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Homeless in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is often cited as a national model, yet homelessness has risen here in the last two years. There are approximately 300 persons living on the street and 3,000 living in the the shelter system every day.

This is unacceptable in a city with so much wealth and so many resources. Below is a resource to help educate and inspire the political will for change.

"We know homelessness is a solvable problem. The challenge is to commit the political will."
-Sister Mary Scullion, Project HOME, Oct 23rd, 2005

Signs of Hope:

New initiatives that offer hope for an end to homelessness in the city.

Last Night at the Grace Cafe
Philly's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness
New Keys and Homes First Initiative (PPT viewer needed).


Homeless FAQ
Brief History of Modern Homelessness
Phila Plans to End Homelessness
       10 Year Plan to End Homelessness
          - City of Phila (2005)
       2010 Plan to End Homelessness
         - Phila Com to End Homelesness (2001)
       Blueprint to End Homelessness
         - Greater Phila Urban Affairs Coal (1998)
Contimuum of Care


Street Outreach
Project HOME
Horizon House
Phila Committee to End Homelessness
ACCESS - West Philly
Hall Mercer

Shelter and Supportive Housing
Bethesda Project
Travelers Aid Society
Project HOME
Ready, Willing and Able

Horizon House
Mental Health Association of Southeast PA
Phila Health Management Corporation
Hall Mercer

Phila Health Management Corporation
Philadelphia Unemployment Project
Project HOME
Ready, Willing and Able

Kensington Welfare Rights Union
Phila Committee to End Homelessness
Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania
Phila Unemployment Project
Phila Association of CDCs
Homeless Advocacy Project
Project HOME

Episcopal Community Services
Peoples Emergency Center
Phila Health Management Corporation

Homeless Advocacy Project
Community Legal Services

Dept of Behavioral Health
Office of Emergency Shelter Services

National Organizations:
Comparison of 7 Cities’ Approaches
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Corporation for Supportive Housing
McAuley Institute
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Health Care for the Homeless Council
National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Street Census:

Street Homeless Population Since '96

Last Night at the Grace Cafe:

Grace Caf was a successful initiative which brought hundreds of persons off the street in the winter of 2006.

Life in a Homeless Shelter:

Photo Essay by Sarah Bones




Remember Those Who Died on the Streets
Crisis In The Streets: Forum Confronts Homelessness in Philadelphia
Homeless Street Count Up 7% from Last Year
Toward a More Equitable Housing Policy
Homeless Memorial Day Observed in Philly
Project H.O.M.E. Opens Kate's Place
City Council Approves Housing Trust Fund


Where to Turn to Help:

If you encounter a homeless person on the street, call the 24-hour outreach line at 215-241-1984. Click here for a printable guide with further resources.

Get Involved:

Volunteer! Donate! Pick one of the groups to the left column and get involed.