Jul. 20, 2016 10:01 am

Philly’s Office of Supportive Housing is now the Office of Homeless Services

The new moniker is a lot more on-mission and a lot less jargon-y.

A youth homelessness hearing in Council Chambers earlier this year.

(Photo by Tony Abraham)

Let’s be real: “Office of Supportive Housing” (OSH) doesn’t necessarily sound like the kind of city government office charged with serving the homelessness.

It’s a little off-brand and jargon-y for an office that not only works in housing, but is tasked with homelessness prevention, assistance and outreach.

So, Director Liz Hersh pushed for a name change, and earlier this week Mayor Jim Kenney signed an amendment to rename the office the Office of Homeless Services (OHS).

It should be easy to identify what a city office’s purpose is by its name, reads the amendment, and the Office of Homeless Services would “more readily describe the current scope and mission to diverse audiences.”

“We think this name is easier for people to understand, we think it makes it more transparent to the public and it signals a fresh start in our approach to tackling homelessness,” Hersh said on Monday.

That fresh start began with Hersh’s appointment by Kenney earlier this year and will continue with the office’s mission of making homelessness less frequent, brief and non-recurring.


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