To help low-income Philadelphians maximize their access to federal, state and local benefits, the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment & Opportunity (CEO) recently led the effort to open six BenePhilly Centers, housed at nonprofits across the city.
The initiative is a component of the citywide plan to fight poverty, Shared Prosperity Philadelphia, which was rolled out last July. Philadelphia has the worst poverty rate of the ten largest U.S. cities.
“We need many players with a number of strategies to try to fight poverty, but under one shared agenda,” explained Eva Gladstein, the executive director of CEO.
Many eligible Philadelphians are failing to enroll in critical benefits programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), among others.
According to Gladstein, counselors at each Center are providing screenings and related referrals, either in person or over the phone. The BenePhilly initiative aims to help residents complete between 5,000 and 6,000 benefits applications this year, estimating that about half will yield results.
“Sometimes, benefits are one of the stabilizing factors that help a family on the path out of poverty,” Gladstein said.
To set up an appointment or receive more information, Philadelphia residents can call 844-848-4376.
Following is the complete list of the BenePhilly Centers:
Catholic Social Services
Casa Del Carmen, 4400 North Reese Street, Philadelphia 19140
People’s Emergency Center, Families First building
3939 Warren Street, Philadelphia 19104
1233 Locust Street, Philadelphia 19102
1515 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia 19130
Utilities Emergency Services Fund
1617 JFK Blvd, Suite 840, Philadelphia 19103
United Communities Southeast Philadelphia, Houston Center
2029 S. 8th Street, Philadelphia 19148
Image via @BenePhilly on Twitter
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