Partnership among City agencies and the federal government reinforces the City’s commitment to expand housing opportunities for vulnerable communities
Philadelphia – Philadelphia announced today that it will receive $630,977 in federal funding from a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grant. The award comes from the Foster Youth to Independence Initiative. The program invests in local, cross-system collaborative efforts to assist young people aging out of foster care and who are at risk of experiencing homelessness.
The Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA), Department of Human Services (DHS), and Office of Homeless Services (OHS) will work in partnership to administer the program. The funding will provide 50 housing vouchers, available in late spring. The vouchers will cover a maximum of 36 months of rental assistance.
Additionally, youth will be connected to services to support their path to self-sufficiency through the community-based organization, Methodist Services. This includes mental and behavioral health services, money management, job preparation, and educational counseling. Supportive housing services include landlord outreach, pre- and post-move counseling, and lease compliance.
All eligible applicants must meet all the following criteria:
- have lived experience in the child welfare system at 16 or older.
- left foster care or will leave foster care within 90 days.
- between the ages of 18-24.
- homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Advocates and providers that work with young adults who meet the criteria can make referrals by emailing the youth’s name, DHS Number, and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any eligible youth on PHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Waiting List will be assisted in order of their position on the waiting list.
PHA President & CEO Kelvin A. Jeremiah
Decent housing is the framework for building success in life. Safe and stable housing put foster youth on more equal footing as they enter the workforce and enroll in college and career training programs. PHA is working on various fronts to provide housing assistance, shared housing, vouchers, and other innovative options for this population.
DHS Commissioner Kimberly Ali
Too many young people who were placed in foster care later experience homelessness, and this must stop! Securing stable housing can be an obstacle for them. Therefore, we welcome this opportunity to work together to help these young adults find a place to call home, and to eliminate barriers that hinder their pursuit of college and career opportunities as they transition to adulthood and independent life. With this joint effort, these vulnerable young people can focus on their goals and dreams without worrying about where they are going to lay their heads at night.
OHS Director Liz Hersh
We never want a young adult to age out of foster care into homelessness. These vouchers and our continued collaboration with PHA and DHS will help improve the lives of Philly youth who are at risk of homelessness.