s Commitment to Gardens

Because of all the incredible benefits of community gardens, Bucks County Housing Group is proud to support three of their own this summer. With locations at our Doylestown, Penndel, and Robert Morris sites, BCHG strives to create a space that cultivates community connection. We are currently growing tomatoes, squash, and herbs that will soon be ready to harvest. We then distribute this produce to our food pantries and residents to enjoy!

Our gardens are essential in helping us accomplish our mission to close the door on hunger and homelessness. By providing fresh food to community members, especially in the summer when food donations tend to run low, our gardens allow us to alleviate the difficulties caused by food insecurity and provide community support for low-income households within Bucks County.

We always appreciate our volunteers who help make this mission possible. If you are interested in volunteering at any of our garden or pantry sites email!

Also, you can be a part of the BCHG community by following along!

Instagram: @buckscountyhousinggroup
Facebook: Bucks County Housing Group
Twitter: @housing4all

Written By: Nina Harris


Happy Pride! June is Pride Month, dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and honoring the progress made towards equality and acceptance. Pride originated from the Stonewall riots of June 1969. These were spontaneous demonstrations by LGBTQIA+ community members in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. These riots marked a turning point in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement. They galvanized activism and led to the formation of numerous advocacy groups. Over the decades, Pride Month has grown into an international celebration. It now includes parades, festivals, and events promoting LGBTQIA+ visibility and rights.

This month also reminds us of the ongoing struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights. It highlights the importance of solidarity and visibility. Amidst the celebrations, it’s crucial to reflect on the persistent challenges faced by the queer community. Disproportionate rates of hunger and homelessness are key issues. These issues underscore the broader socioeconomic disparities that continue to affect LGBTQIA+ individuals, making it essential to address and support their needs comprehensively.

The Issue, at a glance

Despite strides in LGBTQIA+ rights, significant disparities persist in essential areas like food and housing security. According to a 2021 study by the Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQIA+ individuals are twice as likely to experience homelessness compared to their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts. A 2020 study from the Williams Institute supports this, finding that 17% of sexual minority adults report lifetime homelessness, and less than 50% of LGBTQIA+ adults own homes compared to 70% of heterosexual, cisgender adults Furthermore, disparities in homeownership are pronounced among LGBTQIA+ racial minorities and transgender individuals.

LGBTQIA+ youth are particularly vulnerable; up to 40% of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQIA+. This can stem for a lack of support at home and a refusal to house a member of the LGBTQ+ community. However, discrimination exists in the housing market as well. Refusal to rent or sell to same-sex couples, realtors refusing to show houses to transgender individuals, and rejections same-sex partners in leases all occur. These discriminatory practices exacerbate housing insecurity within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Similarly, food insecurity is prevalent among LGBTQIA+ individuals. The fact that LGBTQ+ individuals are twice as likely to receive SNAP benefits reflects this disparity. A 2021 revealed 13% of LGBTQIA+ adults report insufficient food at home, almost double non-LGBTQIA+ adults. Additionally, a 2019 study by the Oregon Food Bank revealed that 27% of LGBTQIA+ individuals reported insufficient funds for food within the past year. This is 10% higher compared to 17% of their straight or cisgender counterparts. Additionally, over 22% of LGBTQIA+ adults live in poverty, making them twice as likely as the general population to experience hunger. Economic challenges, including workplace discrimination, contribute to this disparity. Nearly 50% of LGBTQ+ individuals remain closeted at work out of fear of negative treatment or professional repercussions.

Despite these challenges, LGBTQIA+ individuals are less likely to seek assistance from food banks due to fear of rejection or discrimination. Approximately 14% avoid faith-based food pantries, further highlighting the barriers faced by the community in accessing essential resources.

Although the above information merely grazes the surface of the issue, we hope it’s sufficient to illuminate the necessity of dialogue around it.

