Merger seeks to improve lives of homeless young people

Close to 4,700 Philadelphia students identified as homeless during the 2021-22 school year, according to the School District of Philadelphia.

HopePHL is working to change that.

The local nonprofit organization offers a plethora of services ranging from housing and rental assistance to food relief and early childhood education programs in an effort to help Philadelphians in need. HopePHL was established in January, through a merger of two long standing human service organizations in the city: People’s Emergency Center and Youth Service, Inc. The organizations together have 120 years of combined service experience.

“Many youth in Philadelphia are facing housing insecurity, family or school issues, and traumatic events. Youth at HopePHL get access to housing behavioral health services, mentorship and resources that help them achieve their goals and help them thrive,” said Jacqueline Flynn, Vice president of Business and Resource Development at HopePHL.

HopePHL offers services for at-risk children, young adults and families who are facing homelessness, financial insecurity, family separation, youth aging out of foster care and individuals who are otherwise falling through the cracks of the social safety net.

HopePHL also works on projects that develop new housing. The organization manages over 235 units in supportive housing and temporary housing, all mainly based in West Philadelphia, but also has offices in Germantown and Fairmount.

HopePHL helps educate the community and elevate their voices so individuals can play a role in the development of their neighborhood. Through their programs, HopePHL serves 375 youth and young adults annually through its housing programs and many more through school district partnerships.

On May 27, the CityLife church in South Philadelphia will host a charity basketball game in collaboration with HopePHL. The funds from the event will help alleviate youth homelessness in Philadelphia and support general operations of HopePHL’s youth programs and services.

The idea for this event originally came from Kenneth Bold, a member of the CityLife Church, who hopes the game will help raises awareness of services available to Philadelphians in need. Also, funding will support three housing programs: The Emergency Resources and Shelter, Transitional Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, and Permanent Housing for Young Adults with children. 

“We’re just so grateful that the CityLife church wants to spread word about our work, and to Kenneth for including us in this event. We are hopeful that our partnership at this event will bring awareness to many of the issues of housing insecurity amongst Philadelphia youth, front and center,” said Flynn.

Flynn relayed that HopePHL is always looking for collaborations in the community. HopePHL is looking to invest back in the people of the city to help the 25,000 community members annually reach their goal of safe homes, economically secure and healthy families and thriving students and businesses.

For more information, including a complete list of upcoming events, visit here.