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Harrisburg area Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:22 AM
 
5 posts, read 9,295 times
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We are considering moving to Harrisburg! Would like input on employment, housing, schools and anything else that might help! I have 2 grade school age children one of whom has severe ADHD and mildly autistic so special needs education within the public school or outside very important! What is available as far as subsidized housing? Currently we live in small town in Michigan where economy is horrible! Looking for change!
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:39 AM
 
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We moved to Harrisburg last summer (military move). Our son is in the public school there - he isn't special needs, but he really likes it there. There is a little boy in the class with downs and he has an aide with him all of the time. She is really great, and the other students seem to be good about integrating him into the classroom activities. That is the only experience I have had with the special needs education in his school, so that is why I shared that story.
I am currently finishing college and my husband is employed with the military, so all of the employment advice I have is second hand... but it doesn't look great. Probably better than Michigan, but not the best I have seen. They were unable to pay their government employees for months last year. My friends dad works for the state government and when the stopped paying him (while he was still working - or what I would call "volunteering") they "compensated" him by telling him that he could go to the soup kitchen for free meals. Her mother was also laid off last year from a government job.
We looked at buying a house in the area, but for our price point we couldn't find anything that we liked. We were a bit limited in our search because we didn't want to change school districts, but still there wasn't a house to be had that was less than 30 years old.
If you or your husband has any government employment history or military service then a move out here might be a good idea. The Department of Logistics is relocating their headquarters out to New Cumberland, and there are jobs available out here as well at multiple locations around Harrisburg on small military installations.
Being an outsider I can say one other thing about the area. Let me preface this by saying that I have lived literally coast to coast, north and south, and overseas. I have never in the past been afraid of driving on the interstate anywhere, but here in PA when I have to get on the freeway my anxiety level goes through the roof - and here is why: people STOP, literally STOP their cars, on freeway on-ramps. They drive up the ramp, and at the place where they are supposed speed up in order to merge into traffic - they stop. And then try to get up to freeway speed from a dead stop.

All in all - it isn't a bad place to live, and I do know a lot of people who are retiring in the area (because they can slip right into a federal gov. job), but it won't be where we choose to stay.
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Old 01-23-2010, 11:36 AM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,092 posts, read 14,467,206 times
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You also might get more responses if you post in the Pennsylvania forum
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Old 01-27-2010, 08:41 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,061,132 times
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I lived in Harrisburg (actually Camp Hill which is the town across the river) in 1994-1995.

Hope it's improved since then. The city is pretty crime ridden and unless you are Black (again no offense) you will be out of place. I had people 2 times try to sell me stolen jewelry on the street! (This never happened in NY!!)

If you are White, you might want to live in Camp Hill.

I met a bunch of racists in this area and we vowed we would not start a family or stay past a year. They liked to toss the "N" word off very often which was very shocking. (I'm White and so is my husband but we would not stay in a place with ignorant people like this).
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Center City Philadelphia
1,099 posts, read 4,382,882 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GypsySoul22 View Post
I lived in Harrisburg (actually Camp Hill which is the town across the river) in 1994-1995.

Hope it's improved since then. The city is pretty crime ridden and unless you are Black (again no offense) you will be out of place. I had people 2 times try to sell me stolen jewelry on the street! (This never happened in NY!!)

If you are White, you might want to live in Camp Hill.

I met a bunch of racists in this area and we vowed we would not start a family or stay past a year. They liked to toss the "N" word off very often which was very shocking. (I'm White and so is my husband but we would not stay in a place with ignorant people like this).
No offense, but if you haven't lived in this area for over 15 years you really don't know what's going on. This area has changed a LOT. You wouldn't recognize most of it if you came back.

And for someone who claims to be upset about supposed racism, your post certainly seems to contain some prejudice. I live in Harrisburg, my neighborhood is 45% white and 45% black and the rest a mix of Asians and Hispanics. I like it that way and I've never had a problem.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:09 PM
 
4,270 posts, read 10,827,001 times
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Harrisburg has come a long ways in the nearly 12 years I've lived in the metro area.

Individual towns are tiny empires unto themselves, so living conditions differ greatly from one to the next. This variation is even sub-zipcode. Searching the postings on here (I know the search function isn't the best on this forum, often you get better results clicking on the Similar Threads) should bring up much info.

The City of Harrisburg (a relatively small proportion even of Harrisburg postal addresses) is not everyone's cup of tea though. Fairly or not, folks whose main interest is the public schools tend not to locate within the City limits.

The main highways in the region tend to be poorly designed especially for the relatively heavy traffic - the area is something of a trucking hub for the East Coast. Un-knotting the bottlenecks takes a long time and some haven't even made it to the drawing boards yet. People do drive less aggressively than in the NYC area, not necessarily crashing one's way into traffic.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:20 PM
 
1,312 posts, read 4,554,948 times
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I can't give you any info on Harrisburg since I live about an hour south, but I noticed you mentioned a child with autism. PA has an insurance program for children with autism called the Access card, which goes through Medicaid. You must have a medical doctor's diagnosis, not just a school diagnosis. Your child can then receive all sorts of services that this insurance will pay for, such as a behavioral specialist, an TSS that comes to your home for therapy, social skills classes, that type of thing. Checkk out the web site for how to apply How to Apply for Medical Assistance for Your Child with Autism (http://www.dpw.state.pa.us/ServicesPrograms/Autism/AutismRsrc/003676289.htm - broken link)

NHS is one of the providers and we have been very happy with our BSC and TSS. My son also attends a program called Stepping Stones, which is a social skills class held at the local autism school run by NHS, and I believe they have schools in and around Harrisburg also.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:33 PM
 
135 posts, read 365,642 times
Reputation: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by shan49601 View Post
We are considering moving to Harrisburg! Would like input on employment, housing, schools and anything else that might help! I have 2 grade school age children one of whom has severe ADHD and mildly autistic so special needs education within the public school or outside very important! What is available as far as subsidized housing? Currently we live in small town in Michigan where economy is horrible! Looking for change!
But what is your career or you just looking for any job if that is the case try wegmans foods they are hiring in their DC by Pottsville and they are supposed to be good employers and take care of their people then there is the Walmart DC there as well but if you are skilled or have a degree than you might find a better job faster and you must understand something, here the cost of living is a lot lower than in most parts, the rent here is lower and the sales tax is 6%, food costs are lower than in some parts of the country so the pay is lower but if you make 50,000 here you are living comfortable.
Now I hope this helps if you need more info about the area let me know.
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