Each year, Philadelphia performs a Point-in-Time Count of all homeless individuals living on the streets, unsheltered, or in temporary shelter housing. The purpose is to estimate the size of the population in need of housing and critical life supports, and the Point-in-Time Count is the only statistical estimate of street homelessness currently being conducted.
Given that homelessness can look much different for a young person than an adult, the Youth Count was created to help accurately capture the population. Led by Valley Youth House and the Office of Homeless Services, a coalition of youth service providers works to promote the Youth Count in the community and facilitate the quarterly event.
The youth count is conducted by administering short surveys to young people ages 13-24 years old in two settings–on the street and at Come and Be Counted sites. Street teams are composed of volunteers and youth guides who approach youth people in the community at assigned “hotspot” locations and encourage youth to complete a brief electronic survey about their housing situation. Come and Be Counted sites are community locations which young people can visit on the day of the Youth Count to complete the brief survey. Each young person who is 13-24 years old and indicated they are unstably-housed in their completed survey receives a $5 gift card for their participation.
Philadelphia's next Youth Count will be held on Thursday, January 24, 2019. We need volunteers to hit the streets from 5am-10am and 2pm-7pm. This event would not be possible without the dedication of our amazing volunteers! We hope that all partners committed to addressing youth homelessness will volunteer for this event. All volunteers will be required to attend a 1.5 hour training in advance of the Youth Count (multiple dates will be offered in January). Please click the link below to register for one or both volunteer shifts:
We also need Youth Guides to accompany adult volunteers on the street teams! Youth Guides receive $10/hour for their participation. If you are a young person 18-25 years old and you have experienced homelessness or housing instability you can also register here.