Photography Provided by Chester County Planning Commission

The causes and situations of homelessness are vast and often deep-rooted. However, it is vital to recognize that homelessness does not define anyone. It is a temporary situation to which an end is achievable.

In a place as rich in resources and accomplishments as Chester County—why does homelessness still exist? And even more important: How can we all work together to prevent and end homelessness?

Chester County is committed to answering this question.

By collaborating with government entities, service providers, educators, healthcare professionals, faith communities, funders, businesses and the general public  with strategic and evidence based action plans, we aim to effectively end homelessness by 2022.

Mission and Guiding Principles of the Ten Year Plan



The mission of Decade to Doorways is to maximize current resources and develop new ones, making them as efficient and useful as possible with the end goal of preventing and ending homelessness in Chester County within 10 years.



To ensure a community wide network of services to prevent and end homelessness in Chester County by shifting from a system that manages homelessness, to a system that diverts, prevents and rapidly re-houses.


Guiding Principles

Seven guiding principles will direct how each strategy in the Plan will successfully achieve the Plan’s goals:

  1. Retool the crisis response system: Shift focus from a system of managing and sheltering to a system focused on ending homelessness through prevention, diversion, and rapid re-housing.
  2. Utilize existing, evidence based practices: Use national and community best practices.
  3. Make data-driven decisions: Utilize strategies that produce measurable results and make effective and efficient use of scarce resources.
  4. Focus on a client-centered approach: Use of approaches that encourage individual empowerment, service leveraging, and community coordination.
  5. Shift funding priorities to align with the Plan: Commitment to educate and advocate for local funders to shift resources to fund strategies identified in the Plan.
  6. Community collaboration: Leverage community ownership of the causes and the solutions, challenge all parties to examine programs, policies, and principles, and redirect those that may sustain homelessness to those that prevent and end homelessness.
  7. Continuum of Care alignment: Ensure alignment of Chester County Continuum of Care strategies with benchmarks in the Plan.