Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness: Street Outreach


Thursday 5:15-8:30pm

Street Outreach Meet and give information to persons who live on the streets.  Information is about daily necessities such as a shower, address or change of clothes. People who live on the streets are often isolated from mainstream; you keep them connected and make them feel that someone has their interest at heart by going to where they live.  PCEH also records the number of people on the street for political purposes and activism on behalf of those who have no physical dwelling to call home.   Need student response

You might want to sign up for PCEH

  1. If you are concerned about people who are experiencing homelessness.
  2. If you are comfortable dealing with the poorest of the poor in Philadelphia
  3. If you enjoy listening to people, their stories and their day to day living.
  4. Open to all kinds of people and ways of life.

What our students say about PCEH

 From a young age many of us are taught to avoid homeless people, but at PCEH we break those boundaries: we approach them and simply talk.  Through the simple act of talking it becomes clear how all humans share common needs.  Unlike other service sites, there are no firm objectives when we go on outreach; we must simply interact with the people we meet.  PCEH is a service site with loads of possibility, all through the act of communication.  During our time each week, we go into Philadelphia to talk to dispossessed persons.  It is difficult to understand how simple and normal conversations are without having experienced it.  But really, it’s the same as talking to at new acquaintance.  People are polite and open, and they are genuinely interested in talking to you.  They really just want someone to listen to them, which is enlightening and comforting for both parties.  PCEH will change how you view not only on homelessness, but the world at large.  Rachel Seggel and Melissa Hoksch ‘14

How do we define homelessness?

A person who is homeless does not have a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence. This person may be sleeping on the streets, with friends or family, in cars or abandoned buildings or in shelters. Although the most visible segment of the homeless population are those persons living on the streets, they are at most 10 percent of the total homeless population.

How many people are homeless in Philadelphia?

It is very difficult to accurately determine how many people are homeless. It is estimated that there are approximately 4,000 persons who are homeless on any given day in Philadelphia. This includes only those who are in shelters or on the streets. It does not include those who are in transitional housing, low-demand residences, or in substandard/unfit living conditions. In 2005, the City's Office of Emergency Shelter and Services served 14,986 homeless people (including both single adults and family members) through its emergency shelter system. Of this number, 9,468 were adults without children, 2,011 were heads of households, and 3,507 were children. Approximately 20 percent of the single individuals and 13 percent of the families were "chronically homeless" (homeless for one year or longer or four episodes of homelessness in three years).

Who is homeless in Philadelphia?

Homelessness disproportionately affects persons of color, with over 80 percent African-American, about 15 percent White. Children in families constitute approximately a third of the shelter population on any given night. Persons under the age of 18 are the most common shelter users. Xx percent of families entering shelter were single-parent households (86 percent of these were female-headed and 14 percent were male-headed).

What causes homelessness?

Poverty from a lack of good jobs and minimal government assistance-Lack of affordable housing and inadequate housing assistance-Lack of affordable health care Domestic violence Mental Illness and Substance Abuse