(Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)
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Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS) is working 24 hours a day, every day of the week. The city’s resources are just a little more strained during the winter, said Deputy Director Roberta Cancellier.
OHS expands its resources by 200 to 300 available spaces in the winter, and homeless outreach workers have to counter the dangers of excessive cold on the street.
On top of that, Code Blues necessitate 80 extra shelter beds in the city and more homeless outreach teams. OHS issues a Cold Blue when there’s predicted wind chills of 20 degrees or lower or weather below 32 degrees with precipitation.
Cancellier said it’s not just city-related shelters and workers that make the extra effort to keep people safe in the cold. For example, some organizations will increase the amount of available spaces in partnership with the office or open winter-only “cafés.” These aren’t full-fledged shelters, but warm indoor spaces offering basic amenities like food and coffee.
Any Philadelphian can help by calling the homeless outreach hotline at 215-232-1984 if they see anyone in need. If you know someone under the age of 18 in need of assistance, call 1-888-HOUSE-15.
OHS recently added a donation page to its website so people can learn more about how to get shelters what they need in one place, Cancellier said.
Below are a list of facilities that people experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia can access this winter. Some will be open during the holidays, but each location’s hours and services vary:
- Phone number — 215-686-7150, 7151 or 7153
- Location — 1430 Cherry St.
Families and single females can access this shelter Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This is flagged as a central intake center by the Office of Homeless Services, and you can be assessed for possible placement in the homeless housing system.
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Any person fleeing a domestic violence will be referred to this center’s on-site domestic violence specialist, who will assess the danger of the situation and possibly connect them to emergency housing.
- Phone number — 215-685-3700
- Location — 802 N. Broad St.
Monday through Friday, single men can find emergency housing at this shelter from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is also a central intake center for OHS.
- Phone number — 215-225-9230
- Location — 2601 N. Broad St.
If a single man needs housing after-hours, on the holidays or during the weekend, he can find help at the Station House.
- Phone number — 215-787-2887
- Location — 715 N. Broad St.
Unlike other shelters, this location will accept families and is open after 5 p.m. daily — including holidays and weekends. It’s also connected to OHS’s centralized intake system, and all new residents are connected to a case manager within 24 hours of arrival.
- Phone number — 215-471-2017
- Location — 48th Street and Haverford Avenue
This shelter also does intake after 5 p.m. on holidays and weekends, but only accepts single women. You can be connected to emergency housing through OHS here, too.
- Phone number — 215-735-4847
- Location — 315 S. Broad St.
Broad Street Ministry opens a cafe in the winter, Cancellier said. It offers meals and services — such as dental screenings, benefits counseling and mental health assessment — five days a week year-round.
Cancellier said Broad Street Ministry surpasses meeting its slogan of “radical hospitality.”
- Phone number — 215-922-6400
- Location — 302 N. 13th St.
This organization is in its 140th year of serving Philadelphia’s homeless population. It has a men’s shelter and women’s transitional home, plus a meal program for which it serves three meals a day, every day.
In the wintertime, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission adds 100 bed spaces, Cancellier said.
- Phone number — 215-545-4331
- Location — 255 S. 16th St.
For people between the ages of 18 to 24, the Attic Youth Center is available from noon to 2:30 p.m. You will be assessed and possibly connected to OHS’s emergency housing assistance program.
The Attic Youth Center is also a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ youth in Philadelphia.
- Phone number — 215-925-3180
- Location — 1500 Sansom St., third floor
Valley Youth House provides resources to people seeking emergency housing who are between the ages of 18 to 24. It has differing hours each day of the week, except Tuesday:
- Monday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Wednesday: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Thursday: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Friday: 9 a.m. to noon
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