Youth Emergency Service

Emergency Teen Shelter

Founded in 1976, Youth Emergency Service (YES) is the largest shelter in the Philadelphia area offering immediate housing to homeless and runaway youth. Each year, YES provides a safe and supportive environment, on-site medical treatment, counseling, educational enrichment and recreational opportunities to more than 400 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17.

Teens may enter YES through the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) or via the Street Outreach Program. Referrals for service may come from family members, school employees, and other concerned individuals.

The shelter’s services include:

  • Around-the-clock emergency shelter and protection for youth ages 12-17
  • Telephone hotline and referral services
  • Medical exams and follow-up
  • Mental health services
  • Voluntary and confidential HIV/AIDS testing
  • Counseling for teens and family members
  • Intensive program for youth and families to preserve the family unit
  • Supervised educational and recreational programs
  • Outreach to parents, children and community agencies

Youth Emergency Service
1526 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Street Outreach

The Street Outreach Program (SOP) addresses the urgent and profound needs of youth up to age 21 who live on the street in Philadelphia. Many of these youth are homeless or have run away from their homes and remain outside of the formal child welfare, law enforcement, and mental health systems. The SOP works with street dependent youth to:

  • Respond to youths’ immediate crisis needs and basic needs by providing access to food, clothing, and emergency shelter
  • Address youths’ immediate needs by offering support services including survival aid, individual assessments, treatment and counseling, prevention education, information and referrals, and follow-up support
  • Build relationships and assist youth in reducing self-harm through abuse, violence, and other self-destructive behaviors
  • Support youth in achieving safe and stable alternative living arrangements, independence, and self-sufficiency

For more information about the Street Outreach Program, or to request assistance, please call Francine Williams at 215-222-3262 or email To download a brochure with resources for homeless youth and adults, click here.

Safe Place

Safe Place is a national youth outreach program that educates thousands of young people every year about the dangers of running away or trying to resolve difficult, threatening situations on their own. This easily replicated community initiative involves the whole community to provide safe havens and resources for youth in crisis. Safe Place also creates a network of “Safe Place locations” – youth-friendly businesses, schools, fire stations, libraries, YMCAs and other appropriate public buildings that display the distinctive yellow and black Safe Place sign. These Safe Place sites extend the doors of emergency youth shelters like the Youth Emergency Service shelter operated by YSI. Safe Place gives youth immediate access to help wherever they are. Over 40 Safe Place sites have been established in Philadelphia since YSI joined National Safe Place.

If you have questions about the program or would like to learn more about becoming a Safe Place site, please contact Gwen Bailey at 215-787-0633 or