Centre House Shelter - (814) 237-5508 | Contact Info


Age 53. No family. No job. No driver’s license. Alcoholism. An abusive relationship.

And a broken ankle.

The odds were certainly stacked against Sheri when something inside her told her it was time to change—for good. This time would be different. This time, she would get real help. “Oddly enough,” she said, “it might have been the broken ankle that saved my life.” Because of the ankle, Sheri went to the hospital, where they treated her broken bone and addressed her alcohol issues. Next, a newly sober Sheri went to the State College Women’s Resource Center (WRC), where she found shelter and the courage to end her relationship. When it was time to leave the WRC’s temporary housing, Sheri looked for a place to live, a place to work. Housing Transitions said “yes.”

“Housing Transitions made me accountable for my actions, made me do chores, gave me a curfew and rules to live by,” Sheri remembers. “They gave me shelter and then a home in their transitional housing. They connected me with the resources I needed to stay well, to find a job, and to start my life over again. They talked with me…and they listened.”

Now more than a year sober, Sheri has a full-time job and has been named employee of the month. She is living independently in Housing Transitions’ permanent housing option. She is planning a future as a productive, sober, “serene and hopeful” member of society.
I did it the wrong way so many times before. Because of Housing Transitions, I’m doing things the right way this time, and I’m excited about my future.


Something deep inside Margaret made her persevere through alcoholism, drug addiction, abuse, failed relationships, a failed business, and failure to embrace opportunities. That something deep inside kept her from pulling the trigger when she put a gun to her head, thinking for a moment that there was no other way out. Drug dealers were coming from out of town to collect the money she owed them that she didn’t have, because she had used all the drugs she was supposed to sell. We might call that something resilience. Or true grit. Or maybe high spirited stubbornness. Whatever you call it, that something prevented her from pulling the trigger but calling her brother instead. She was ready. She was finally committed to getting clean, for good.

Margaret was a tough kid from the start. “[My family] had a picture of me when I was two. I’m in a little dress with a football helmet, a baseball bat and a baby doll and I went up the street and cracked the kid on the shins with the baseball bat that beat up my brother.” Drug and alcohol addiction started at age 7. By 15, she was a runaway along with a friend, and by 19, she found Housing Transitions for the first time when her drug and alcohol counselor referred her to our services. She didn't stay long.

After that fateful day when she called her brother instead of pulling the trigger, she has been mostly on a much smoother road. She came back to Centre House 18 clean and sober months after that, even though she was feeling the lowest she had been since her previous rock bottom.

“It was life or death for me.” She explains. “I was going to die…like at that point they always say we pick up where we left off and I had a gun to my head the last time before that.” She knew she had to get to Centre House. It was a life or death situation because she could not let addiction win again. Her relationship had just ended, and she could no longer stay in the apartment she had shared. She had no place to live, and she was $20,000 in debt, but she was sober. That thing inside, her resilience, humbled her, allowed her to be parted from her beloved dog for a while, and led her to the shelter. She was broken, but she was not defeated.

Since then, Margaret has built a new, and successful business. She is no longer in debt. She learned about budgeting while she was in the shelter. She has been clean and sober for nearly 10 years and she gives back to the community that supported her. She has even been known to come to Thanksgiving Dinner at Centre House and help make the meal.

One of the things I tell people is when they are in situations, like being homeless, is that Centre House is such a nurturing environment. There’s just love here. You can feel it when you walk in the door. I always felt that here.

How We Serve

Housing Transitions provides not just a place to stay, but a way to a better place for over 2000 Centre County residents each year. From something as simple as referring to a list of available housing while guiding clients to learn what they can afford, to more complicated cases where people change their lives or get back on their feet after facing a housing crisis, Housing Transitions is there each step of the way, with guidance and hope.

Our Centre House shelter program provides the first step for those experiencing homeless with a safe, secure environment 24/7 for women, men, and children with their parent(s) or guardian, while setting goals and working toward a more sustainable and permanent living situation. Typically, 70-100 individuals stay at the shelter for the length of time needed in a given year.

Housing Case Management can also provide guidance as a first step for individuals and families who are not sure where to start when there is an impending housing change.

Transitional Housing programs provide on going support and case management for clients ready for the next step. The programs provide continuing access to resources and help build for a better future.

Each client case is unique and needs are individual. We provide support each step of the way, on a case by case basis. Additional programs include:

Adult Services Case Management which serves 60-100 people a year who would otherwise be unable to stay in their homes due to disability, illness, or other complications caring for themselves in their current living situation.

The First-Time Home Buyers program that provides an opportunity for people who have always dreamed of owning a home to making the stability and promising future of home ownership a reality.

Our Emergency Food Pantry provides emergency food supplies for the weekend or until the food bank opens again.

With the right support,  many of our clients have overcome immeasurable obstacles and found not only stable ground and a better place to live, but a better life.