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C I T Y

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P H I L A D E L P H I A

CITY COUNCIL
HELEN GYM
ROOM 592, CITY HALL
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19107
(215) 686-3420 or 3421
Fax No. (215) 686-1930
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COUNCILWOMAN AT-LARGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


DATE: January 27, 2016
CONTACT: Ian Gavigan (ian.gavigan@phila.gov), 215-686-3408
Councilwoman Helen Gym to help track Youth Homelessness
Today, Councilwoman Helen Gym, chair of the newly-created Committee on Children and Youth,
will join Council President Darrell Clarke and 90 volunteers in a quarterly count of youth
experiencing homelessness across the city.
Our youth who experience homelessness face enormous challenges, said Councilwoman Helen
Gym. They deserve to be seen and heard by our community and its leadersand their needs, so
often neglected, must be met. I am proud to join the coalition led by Valley Youth House to amplify
their voices and our understanding of how to better improve our city policies.
Im proud to join in this crucial Youth Count, which will help us better understand and respond to
the needs of our youth living with homelessness, said Council President Darrell Clarke. Data are
important, but we also must actually listen to what young people tell us about their experiences with
homelessness in order to fix the systems that failed them.

TRACKING YOUTH HOMELESSNESS


Wed., Jan 27th, 2:45 p.m.
1500 Sansom St., #300a
Philadelphia, Pa
Schedule of events
2:45 p.m
3:00 p.m.

Volunteer congregation at Valley Youth House


Walkthrough of Love Park, beginning of Point in Time count

Youth Count Press Release | Councilwoman Helen Gym

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CITY COUNCIL
Led by Valley Youth House and partners Project HOME, the Attic Youth Center, the Mazzoni
Center, and other nonprofits, volunteers will fan out across the city throughout the afternoon and
well into the night, interviewing young people who are living in the streets, unsheltered, or in
temporary shelters and assessing their needs.
Philadelphias rate of youth homelessness is startlingly high: experts estimate that nine percent of
the citys 53,000 public high school students have experienced homelessness. Many of these young
people are couch surfing, finding shelter with friends or acquaintances, or living in traditional
shelters. Roughly half of them are Black and nearly one in five identifies as LGBTQ. Youth who
experience homelessness have experienced persistent traumasmany of them having moved in and
out of the child welfare system for much of their lives.
To learn more about youth homelessness in Philadelphia, read a 2015 DHS report, which found that nearly
9%, (5,000) youth ages 11-18 who were enrolled in public high schools had experienced Homelessness.

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Youth Count Press Release | Councilwoman Helen Gym

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