Our Mission

Unfortunately, accessing housing support and food pantries is not always free from discrimination. The reality that many have faced rejection or prejudice when seeking assistance roots this apprehension. With that in mind, Bucks County Housing Group is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment, offering services without discrimination based on gender, sexual identity, or any other identity features. Our goal is that everyone can access the help they need, such as housing initiatives—supportive housing, rapid rehousing, and housing counseling—and food programs — pantries, mobile markets, and community gardens — without fear of bias or exclusion. Join us in creating a community where everyone feels safe and supported. Help ensure that all can access the resources they need to thrive.



Hold A Drive

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Instagram: @buckscountyhousinggroup
Facebook: Bucks County Housing Group
Twitter: @housing4all

Written By: Dominic DiFrancesco

This past Mother’s Day, Bucks County Housing Group hosted a heartwarming and creative event at our Robert Morris Apartment site. Our Craft Day brought together children from our various housing programs to celebrate the special women in their lives with personalized, hand-painted flower pots.

The diversity in designs mirrored the diversity of our community, showcasing the unique relationships and stories each child shares with their mother or mother figure. The Craft Day was more than just an art activity. It was a celebration of family and the enduring bond between mothers and their children. It provided an opportunity for the children to give back to the women who mean the most to them.

Hosted by our Community Building Program, part of our Social Services department, this event was the latest in our array of holiday events at our Robert Morris Apartments. Our Community Building Program provided craft materials, snacks, supervision, and the event space so our program’s children could create, socialize, and have fun. The staff and volunteers worked diligently to ensure an awesome afternoon for all. We’re so lucky to have them on the BCHG team.

Events like these are at the heart of BCHG’s mission. We strive to not only provide housing but also to create a supportive and nurturing environment where families can thrive. Our Community Building Program bridges the support gap by providing experiences like these that so many of us take for granted. Craft Day was a testament to this commitment, offering a space where children could express their creativity, build confidence, and experience the joy of giving.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the volunteers, staff, and families who made this day possible. Your support and enthusiasm are what make BCHG a place where love and creativity can flourish. Here’s to many more days of crafting, community, and celebration!

Share our mission by following along!
Instagram: @buckscountyhousinggroup
Facebook: Bucks County Housing Group
Twitter: @housing4all

Written By: Dominic DiFrancesco

Join us as we Frost Forward

Winter has officially arrived, and as the chill settles in, our Bucks County community is preparing once again to come together with warmth in our hearts and a purpose in our steps. We at BCHG, in collaboration with our partners at the Serving Bucks Together Center (YWCA Bucks County, Bucks County Opportunity Council, and Family Service Association of Bucks County), are thrilled to host the Doylestown Coldest Night of the Year walk again this year. On February 24th, join us for an event that goes beyond a simple stroll; CNOY is a crucial step toward hope, support, and change.

What is Coldest Night of the Year?

CNOY aims to raise vital funds and awareness for individuals and families facing the harsh realities of homelessness and hunger during these bitterly cold months. CNOY takes place in communities across the USA and Canada. Funds raised at CNOY support the local charities that host the event, and at our Doylestown walk, they support the Serving Bucks Together collaboration. Participants can choose either a 2km or a 5km walk. This allows walkers of all ages and abilities to take part and show their support. Whether you’re an avid walker or simply passionate about making a positive impact, there’s a place for everyone. After crossing the finish line, you will be treated to warm drinks and delicious treats — a gesture of gratitude for your contribution to this meaningful cause. So, are you ready to #FrostForward?

Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Register: Click here to join BCHG’s team, Frost Forward, or click here to learn more and start your own team!
  2. Fundraise: Spread the word! Share your fundraising goal with friends, family, and colleagues. Every dollar raised will directly impact the lives of those in need.
  3. Donate: Can’t make it to the event but still want to support? Donate to our team directly by clicking here!
  4. Volunteer: Support the event by volunteering! Click here to find the Doylestown location and view available volunteer positions.
  5. Walk with Purpose: Join us on February 24th for an unforgettable evening. Together, we can make a real difference in our communities.

