The Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) launched its rental assistance program for young adults who are in the process of aging out or have recently aged out of the child welfare system.
The purpose of the Youth Rental Assistance and Support program is to provide rapid rental assistance and housing support to 60 youth per year who are facing homelessness due to obstacles, such as job loss or unresolved college housing.
The $1 million contract for this program was recently awarded to Valley Youth House through a competitive RFP process.
The goal of Youth Rental Assistance is to strengthen housing security through housing stabilization services which include:
Temporary rental and utility payment
Education/employment assistance such as connection to the Community College of Philadelphia Octavius Catto Scholarship
Life skills training
Social support and relationship development guidance
Referrals to community resources
Youth aged 20-21 who lack safe and affordable housing are eligible for this program. Youth Rental Assistance continues to provide services for youth after their exit from the formal child welfare system up to the age of 23.
The Youth Rental Assistance and Support program complements existing DHS housing resources including rapid rehousing programs and housing support for parenting young adults. DHS also works with Office of Supportive Housing and Philadelphia Housing Authority to assist youth aging out of DHS care in finding permanent housing.
Advocates and providers who work with young adults who are either currently in DHS care, or were recently discharged from placement, can refer youth by emailing the youth’s name, DHS Number, and contact information to DHS_Housing@phila.gov.