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Mission Statement: To work towards the elimination of homelessness by encouraging the development of necessary resources in the public and private sectors including housing, income, health care and other basic life supports and by raising and maintaining public awareness of the causes of homelessness in a way that contributes to its elimination.
HISTORY: The Philadelphia Committee to End Homelessness (PCH) was established in late 1981 by a group of Center City Philadelphians who convened a city-wide conference to examine ways to stem the tide of homelessness. PCH became a non-profit corporation in 1982. Since that time, PCH has employed a three-pronged strategy to eliminate homelessness in Philadelphia. POLICY DEVELOPMENT: To fulfill its mission, PCH continually looks for better practices and programs to address the issue of homelessness. PCH then promotes those productive policies including: •Spearheaded effortss to establish a community based homelessness prevention program •Advocacy for the implementation of a work-based shelter facility •Work on key aspects for a balanced approach to the Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance •Strategy to clear homeless encampment from subway concourses in 1993 •Production of analyses and policy proposals to improve City-based services DAY CENTER: Each year, over 3,000 clients utilize the following services, which are essential to taking the first steps out of homelessness: •Peer Counseling with formerly homeless staff who provide understanding, encouragement and skillful linking to needed shelter, treatment or other services •Assistance with obtaining basic identification papers •Access to mailing address •Telephone and fax service, to assist clients in obtaining employment •Hot showers and clean clothing STREET OUTREACH: PCH maintains trained street outreach teams which are active four nights and two days each week. This intensive contact with an average of 435 persons per month develops relationships based on trust, and allows PCH to accomplish the following: •Refer homeless persons to PCH Day Center for peer counseling and other services •Compile statistics on the needs and demographics of the homeless population •Expedite access to emergency services for homeless persons •Offer information to homeless persons on medical care and substance abuse •Gather information on the effectiveness of available programs COMMUNITY EDUCATION: PCH has worked toward the elimination of homelessness by educating the community, including: •Production of video, 802, which explains homelessness in Philadelphia and the services offered by PCH •Development of educational materials, including a supplement for the Philadelphia Daily News which was circulated to more than 30,000 students and their teachers •Featuring homeless and formerly homeless individuals in presentations on homeless issues to community, religious, civic and government organizations •Circulation of a quarterly newsletter to 5,000 individuals, groups and organizations PCH accepts no public funding. We are funded entirely through private donations.
- Sara Whittington
- (215) 232-2300
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