By participating in CNOY, you’re making strides toward a brighter, warmer future for our community’s most vulnerable, one step at a time. So, what are you waiting for? Registration is easy and free. Join us, because it’s cold out there.

More About the Serving Bucks Together Center

The SBT Center opened in early 2022 to allow Bucks County nonprofits to work together to better serve our communities. Furthermore, the SBT Center serves as a safe space for people to access resources they may need, such as emergency assistance with rent and utilities, homeownership counseling, financial literacy, and long-term self-sufficiency services like education and employment planning. This marks our second year hosting the Bucks County CNOY event, and we are incredibly grateful for all the support. Funds raised at CNOY directly support our efforts at the SBT Center.

CNOY USA Homepage

BCHG Homepage

Written by: Hannah Borish

While the holiday season fills many hearts with joy and warmth, it’s important to recognize that for some, it can bring about unexpected hardships and challenges. To ensure that the spirit of giving extends to those in need, we invite you to join us in making a meaningful difference through a holiday-themed drive. Together, let’s spread comfort, support, and joy to those who may find this season particularly challenging.

For your drive, you can ask for donations of food, clothing, and/or supplies. Below are some examples of what our clients currently need!

Food donations:

  • shelf-stable milk or milk alternatives
  • canned goods (soup, vegetables, fruits, tuna)
  • pasta, rice, and grains
  • canned or dried beans
  • holiday-themed cookies and treats
  • cake or brownie mixes
  • hot cocoa or hot chocolate packets
  • coffee or tea bags
  • canned cranberry sauce
  • stuffing mix
  • instant mashed potatoes

Clothing donations:

  • winter coats
  • hats, mittens, and scarves
  • sweaters
  • sweatpants
  • warm socks

Supply donations:

  • cleaning supplies like sanitizing wipes, spray cleaners, etc.
  • laundry supplies like dryer sheets or laundry detergent
  • holiday supplies like wrapping paper, tape, and gift bags
  • household supplies like dish detergent, hand soap, paper towels, toilet paper etc.
  • baby supplies like diapers or baby wipes

You can also ask for gift cards! An easy way to help those in need, gift cards to places like Target, Walmart, Uber, or gas stations are incredibly appreciated, especially during the holiday season.

Below are some other ideas on how to keep your drive in line with the holiday spirit:

  • Use decorated boxes or containers at the drop-off site! Or give each box a theme, like Santa’s Pantry” for food items, “Warm Hearts” for clothing, and “Gifts of Necessity” for supplies.
  • Host a fun event alongside the drive such as a hot cocoa and cookie social!
  • Transform the donation site into a winter wonderland by decorating it with holiday lights, ornaments, and festive decorations!

At BCHG, we are so grateful for community support, especially during these cold months. Your donations directly impact the lives of community members in need. To schedule a donation drop-off, reach out to If you have any questions or need more inspiration, head to our Hold a Drive page!

PS, be sure to tag us in any content you share on social media! Let’s make this holiday season brighter for everyone.

Written By: Hannah Borish

A November Collaboration with Free Spirit Bar

Looking to grab a drink somewhere local and fundraise at the same time? Look no further! This November, enjoy the “Hygge Hug” at Free Spirit to help support our mission here at BCHG.

A Fundraiser Drink to Warm Hearts

As November unfolds, ushering in colder nights and shorter days, we’ve discovered a unique haven in Buckingham: Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar, the sole alcohol-free bar and bottle shop in Bucks County. Beyond its charming exterior lies a space dedicated to warmth, community, and a meaningful cause.

Throughout November, savor the delightful “Hygge Hug” featured on the menu at Free Spirit. With a comforting blend of wholesome ingredients, the Hygge Hug combines brown butter rum alternative, vanilla, and hot spiced apple cider to warm your body and soul. Not only that, but you can sip blissfully knowing that your drink directly contributes to supporting BCHG programs. Every sip adds warmth to both your experience and our community.

