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March 28, 2023

The latest episode of the talk series What’s The Word? Harrisburg! is available to watch now on WHBG-TV 20 and the WHBG YouTube channel. City of Harrisburg Communications Director Matt Maisel sits down with Dee Allen, executive director of Thrive Housing Services in Harrisburg.

Thrive Housing Services is a non-profit which provides housing for the unhoused, and helps area homeless develop life skills to help them break out of the homeless cycle. It was started by Allen, 38, who experienced homelessness and poverty when she was a child.

“I grew up in a domestic violence home, from the age of 6 to 10,” said Allen, who was born and initially raised in York, before her mother took the kids to live with her grandmother in Harrisburg. “To look back at that situation and what we went through, how long it took us to get housing, and how long it took for us to get in a stable place, only to fall back into the cycle of domestic violence…it’s a lot to go through as a child. Now, as an adult, it breaks my heart, to see other kids go through it. So as I grew and learned my journey, it helped me understand how I could help other people who are on similar journeys.”

Allen, who graduated Harrisburg High school before playing Division 1 basketball at Northeastern in Boston, returned home and became a probation officer. She started Thrive Housing soon after, in 2014. Thrive has programs for youths and adults, and according to its website, 92% of Thrive tenants in the past year have gone onto have successful permanent housing and live a healthy and productive lifestyle.

Thrive Housing Services is located at 2601 Walnut Street, Harrisburg, PA 17103. Email at [email protected], or call (717) 364-4152.


March 16 – Tina Nixon, UPMC Vice President of Mission Effectiveness, and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

March 13 – Todd Vander Woude, Executive Director Downtown Improvement District

February 22 – Sara Bozich

February 15 – Councilman Robert Lawson

February 8 – Paul Hood, Playwright

February 3 – The Foundation For Enhancing Communities, Wildheart Ministries, Big Brothers Big Sisters

January 26 – Justin Rudisell, UPMC, Community Life Team EMS

December 14 – PAIRWN (Pa. Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Network)

December 7 – Amy Bollinger, Trauma Nurse – Christmas Child Safety Tips

November 14 – Alex Swan, Church World Service

November 2 – Jeff Case, Good Karma Garage

October 27 – Barry Albertson, UPMC Community LifeTeam EMS – Halloween Safety Tips

October 12 – Reina 76, Artist

October 5 – Angel Fox, Fox’s Wash and Go

September 28 – Cornell Corley, DJ

September 19 – Amy Bollinger, Trauma Nurse – Parenting & Child Safety

September 14 – Commissioner Thomas Carter, Harrisburg Bureau of Police

September 7 – Kyea Sheppard, Kye’s Krafty Konceptz

August 31 – Lisa Lickers-Ricks, Young Women’s Empowerment Academy

August 25 – Sara Bozich

August 24 – Tone Cook, Michael’s Memory/PUSH Harrisburg

August 17 – Harrisburg RBI Softball World Series Champions

August 12 – Commissioner George Hartwick, Larry Moore – Dauphin County Cultural Fest