Accurately Reporting Philadelphia’s Homeless Youth Requires Community Effort

By Michele Zipkin, Philadelphia Gay News | January 22, 2020

Emerging Leader Fellow Cameron McConkey spoke to Philadephia Gay News about Philadelphia’s upcoming Come and Be Counted event, when youth experiencing homelessness can visit participating sites to receive free resources and support.

Valley Youth House is organizing the annual Philadelphia Youth Count in conjunction with the Office of Homeless Services. On Thursday, Jan. 23, Valley Youth House volunteers will work on the street to count homeless youth and survey them about their housing situation. This will occur during two shifts, from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., and again from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m…

On Thursday, four Philadelphia locations known as Come and Be Counted sites will open their doors to homeless youth to complete the survey if need be and also provide amenities such as a gift card and food in some cases.

Homeless youth can visit these sites at Philadelphia FIGHT’s Y-HEP Adolescent and Young Adult Health Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Achieving Independence Center from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Attic Youth Center from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Community College of Philadelphia from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Philadelphia FIGHT will have a table outside of its Y-HEP and pediatric health centers at 1207 Chestnut Street and will provide coats, shoes and other clothing regardless of homeless status, as well as snacks and hygiene kits. Y-HEP staff will also make available health education materials and opportunities to talk to professionals about HIV prevention services. Additionally, the health center’s usual walk-in hours for medical and behavioral health needs will be available from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

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