Free Spirit: A Unique Local Experience

Free Spirit offers a diverse array of alcohol-free drinks, including hemp-infused options, and exquisite handcrafted home goods. What truly sets this local gem apart is its unwavering commitment to community betterment. Each month, Free Spirit crafts a special drink to benefit a different local organization. We’re excited to announce that BCHG has been chosen as the November beneficiary!

Transform Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar into your cozy retreat this November. Immerse yourself in the welcoming ambiance that wraps you in a sense of community and relaxation. Make the Hygge Hug an essential part of your visit, knowing that each indulgence contributes to a local cause.

Located at 4920 York Rd. Store 13, Buckingham, PA 18912, Free Spirit is not just a venue; it’s a hub for wellness, warmth, and giving. Join us in celebrating the incredible spirit of collaboration and community this November. Experience the unique blend of flavors and community support at Free Spirit Zero Proof Bar, your ultimate destination for warmth and fundraising in Bucks County.

Don’t miss out on contributing to local causes—visit Free Spirit today and make a difference one sip at a time!

Get Directions Here

Check out Free Spirit on Instagram!

BCHG Homepage

Written: Hannah Borish

Did you know October is National Book Month? As if we needed another reason to spend these autumn days cozied up in front of a fireplace with a cup of coffee and a good book!

If you’re searching for a new read, check out our team’s latest recommendations for some moving and motivating stories about home, hunger, and hope.

BCHG Recommends:

  • No Way Home: The Crisis of Homelessness and How to Fix It with Intelligence and Humanity by Christopher F. Rufo, Wayne H. Winegarden, Joseph Tartakovsky, and Kerry Jackson – “This book examines the causes of homelessness with a focus on unaffordable housing, poverty, mental illness, substance addiction, and legal reform.”
  • Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is a collection of stories which examine the way humans interact with the natural world.
  • The Poverty Paradox by Mark Robert Rank delves into why the wealthiest country in the world (the United States) also has the highest rate of poverty among industrialized countries and offers solutions on what we can do about it.
  • Changing the Face of Hunger by Tony Hall – “Hall’s book describes his humanitarian efforts in Ethiopia, where he saw world hunger up close, and his attempts to bring the problem to the attention of those in Washington, advocating for those who have no voice in global politics.”
  • Cooking with Scraps by Lindsay-Jean Hard provides easy-to-follow recipes using scraps most of us have in our kitchens, offering insight into ways to cook more with less.

We encourage you to explore the offerings at your local Bucks County Free Library – their website provides up-to-date information on their current stock and availability, allowing you to easily embark on a reading adventure this National Book Month.

So, as the autumn leaves fall and the air turns crisper, let these books be your companions, guiding you through stories that inspire, provoke thought, and perhaps even change the way you view the world.

Spread the word(s):

Read one of these books, or find another book that inspires you to fight against hunger and homelessness? Share a photo on Instagram and tag us for a chance to be featured on our page! Don’t forget to follow us @BucksCountyHousingGroup.

Happy reading!

BCHG Homepage

Written By: Hannah Borish

At Bucks County Housing Group, we understand that navigating the complexities of disability benefit income programs can be daunting, especially for those facing homelessness and serious health challenges, and we’re dedicated to breaking down these barriers and helping those in need access the assistance they deserve. One way we do this is through SOAR.

What is SOAR?

SOAR, which stands for SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery, is a program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SOAR is a lifeline for eligible adults and children who are either experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and who also grapple with serious mental illness, medical impairments, and/or co-occurring substance use disorders. Our dedicated SOAR Benefits Specialist, funded by the Bucks County Housing and Community Development Department, is here to guide qualified individuals through the application process for disability benefit income programs.

