Every other week, I’ll tell you about the phenomenal work the City’s Office of Homeless Services and our partners are doing to move people from homeless to home.
Read below and share the good news!
May 16, 2019
Project HOME’s Gloria Casarez Residence opens
The permanent supportive housing residence provides 30 LGBTQ-friendly affordable homes for young people ages 18-23 facing homelessness,
including those aging out of foster care. This is the first permanent supportive housing of its kind in Pennsylvania!
The project underscores Philly’s commitment to LGBTQ young adults.
You can also read about progress on LGBTQ inclusion throughout Philly’s homeless services system in the OHS Annual Report.
More job training, meals for the hungry
This Philabundance food service training program is teaching critical skills to help people succeed on the job!
Learn about their plans for expansion!
Let’s talk about homelessness now
People experiencing homelessness and advocates attended a forum with candidates to ask one thing:
How do you plan to address homelessness?
How social workers make a difference at OHS
In March, we celebrated social workers and learned they can be as tenacious as superheroes!
So we talked to three OHS trained social workers about what life is like.
Partner Special Events
May 30 | Veterans Multi-Service Center | Phillies Watch Party
May 2, 2019
New report: 2018 shows marked progress on famililes, LGBTQ inclusion, youth, and so much more
In 2018, we made progress on multiple fronts thanks to the hard work of our partners, provider community, staff, and supporters!
We helped more families, created innovative programs to help people end their experiences of homelessness, strengthened LGBTQ inclusion, helped youth, addressed opioid-related homelessness, and so much more. All of our work is about moving people from homelessness to home and hope!
Center City District resumes special outreach efforts helping hundreds
The program, a partnership between CCD, Project HOME, DBHIDS, the PPD, and OHS is even bigger this year!
Philly’s Encampment Resolution Pilot
“We’re such a wealthy and rich society, we’re such a smart society. We shouldn’t have people who are destitute.”
Shoes and socks for 2,000 people experiencing homelessness
Samaritan’s Feet helped so many in need this past weekend, including at some OHS partner sites! Thanks to all participating!
Partner Special Events
May 8 | Bethesda Project | 22nd Annual Party & Auction
May 8 | Lutheran Settlement House | Women of Courage Awards Ceremony
April 18, 2019
YALC news: Youth are making an impact!
Liam Spady and Jessie Keel of the Young Adult Leadership Committee (YALC) met with funders to talk about how they can help young adults experiencing homelessness.
They discussed Innovative Housing Models including youth-specific rapid re-housing; youth navigator teams; host homes for youth; and flexible homelessnesss diversion funds for youth.
Liam and Andre Thomas are consulting for Youth Collabratory’s Youth Catalyst Team (YCT). The YCT is a group of young leaders from across the country committed to using
knowledge and experience to improve programs, and mobilize youth services.
Tyrone Jones and Lia Lightfoot became members of Philadelphia’s Older Youth Residential Placement Task Force.
The Youth Residential Placement Task Force was created by City Council to examine problems in residential placements and safely reduce their use.
Host Homes program coming to Philly
University of Pennsylvania senior Brendan Taliaferro won a $100,000 President’s Engagment and Innovation Prize to develop a “host home” program for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness.
Brendan collaborated with OHS, the Attic Youth Center, and other organizations to implement the evidence-based initiative.
Samaritan’s Feet comes to Philly on April 27: Free shoes and socks!
Global nonprofit organization Samaritan’s Feet is coming to Philadelphia later this month thanks to a partnership with some of our partners and friends!
The organization will provide shoes and socks to anyone who needs them, especially Philadelphians experiencing homelessness. All are welcome!
There are four locations that need volunteers to help distribute shoes and socks.
Be sure to spread the word to anyone you serve or work with who might benefit from free shoes and socks, too.
Sunday Breakfast Mission at 304 North 13th Street,
Liberti Church at 123 South 17th Street,
West Kensington Ministries at 2140 North Hancock Street (on April 28), and
the Hub of Hope near Suburban Station.
Want to volunteer or find out more information, including times? Visit Samaritan’s Feet online!
Partner Special Events
Bethesda Project – Taxing Metric Century Bike Ride – 4/27
DePaul USA – Scavenger Hunt – 4/27
Samaritan’s Feet Shoe Giveaway – 4/27-28
Juvenile Law Center – Annual Leadership Prize Celebration – 5/1
Veterans Multi-Service Center – Cinco de Mayo Fiesta – 5/2
Bethesda Project – Party & Auction – 5/8
Lutheran Settlement House – Women of Courage Awards Ceremony – 5/8
Valley Youth House – John E. Watson Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament – 6/3
Bethesda Project – 22nd Annual Party – 6/21
Action Wellness – Glamsino Royale – 6/24
April 4, 2019
KYW Newsradio looks at the 2019 PIT Count and how the rate of street homelesness growth is slowing
Final numbers from the 2019 PIT Count are in and show that, over the past three years, Philadelphia has significantly slowed the growth of its street homeless population.
