January Youth Count in Philadelphia
Valley Youth House was pleased to welcome four members of Philadelphia City Council to the Youth Count on January 27: Darrell Clarke, President of City Council, Helen Gym, Kenyatta Johnson, and Allan Domb. They traveled with one of our street teams to see youth being surveyed in action. Over 70 volunteers supported the Youth Count, and initial results show that almost twice as many surveys were conducted over the previous count.
Media coverage of the event included:
WHYY: ‘Dozens of volunteers with Valley Youth House were out Wednesday night counting and connecting with Philadelphia’s homeless youth, whom some call the city’s “invisible problem.” “They blend in. They look like any other young person walking down the street,” said Allison Moore, a vice president with Valley Youth House, a organization that provides homeless youth a place to stay.’
Philly Gay News: VYH youth Bella and Noah were quoted by the paper. Bella says, “I didn’t get my sense of LGBT community until the Pride program,” she said. “When you’re bisexual, you’re kind of discriminated against in the LGBT community. I was never welcomed completely.” Noah says, “It’s a saving grace for the LGBT community,” he said. “That’s what I’d call it.” The paper also quoted Councilwoman Gym: “You can’t do this work behind a desk,” Gym said. “This gives us an appreciation of why the numbers are so difficult to ascertain and respect for the groups who do this.”
NBC10: “Children and youth living with homelessness face enormous challenges. By participating in today’s youth count, I am trying help the city to better understand the issues these young people face and amplify their voices,” Gym said. “Their firsthand perspective will also prove invaluable in building policies that respond to the actual needs of youth experiencing homelessness.”