Simplifying the Application Process

Applying for disability benefit income programs can be an arduous process. SOAR aims to simplify and streamline this process significantly. Applications submitted through SOAR not only receive expedited processing but are also crafted to present a more comprehensive view of the applicant, increasing the chance of approval. Our specialist becomes the applicant’s point of contact throughout the process, providing guidance every step of the way.

Who is Eligible for SOAR Benefits?

To be eligible, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Experiencing homelessness, as defined by HUD, which includes:
    • Being literally homeless
    • Exiting an institution after less than 90 days
    • Being at risk of homelessness within 14 days
  • Diagnosed with a serious mental or physical illness, characterized by:
    • 12 months of symptoms
    • Continued symptoms despite treatments
  • Unable to work at a substantial level due to illness

How to Get Started

If you are a professional and believe a client of yours qualifies for SOAR benefits, you can take these steps to help them access the program:

  • Review the Identifying SOAR Applicants sheet
  • Contact Social Security to check if the client already has an application in process or appeal
  • Complete the Bucks County CoC Referral Application
  • Submit completed referrals to

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about SOAR benefits, the referral process, or need a copy of the Referral Application, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our specialist at We’re here to help you help our community members regain stability in their lives.

BCHG Homepage

Written by: Laura Ferreri

Hello! My name is Dominic DiFrancesco. This summer, I had the great fortune of working as a summer intern in the Marketing and Development Department of Bucks County Housing Group under the leadership of Amanda McGill.  

I am a rising second-year student studying Marketing at the Smeal College of Business and Vocal Performance at the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park (“main”) Campus. I am also a member of the Schreyer Honors College and Penn State’s Presidential Leadership Academy. Ultimately, pairing my majors, I want to work in entertainment marketing and public relations.  

During my time at Bucks County Housing Group, I worked on social media, contributing to posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I worked toward the shared goal of growing engagement on these accounts as social media has become one of the most critical channels for effectively reaching audiences, raising awareness about BCHG’s mission, and garnering support (monetary or otherwise) to drive greater impact and success.  

I collaborated with other departments, and I worked on several projects including a keywords research project that delved into what people in the community were searching for the most in terms of our pantries and housing services, how we can best utilize this data to spread our message, and what that tells us about our community’s needs. I also worked to revamp branded materials including program one-pagers designed for clients and for donors, respectively. 

I contributed to the planning, development, and execution of BCHG’s first fundraising event in over two years at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company on July 15. I helped manage in-person donations, relations with vendors, and I even performed at the event!  

But most of all, I had the chance to witness incredible people dedicating their time and talents to closing the door on hunger and homelessness in Bucks County. One of my responsibilities as a summer intern was to gather research and resources into a concise document outlining what hunger and homelessness looked like in Bucks County. One of the aspects I touched on in the paper was a misconception that Bucks County is affluent and thus is immune to the housing and hunger crisis. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Thousands in Bucks County cannot fill their own or their family’s plates every day due to a variety of factors. However, there is help. The dedicated staff of Bucks County Housing Group is a caring, selfless, and hardworking group, and I am honored to have been among them for a season.  

I firmly believe that my time working as a summer intern at Bucks County Housing Group has and will contribute to my future success. Learning the fundamentals of donor relations, digital marketing, and the intricacies of the nonprofit sector will be invaluable to me as I move forward in my education and my career. It has been an eye-opening experience and has piqued my interest in future work in the non-profit sector, knowing that at its core, the work is dedicated to helping people. As I move forward, I am eager to explore new ways to make a positive impact.  

Thank you to everyone at Bucks County Housing Group for welcoming me with such open arms and making this summer experience unforgettable, especially my Marketing and Department dream team member Hannah Borish. Finally, thank you to Amanda McGill for her direction and mentorship. Amanda showed a genuine interest in my growth and success beyond only how it relates to BCHG and made herself available to provide guidance and support whenever needed.  

In closing, I’m so grateful to have been able to intern at Bucks County Housing Group, and I encourage any prospective interns to reach out. It’s an experience you won’t forget.  

Written by: Dominic DiFrancesco