KYW Newsradio reporter Tim Jimenez looked at the data, reporting, “In 2017 there was a 36 percent increase in the homeless count compared to the year before. In 2018 it was a 13 percent jump.
This year there was only a 5 percent increase.” His report ran online and across the Delaware Valley’s drivetime radio listeners. “You have to slow the train before you can stop it,” OHS Director Liz Hersh explained.
“So, we’re really pleased to see that we’ve slowed the rate of growth. What that means is: What we’re doing is working.”
Read KYW’s report or check out the press release!
City Council recognizes OHS workers during Social Work Month
Recently, City Council expressed its gratitude toward and admiration of OHS social workers as they address the emotional, psychological, and physical needs of people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia.
Councilmembers Jannie Blackwell and Bobby Henon introduced the proclamation, noting that we served over 16,000 people in 2018.
We’re proud of this honor, and even prouder of our staff that fight for our participants, touch lives, and elevate others every single day.
Germantown organization partners with Hub of Hope to provide meals
Special shout out to one of our meal service providers at the Hub of Hope, Face to Face Germantown. Chef Altenor (above right) and his organization have partnered with the Hub of Hope and OHS to serve meals to the Hub community.
Chef Altenor notes that “serving the less fortunate is more than a service; it is a mission. What we are doing is larger than ourselves and we work hard to dignify every face with every meal we serve.”
The Hub serves about 150 meals a week, and is always looking for more volunteers for meal service. In 2018, the Hub served over 17,000 meals!
Sign up if you’re interested in volunteering with Face to Face Germantown at the Hub!
Longtime Riverview residents receive recognition
Riverview Personal Care Home provides a safe and comfortable living environment to vulnerable, low-income, elderly people who need personal care.
Staff recently recognized several of the long-stayers, surprising them with gifts, at Riverview’s annual Smokey Joe’s Cafe event.
Pictured above (left to right) are residents Betty, Jean, Bernard, and Sheila.
Thanks to Riverview staff for delivering quality comprehensive services and care!
Zero to Three Journal looks at People’s Emergency Center’s BELL project
Zero to Three’s March journal addresses the needs of young children without homes.
We’re excited to share that this edition includes the Building Early Links for Learning (BELL) project.
The journal’s co-editor dedicated this edition to the late Dr. Staci Perlman, who drafted the original concept behind the BELL project.
The project is about increasing knowledge about and access to early education for families making contact with our system.
OHS is a partner in the project, and we are committed to advocating for high quality early childhood education for young children experiencing homelessness.
Read the BELL article.
March 19, 2019
Billy Penn looks at Philadelphia’s winter initiative
Reporter Michaela Winberg from digital publication Billy Penn talked with OHS, outreach, and advocate Mel Wells from One Day at a Time (ODAAT) for this look at the hard work going on to help people who came inside during this year’s winter initiative.
Read how Philly is making the most of the resources it has to help our city’s most vulnerable.
Penn publishes independent study looking at successes of OHS, the City, and our partners
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania produced an independent report analyzing the unified, person-centered approach the City took closing the first two of four major homeless encampments in Kensington.
Read the key facts blog from the Office of Homeless Services, which includes important insights like that 85% of all encampment residents were from Philadelphia and 57% had previously spent time in a homeless shelter.
Check out WHYY’s report, Curbed Philly’s writeup, and the Philadelphia Inquirer’s look at the Penn study.
Partner success story: Gaudenzia Tioga Arms Apartments resident earns multiple scholarships
Here’s a great story of tenant accomplishment from one of our partner organizations, Gaudenzia, Inc. Read it and smile!
“Taryn P. and her mom, Deb O., are both proud residents of Gaudenzia’s Tioga Arms Apartments. Taryn is a senior at Gratz Mastery Charter School who excels in her studies, and has been offered full scholarships to several colleges. Deb O. and her daughter were participants in Gaudenzia’s WINNER treatment program in 2007 but remained homeless after their treatment. The family has resided at Tioga Arms since 2010. ‘It took a village to raise my daughter,’ says the proud mom, ‘…and look at her now!’”
Pictured below is Deb O (left) holding a super-size photo of her daughter, and Toni Montier, Gaudenzia’s Eastern Region Director of Housing (right).