Homelessness is a national crisis. On a single night, more than half a million of us are unsheltered. While Philadelphia has the lowest number of people who are unsheltered among the major US cities, there are between 700 and 800 living on our streets at any given time.

You can help! Sometimes a person you encounter needs attention right away. You can assist by alerting our homeless outreach team about the situation. There are also other ways for you to make a more lasting impact. Here are five ways you can help:

  1. Call. If you see someone who needs help, call (215) 232-1984. Our Homeless Outreach hotline and street teams respond around the clock, all year long. Calling us is especially important when temperatures are extremely cold or hot. Save the number on your phone.
  2. VolunteerSign up to distribute furniture or meals on the City’s volunteer portal, or call (215) 686-2055. On any given day, more than 3,100 people are experiencing homelessness but are staying in temporary housing or shelter.  Furniture and meals help keep people housed.
  3. Donate. Dozens of non-profits and faith-based groups partner with the City to address homelessness, and they accept donations. Your gifts, even small ones, can make a difference in these organizations’ work.
  4. Advocate. Homelessness is a national crisis caused by lack of affordable housing. It requires broad support and innovative solutions to solve. Luckily, there are many resources and tools if you want to learn more and join our fight.
  5. Tell others. Ever wonder what Philadelphia does to address homelessness, or how to chip in yourself? You’re not alone! You can help right away: By sharing the information in this blog post with your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.

OHS employee Jomo Brown (pictured above) is out on the street helping connect people who are homeless with services. Homeless Outreach teams are always ready to help, and you can call them day or night.