Milagro House

Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Story Overview

In Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, an idyllic vision of the countryside can blind visitors to the needs of women and children living in poverty and experiencing homelessness. That’s why Milagro House – a nonprofit residential community serving women and families – seeks to eradicate the consequences of unequal treatment of marginalized members of the community.

Executive Director Christina Duncan knew that the COVID-19 pandemic would have an impact on Milagro House. In addition to keeping its residents safe from the virus, the organization needed to find a way to keep its small, but mighty staff of seven professionals. Staying open was vital to the community, and Duncan was ready to do whatever it took to keep serving its marginalized residents.

Working through Community First Fund (CFF), a local CDFI with the mission to create financial equity through wealth building opportunities for individuals, families, and business owners, especially Persons of Color, women, and immigrants, (where Milagro House received its first-round CRF PPP loan), Duncan connected with CRF and applied for a second draw PPP loan to help pay her staff . With CFF working closely with CRF, the application process was simple and efficient. Now that Duncan had already applied for a first-round loan and received forgiveness, she was able to navigate the second draw process even more easily.

The second draw PPP loan helped Milagro House gain an extra layer of security for its staff, enabling Duncan to keep up with payroll and maintain the services the women and children of Lancaster County desperately needed, especially during a pandemic. Today, Milagro House has resumed conversations about future expansion once the pandemic is finished, a testament to the security the organization received from its PPP loan.

Our PPP loans allowed us to keep our programming consistent and helped us work creatively to serve our residents during the pandemic. It was critical that we not dial back our services, and thanks to PPP we have maintained our important role in the lives of women and children in Lancaster.

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