The Philly Homes for Youth Coalition, a coalition of youth with lived experience of homelessness and over 30 community providers of services to young people, is calling on the Philadelphia Housing Authority to set aside 20 percent (172) of the 863 Emergency Housing Vouchers it has been promised by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The group is asking for signatures on an online petition calling for the set-aside.
HUD has awarded $10 million to the City of Philadelphia to cover the costs of the vouchers for a number of constituencies outlined in the American Rescue Plan passed by Congress several weeks ago. However, published reports indicate that the City plans to limit the vouchers to people over 65 and/or those with chronic health conditions.
"As you know, youth and young adults who are unstably housed or homeless in our City are at high risk for harm and long-term instability," the petition says. "Without the stability and financial support of family, many of these young people are on their own. Without reliable housing, they are unable to achieve the stability they need to complete school and training and enter the workforce. We at least owe them stable housing so they can gain the skills they need to to successfully enter adulthood and be active members of their communities.
"Providing young people stable housing is an investment we know the City will benefit from, with more young people being able to complete their education, maintain employment, and address health and other needs."
The petition will be submitted to PHA director Kelvin Jeremiah and Liz Hersh, director of the Office of Homeless Services, on June 7th.
To view the peition, go here.