Nonprofits join forces to provide ‘one-stop shop’ for youth seeking housing, medical services

To increase access to housing services for patients of FIGHT's Y-HEP Adolescent and Young Adult Health Center, the HIV-prevention group has teamed up with social services organization Valley Youth House.The nonprofits kicked off a collaboration Sept. 9 that has two Valley Youth House staff members visiting the Y-HEP Health Center on Mondays from 2-5 p.m. to connect patients experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness with housing counseling, emergency housing referrals and resources including clothing, personal hygiene products and sleeping bags. The clinic serves patients ages 13-24. Those at least 18 years old can also work with staffers to complete the Office of Homeless Services’ coordinated entry housing assessment, a tool that matches eligible people with housing within 3-6 months, said Zakia Dodson, FIGHT’s community health worker.The Y-HEP Health Center initiative is one of four “mobile sites” Valley Youth House debuted in Philadelphia this summer. Staff also visit the Mazzoni Center’s Adolescent Drop-In program each Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., North Philadelphia’s Achieving Independence Center on Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. and the Community College of Philadelphia every other Wednesday.