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September 11, 2020

Philly homeless services organizations receive $1.5 million in grants

Nonprofits will receive funds to address problems deepened by coronavirus pandemic

Homelessness Grants
Homelessness Philly Grants Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Nonprofit organizations in the Philadelphia area will use grant funds to help vulnerable people stabilize their housing situations and receive other services and employment.

Eleven homeless services organizations in the Philadelphia area have been awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants to address problems related to the COVID-19 crisis, city officials announced Friday. 

The grants come as the city remains in a tense standoff with homeless encampment protesters on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Ridge Avenue. Residents of the encampments have defied the city's orders to clear the areas, which have been occupied since June. 

The homeless services grants will be provided by Home4Good, an annual funding initiative led by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh (FHLB) and the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA). 

Eleven organizations were chosen in a competitive selection process to help vulnerable people stabilize their housing situations, receive critical supportive services, and connect with employment.

“Together these grants expand and augment the city’s safety net for those experiencing homelessness,” said Liz Hersh, director of Philadelphia's Office of Homeless Services. “That safety net is never more crucial than during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank FHLB and PHFA for their support at this difficult time.”

The following nonprofits will receive grants from Home4Good: 

• St. Joseph's House (DePaul USA): $200,000 to support housing services, rental assistance, and furniture to college students securing permanent housing.

• Support for Vulnerable Newcomers (Nationalities Service Center): $120,000 to provide rental assistance or home modifications that increase the accessibility and safety of immigrants and refugees living with mental and/or physical challenges.

• Drueding Rental Assistance and Prevention Program: $115,600 to prevent homelessness through rental and financial assistance for young parenting households.

• Broad Street Ministry Re-entry Program - COVID Response: $105,000 to expand case management services for returning citizens.

• Pathway Home (Action Wellness): $100,000 to support housing stability for people who are both homeless and chronically ill.

• Trauma-Informed COVID-19 Response and Eviction Prevention (New Kensington Community Development Corporation): $100,000 to provide direct rental and financial assistance and financial coaching to low-income Philadelphians living in Fishtown, Port Richmond, and Kensington.

• First Step Staffing Employment Program: $95,651 to support housing and job- related services for people experiencing homelessness.

• RHD Housing Smart Philadelphia: $200,000 to assist medically fragile people experiencing homelessness reduce shelter stays through partnerships with healthcare providers.

• Stabilizing Philadelphia's Housing Challenged Families (Utility Emergency Services Fund): $200,000 to support housing and job placement for homeless veterans released from prison.

• Good Home4Vets (1260 Housing): $143,446 to support housing stability and subsidize typical housing expenses for homeless veterans to prevent shelter entry.

• Serenity Court - Medical Respite for Homeless (PHMC): $100,000 to expand the capacity of its current respite site which accommodates medically fragile people experiencing homelessness who are recovering from major illnesses, surgery, or COVID-19.

Philadelphia officials are still working to find a peaceful resolution to the encampments, which formed as a protest against the city's chronic homelessness. Residents of the encampments and organizers have vowed not to leave until they are given immediate permanent housing, a demand the city says it will not be able to meet without a longer-term plan.