Transforming Philadelphia’s Homeless System: Our City’s Strategic Plan
We are a stronger city when our residents have a place to call home. Philadelphia’s homeless assistance system, known as the Continuum of Care (CoC), includes an expansive network of homeless and housing services, physical and behavioral health providers, community institutions and governmental entities, all working toward the shared goal of making homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring. We want our system to be well-coordinated, easily accessible, and comprised of a network full of caring and dedicated supports that quickly and effectively prevent and resolve experiences of homelessness. This plan describes strategies that will guide our collective efforts to build a more comprehensive and coordinated response that puts the resources, partnerships, and systems in place to make sure all people facing homelessness get the help they need.
Charrette held December 19, 2017
A number of stakeholder representatives participated in a working meeting called a Charrette, to which they brought all of the feedback that they have gathered from their various constituencies to incorporate into decision-making on recommendations that will frame the plan. Given our shared goal of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring with a coordinated system that prioritizes its resources and employs a person-centered, housing-focused approach to apply the Housing First philosophy, we wanted to know:
- What is working well in our approach to address homelessness?
- What barriers and challenges are we not accounting for?
- What aren’t we thinking about that is important to consider?
- What opportunities do we have to innovate and increase effectiveness?
- What does success look like?
Final Unit Projections
Input Session Table
Strategic Planning Steering Committee Rosters
Final 10 Year Plan Oct 2005
10 Year Plan Report January 2018
Re-Envisioning Philadelphia’s Homeless Assistance System 2018 –
Summary of Community Input: Charette, Input Sessions and OHS Staff Survey
Re-envisioning Philadelphia’s Homeless Services System
On the night of January 25, 2017, 5,693 Philadelphians experienced homelessness. Philadelphia has hundreds of programs in operation that provide support to community members having or at-risk of having this experience, but we have not had a community-wide collaborative process to coordinate our strategies since 2005! It is time for stakeholders invested in the mission of making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring to:
- Define and articulate our shared vision for our community
- Align our efforts under one collective strategy to improve collaboration within and outside the homeless services system
- Identify opportunities to innovate and maximize, streamline, and target existing resources
- Quantify housing and services needed to resolve the problem
- Develop agreed-upon goals, metrics, and performance targets, with specific processes for monitoring progress towards our shared goals
- Open the “back door” out of homelessness by expanding permanent housing opportunities
- Close the “front door” to homelessness by implementing successful prevention strategies
- Ensure that no one experiencing a housing crisis needs to feel safest living on the street
- Address the population-specific dynamics of homelessness experienced by families with children, single adults, youth, veterans and those whose experiences are chronic
- Provide trauma-informed, low-barrier, housing-focused assistance that affirms strengths and dignity, honoring individuals’ choices about how they live their lives and prioritizing help for those who need it most.