Youth Count Philadelphia
Each year, Philadelphia performs a Point-in-Time Count of all homeless individuals living on the streets, unsheltered, or in temporary shelter housing. The purpose is to estimate the size of the population in need of housing and critical life supports, and the Point-in-Time Count is the only statistical estimate of street homelessness currently being conducted.
Given that homelessness can look much different for a young person than an adult, the Youth Count was created to help accurately capture the population. Led by Valley Youth House, a coalition including Covenant House PA, Mazzoni Center, Youth Health Empowerment Project, Youth Service Inc, and other local youth service providers works to promote the Youth Count in the community and facilitate the quarterly event.
Philadelphia is among 22 cities to participate in the national “Voices of Youth Count,” an in-depth national study on runaway and homeless youth. The study is being conducted by University of Chicago’s Chapin Hall Center for Children, a research and policy center focused on improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities. Chapin Hall’s Executive Director Bryan Samuels, former Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, spearheaded the development of an intervention framework for ending youth homelessness by 2020 and has long been an advocate for the concept of a national estimate of unaccompanied homeless and runaway youth as a critical first step toward solutions for this population.