Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network (PIHN) families, staff and volunteers as well as many representatives from the Family Service ProviderÔÇÖs Network (FSPN) testified on March 13th about the need for a Homelessness Prevention Plan this past┬áMonday┬áat a City Council public hearing.┬áThe hearing, sponsored by the CouncilÔÇÖs Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development and Homelessness advocated for funding for a robust homelessness prevention program to relieve PhillyÔÇÖs log-jammed shelter system with long waiting lists.
Andrea Jourden┬áand┬áNancy House, PIHN alumni, ┬áspoke about their struggles to find housing they could afford and how they are doing so much better since PIHNÔÇÖs shallow rent subsidy and master lease program.┬á As working, low income families, their stay in shelter could have been shortened or avoided all-together had resources been available earlier.┬áAubrey, NancyÔÇÖs 11 year old daughter spoke eloquently about the impact of housing insecurity on her family and her difficulty concentrating in school when the family was struggling prior to entering┬áPIHNÔÇÖs Master Lease Housing program that offers shallow rent subsidies.┬áPIHNÔÇÖs Director┬áRachel Falkove, and other FSPN providers, suggested that City Council:
1)┬áDirect $3,000,000 from the Housing Trust Fund for Homelessness Prevention efforts.
2)┬áAllocate $3,000,000 from the General Fund to strengthen the contract agencies that have been flat-funded for the past 8 years.
3)┬áAllocate $25,000 for trauma informed care training programs.
We are hopeful that these requested changes combined with strengthening the role of public/private/faith-based partnerships will result in helping 750 families avoid the experience of homelessness.
PIHN families of┬áAndrea Jourden┬á,┬áNancy┬áand┬áAubrey House┬á(shown in photo above) &┬áRachel Falkove (below) at Press Conference before the Hearing.
Take a peak into the Hearing by following these YouTube links: