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Help for the Hurdles

Connecting households staying in emergency shelter to employment opportunities and long-term career planning services.


Help for the Hurdles (H4H) helps Philadelphians who are living in emergency shelter to achieve financial and housing stability. This voluntary program connects households to employment opportunities, long-term career planning services, and childcare assistance.

The program's goals are to:

  • Help households improve their economic well-being in the face of COVID-19.
  • Increase participant earnings.
  • Link and secure childcare for households with children.



Participant benefits and eligibility


  • Wages up to $16 per hour.
  • Employment, professional development, and support networks.
  • Childcare application assistance.
  • Transportation support.
  • A stipend for parenting and single youths, ages 18 to 24, after completing the program.
  • Weekly orientations for prospective participants.


All participants must be:

  • Staying in emergency shelter.
  • Able to work.
  • Eligible for rapid rehousing.

This program is open to:

  • Single adults experiencing homelessness, ages 18 and older.
  • Young parents, ages 18 to 24, experiencing homelessness.
  • Families experiencing homelessness.


Each month OHS identifies potential participants and notifies shelter management. Shelter staff will email the names of interested individuals to OHS and First Step staff so they can schedule orientations.

New participants should follow the steps below to complete the program.

Meet with a primary case manager.

Meet with a primary case manager to talk about your employment readiness and to determine if you meet program eligibility.

Attend orientation.

You’ll get to discuss the program, set up transportation, and coordinate childcare if needed.

Accept the right job placement for your schedule and needs.

The types of jobs include:

  • Warehouse.
  • Light industrial.
  • Food processing.
Begin working.