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 and the Office of Homeless Services, a coalition of youth service providers works to promote the Youth Count in the community and facilitate the quarterly event.

The youth count is count is conducted by administering short surveys to young people ages 13-24 years old in two settings–on the street and at Come and Be Counted sites.  Street teams are composed of volunteers and youth guides who approach youth people in the community at assigned “hotspot” locations and encourage youth to complete a brief electronic survey about their housing situation. Come and Be Counted sites are community locations which young people can visit on the day of the Youth Count to complete the brief survey.  Each young person who is 13-24 years old and indicated they are unstably-housed in their completed survey receives a $5 gift card for their participation. Ways to Get Involved!!!

Our next Youth Count will be held on Thursday, January 25th, 2018This event would not be possible without the dedication of our amazing volunteers! We need volunteers to hit the streets from 5am-10am and 2pm-7pm. We also need volunteers to help us out at the deployment site and to survey youth at our Come and Be Counted sites. If you would like to volunteer, please register here!

We also need Youth Guides to accompany our amazing volunteers on the street teams! Guides receive $10/hour for their participation. If you are a young person 18-25 years old and you have experienced homelessness or housing instability please click here to register as a Youth Guide!

Would you like more information about what it means to participate? Read the volunteer description and the Youth Guide description!

Still have questions? Contact Libby Mathewson at (215) 925-3180 or lmathewson@valleyyouthhouse.org.

Unable to help during the Youth Count event? Want to help pre-event?  Here are ways to be involved: 

DONATE to Valley Youth House to aid our efforts, not only with the Youth Count, but with all our programs dedicated to assisting homeless youth. Whether you make a financial contribution, donate hygiene items and other supplies via our Amazon Wishlist, or host your own supply drive, your support directly supports youth in need.

SPREAD THE WORD about the Youth Count by telling your networks about our efforts.  Contact Libby Mathewson to receive flyers or coordinate a promotional session for youth.

RAISE AWARENESS of the disproportionate rate of homeless youth.  Click here to view the report from the November 2015 Youth Count.

CONNECT with us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to receive information about our programs, outreach, and annual events dedicated to the ongoing support of homeless and housing insecure youth.

LEARN MORE By taking a look at the published articles surrounding previous Youth Count efforts: NBC10Philly Gay News, and WHYY.

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