The mission of the Office of Homeless Services (Homeless Services) is to provide the leadership, coordination, planning and mobilization of resources to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in the City of Philadelphia.
Homeless Services supports:
- 24 emergency housing facilities for singles and families with a total capacity of 2,622 beds;
- 16 transitional housing programs which housed 495 households in FY16;
- Permanent Supportive Housing with an 88 percent success rate for singles and 97 percent success rate for families in preventing a return to homelessness;
- Homeless intake which sees 20,000 people a year, diverting 40 percent from shelter entry;
- Financial assistance for 824 households to prevent homelessness; and
- Rapidly Re-housed 339 Rapidly Re-housed households with an 85 percent success rate in preventing a return to homelessness.
Homeless Services works collaboratively with more than 60 mostly nonprofit homeless housing and service providers, city, state and federal government entities to comprise Philadelphia’s homeless service system. This system provides emergency housing and services to people who are both homeless and at imminent risk of homelessness. It includes homelessness prevention and diversion, short and long-term rental assistance both with and without case management.
We are now developing a holistic, transparent, representative, infrastructure for action on homelessness, panhandling, and outdoor meal service to make our shared public spaces safe and secure for all.
Emergency Assistance and Response Unit (EARU)
If you are experiencing a financial crisis and need assistance with rent or a security deposit to prevent homelessness EARU provides limited emergency financial assistance and/or emergency response for families and individuals displaced or made homeless and residents with court-ordered evictions. Assistance is available for residents displaced by disasters, natural and otherwise. Temporary shelter can be provided following, or as a supplement to, Red Cross disaster assistance aid. Applications for assistance can be made in person at 1430 Cherry Street, Monday – Thursday, 9am – 3pm. Please call the EARU Information Line at 215-685-9087 to determine eligibility. It is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Homelessness Prevention and Retention Assistance
Prevention services include cash assistance with rent and mortgages, security deposits, or utility payments to households city-wide to resolve a housing crisis and prevent homelessness.
Short-term accommodation for individuals and families to resolve an immediate housing crisis. Level of need is assessed and case management assistance provided to obtain appropriate care. Individuals must arrive in person; no telephone assessments are made. Intake and after-hours reception sites are listed below:
Appletree Family Center
1430 Cherry Street
Intake and assessment for single women and families,
Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm
Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence
715 N. Broad Street
Intake and assessment for families
with children after 5pm daily, weekends and holidays
Roosevelt Darby Center
802 N. Broad Street
Intake and assessment for
Monday – Friday 7am – 3pm
2601 N. Broad Street
Intake and assessment for single men after 4pm and on weekends and holidays
House of Passage
48th Street and Haverford Avenue
Intake and assessment for single women after 4pm and on weekends and holidays
Emergency Food Distribution Program
State food distribution to shelters and Philadelphia soup kitchens, food cupboards and pantries.
Transitional Housing helps households move from Emergency Housing toward self-sufficiency by providing supported semi-independent living for a period of 12-24 months. Homeless Services funds and collaborates with City departments and nonprofit organizations on the operation of transitional housing for individual and families.
Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse
The Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse provides housing opportunities to homeless individuals who currently reside in shelter, behavioral health, transition and recovery housing facilities. The Clearinghouse provides a single point of housing access for households in the Health and Human Services priority populations who have both a services and housing need. It also provides permanent housing options for people with disabilities.
The Rapid Re-housing program is an intervention designed to assist households quickly exit homelessness, return to housing in the community of their choice and not become homeless in the near term. The goals of the Rapid Re-housing program are to reduce the time households are homeless, move households quickly into permanent housing and to reduce the number of households returning to homelessness once their assistance ends.
A personal care boarding home for low-income consumers with a physical or mental disability who require assistance with the activities of daily living. It provides comprehensive personal care while ensuring the highest possible level of independence for all residents in a home-like environment that is safe and comfortable with staff that is caring and engaged.
For providers: Inspection of private market rental housing to assure safety and affordability prior to occupancy by Homeless Services-referred consumers.
Continuum of Care
The Philadelphia Continuum of Care (CoC) is an inter-agency planning body responsible for coordinating and implementing a community-based response to homelessness in the City of Philadelphia. Homeless Services is the Collaborative Applicant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for CoC program funding that supports more than 2,500 units of safe haven, permanent and transitional housing for people experiencing homelessness.
This system will ensure individuals and families at-risk or experiencing homelessness have access to a streamlined and standardized process that links them to appropriate resources to end their housing crisis. Philadelphia’s (CEA-BHRS) will be launched in 2017.
Most Urgent Projects
Shared Public Spaces
Homeless Services is now developing a holistic, transparent, representative infrastructure for action on homelessness, panhandling and outdoor meal service to make our Shared Public Spaces safe and secure for all.
Also we are working now to ensure that no one dies from exposure in below freezing weather. Beginning December 1 we will begin to phase in 450 winter beds, 50 more than last year. We will adopt the respite model pioneered during the Democratic National Convention to focus on housing plans and case management.
Targeting Youth Homelessness
City Council noted that youth homelessness is a disturbing emergent trend exacerbated by access to heroin and related to the rejection of LGBTQ youth by their families. Youth in unsheltered locations or dangerous situations need an immediate safe place to help them meet basic survival needs (shelter, food, clothing, personal hygiene).
The City has awarded funds for the provision of services for homeless youth ages 18-24, (with and without children). Services will provide “crisis housing” and strengthen the crisis response system by providing quick access to shelter and emergency services. The goal is to expand the resources for homeless youth in a systemic way by providing interventions to prevent, shorten, and/or end the experience of homelessness.