What is Supportive Housing?
The Office of Homeless Services (Homeless Services) and its network of nonprofit and public sector partners help persons experiencing homelessness make the transition to permanent housing and independent living.
- Permanent Supportive Housing is long-term (not time-limited), safe and decent living arrangements linked to supportive services for homeless and disabled individuals and families. This housing enables persons experiencing homelessness to live independently.
- Transitional Housing provides supportive housing to enable homeless individuals and families move to permanent housing. It is time-limited for up to 24 months. Those residing in transitional housing receive supportive services.
The homeless Continuum of Care (CoC) funds 5,502 permanent supportive housing beds and approximately 2,000 transitional housing beds. Homeless Services is responsible for the permanent supportive housing and transitional housing inventory*.
Families With Children
Philadelphia’s primary strategies to assist families with children experiencing homelessness move to permanent housing are:
- Rapid Re-Housing funded through the Emergency Solutions Grant and the CoC Program
- Blueprint Families Program.Through a partnership with PHA, the Blueprint Families Program moves families in emergency and transitional housing into permanent affordable housing. Homeless Services coordinates with families to complete the application process and case management for at least one year to assist families to be successful in their new homes. Homeless Services provides 300 conventional units annually for families experiencing homelessness and 200 Housing Choice vouchers for single men and women.
Currently, Philadelphia has 900 permanent supportive housing beds for chronically homeless individuals, of which 450 operate using the Housing First model. Operational responsibility for the Housing First units is shared by Pathways to Housing PA and a partnership between 1260 Housing Development Corporation and Horizon House, Inc.
The CoC Program also assists Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness transition to permanent housing and independent living.
Persons With Mental Illness
The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) partners with Homeless Services on the Permanent Supportive Housing Clearinghouse. Homeless Services’ Supportive Housing Clearinghouse, in partnership with the Community Behavioral Health’s Community Support Services Unit has approved 713 new referrals for supportive housing. This includes the DBHIDS Residential Transformation process that has assisted more than 350 people to leave facility-based options for persons with serious mental illness and move to supportive housing. The city has 447 Housing First units that are a mix of Medicaid-Funded Case Management Services and CoC Program-funded units. These programs serve specific target populations – those leaving homelessness with behavioral health disabilities, those with a Dual Diagnosis (MH/D&A and MH/MR), a forensic background, and mothers with children, Latinos, those who are homeless and elderly persons.
Philadelphia has transitional and permanent supportive housing dedicated to youth with or without their own children experiencing homelessness. There are:
- 38 transitional housing beds available to 16-24 year olds
- 91 transitional housing beds for youth between 18-24 years old
- 17 permanent supportive housing beds for youth between 18-24 years old
These housing services are provided by Carson Valley Children’s Aid, Covenant House, Methodist Family Services, PathWays PA, People’s Emergency Center, Valley Youth House, and Youth Service, Inc. There are four units of permanent supportive housing for youth with disabilities at Northern Home’s New Generations project.
* Much of this information comes from the City of Philadelphia’s Consolidated Plan published by the Division of Housing and Community Development