Emergency and Temporary Shelter

The City of Philadelphia provides emergency and temporary shelter to persons experiencing homelessness. Homeless Services administers contracts with various human service organizations to provide short-term emergency housing accommodations, based on an assessment of need, to resolve an immediate housing crisis for persons and families. Case management assistance is also provided to assist households with obtaining appropriate long-term housing. Emergency housing services include:

  • Temporary shelter
  • Ongoing case management services
  • Assistance with obtaining transitional and/or permanent housing
  • Supportive housing for special populations
  • An optional savings program which allows households to save a part of their income for future housing expenses
  • Philadelphia Homeless Outreach Hotline 215-232-1984

If you are currently experiencing homelessness, please report to one of the central intake centers listed. You must go through central intake for an initial assessment of your housing needs before placement into the homeless housing system. All Philadelphians can go to Appletree Family Center and Roosevelt Darby Center to request homeless assistance.

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Centralized Homeless Intake Services

Centralized Homeless Intake Services includes an assessment of eligibility and service needs of persons and families presenting for placement into emergency housing.  If eligible, persons and families are placed in appropriate emergency housing, boarding homes, or other alternative housing.  Mental health assessments and referrals to drug/alcohol treatment, health services, children and youth services, legal services and veteran’s services, etc., are provided as needed.

If you are currently experiencing homelessness, please report to one of the central intake centers listed. You must go through central intake for an initial assessment of your housing needs before placement into the homeless housing system. Metal detector screening is required before entering our intake sites and access points.  

Intake by hours:

Monday through Friday 7 am – 5 pm

  • Appletree Family Center,  1430 Cherry Street
  • Roosevelt Darby Center, 804 N. Broad Street

After 5 PM Daily, Weekends and Holidays

  • Families: Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence, 715 N. Broad Street

After 5 PM Daily, Weekends and Holidays

  • Single Women: House of Passage, 49th & Haverford Avenue
  • Single Men: Station House, 2601 N. Broad Street

Intake by category:

Emergency Housing Services

Appletree Family Center
Intake: Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm
1430 Cherry Street
215-686-7150, 7151, or 7153

Roosevelt Darby Center
Intake: Mon-Fri: 7am-5pm
804 N. Broad Street

Families Only Seeking Emergency Housing After-Hours Services

Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence
Intake: Daily, Holidays & Weekends: After 5pm
715 N. Broad Street

Single Women Only Seeking Emergency Housing
After-Hours Services

Gaudenzia’s House of Passage, Kirkbride Center
Intake: Holidays & Weekends:
After 5pm
48th Street and Haverford Avenue (48th Street side entrance)


Single Men Seeking Emergency Housing After-Hours Services

Station House
Intake: Holidays & Weekends:
After 5pm
2601 N. Broad Street (rear entrance)

Men at Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
302 N. 13th Street

Centralized Homeless Intake Services for Youth and Young Adults

Youth access points are youth-friendly, youth-specific locations where young adults ages 18-24 in Philadelphia who are experiencing homelessness can go to be assessed for resources within the homeless assistance system. The youth access point is operated by the Valley Youth House, as part of our homeless assistance system.

Download the Youth Access Points Flier.

It is a goal of the Mayor and the Managing Director’s Office that government services be available to all who need them, regardless of their proficiency with English. To accomplish this goal for all residents, Homeless Services ensures that limited English proficient (LEP) persons can access all our services. We provide interpretation services on the day the client arrives at intake, as well as printed materials in English and other languages.

Intake Process

Initial Contact

The Service Representative will enter household data into HMIS and complete the intake log sheet with the computer generated case number and household demographics, i.e., name, birthdate, social security number, family composition, race, etc.

The Service Representative will request proof of identification and, if applicable, proof of guardianship of minor children, when each household presents at the intake site. However, no household will be denied entrance into Emergency Housing because he or she does not have identification or proof of guardianship.

Due to COVID-19, all new entrants will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening consisting of a series of simple questions and temperature check.

The social worker will attempt to divert all households from entering emergency housing. The social worker will ascertain if the household has the financial ability to pay for alternative housing (hotel or motel room) for the night. If the household is unable to pay for a hotel or motel room, the social worker in conjunction with the household, will contact the household’s relatives and/or friends to determine if the household can reside with them.

Homeless Prevention

When possible, households will be referred to other suitable resources, either within OHS or the community, for the purpose of exploring housing options other than emergency housing placement. For additional resources on tenant rights, visit the Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project.

Fleeing/Attempting to Flee Domestic Violence

If the individual or household indicates they are fleeing or attempting to flee a domestic violence situation, staff will make an immediate referral to the on-site domestic violence specialist (at Appletree Family Center only). The domestic violence specialist will complete a lethality assessment and safety plan with the individual or household, and request an emergency housing placement, if appropriate, that will meet the safety needs of the household.  Provide the individual or family the Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline phone number (1-866-723-3014).

Individuals or families not assessed during regular business hours will have the option to have their intake completed at our after-hours intake sites or return to Appletree Family Center or Roosevelt Darby Center during regular business hours.

External Agency Referral (EAR)

Institutions (hospitals, etc.) sometimes need to refer potential participants to OHS for placement in a shelter. This process is called the EAR. To complete the process, case managers and social workers must submit this online External Agency Referral form. They can also print and fax the EAR form to OHS. For more information, please see this referral guide.