About Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless

 Between the 1970 and 1980, a combination of economic conditions and policy shifts at the both the national and local levels resulted in a significant increase to the number of homeless people in the United States. Growing from a grass-roots organization of local minister, social workers and concerned citizens, the Greater Wheeling Coalition for the Homeless formed in 1986 to address the challenges and problems surrounding the issue of homelessness.

Since its inception, the Coalition has worked to provide temporary shelter, assist in the preparation of long-term solutions to homelessness and networked with other agencies to provide a comprehensive level of services for the local homeless population.

Operating under a yearly contract with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the Coalition also provides direct care to the homeless by providing a variety of case management and housing services. This contract is a result of the West Virginia Supreme Court declaration that all of West Virginia’s homeless are entitled to emergency medical care, food and emergency shelter.

Today, the Coalition’s focus on ending the cycle of homelessness begins by acknowledging the fact homelessness does not exist in a vacuum. Homelessness is the result of a multitude of issues culminating over a period of time – it does not happen instantaneously, but instead evolves out of precipitating issues. Poverty and a lack of decent affordable housing is not the only source of homelessness and they are not the only results. There is no single cause of homelessness and there is no single, simple solution.

Working with a broad range of partners and agencies, Coalition staff work to address these issues and enrich the entire community. The Coalition’s work includes: