Helping Children and Families

YSI is dedicated to strengthening the family unit, helping at-risk teens and promoting child safety. A non-profit organization that provides immediate shelter and support services to children, youth and families — YSI offers unique programs and niche services throughout the city, including Philadelphia‚Äôs only Crisis Nursery program and the longest standing shelter for runaway and homeless teens.

October 28, 2020

On behalf of People’s Emergency Center (PEC) and Youth Service, Inc. (YSI), from Kathy Desmond, PEC
President and Gwen Bailey, YSI Executive Director.

Walter Wallace, Jr. was a son, a husband, and a father of eight children. His ninth child is expected to be
born today. What a stunning, tragic, and unnecessary loss of life. Our hearts ache for his family, his
friends, our community, and our nation as we continue to struggle with the ubiquitous impact of racism.

We recognize the impact loss and trauma can have on communities. Just this year, families across
Philadelphia have experienced the loss of loved ones to violence, with approximately 400 people being
murdered. Violence, hurt, fear, and anger are often the outward expression of helplessness, and
complex trauma borne and compounded by the lack of social and economic equity that leave
communities stressed by poverty, high rates of unemployment, health disparities, and food and housing

PEC and its affiliates strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for anyone who seeks our
services by using a trauma informed framework. There is a vast array of research demonstrating the
benefit of using trauma informed care in service to others. We call on the City to integrate these
practices in training programs for the police and other city agencies who are working with community
members. We encourage city leaders, legislators, thought leaders and influencers to use their voices
and resources to champion the collective missions and expertise of human service organizations in
support of our communities. We encourage you to join us in advocating for greater financial and
program support for individuals facing behavioral health challenges and their caregivers.

PEC is one of 20+ human service organizations and institutions working with the community to deal with
the fallout from yesterday’s protests in the West Philadelphia Promise Zone/Promise Neighborhood by
working hand in hand with community leaders and civic organizations. While we wait along with you for
the outcome of the investigation, we are focusing our attention on what we can do to ensure a safer
and more just society.

Please know, we are listening. We will continue to use our platform to elevate the concerns of our
community and we raise our voice along with you to demand change.

The ultimate form of protest will happen, next Tuesday, November 3, during the Presidential Election. If
you have questions about the voting process, visit

Visit for information on bringing Mental Health First Aid training to your community.

Walter Wallace, Jr. was a son, a husband, and a father of eight children. His ninth child is expected to be
born today.


Kathy Desmond                             Gwen Bailey

President, PEC                               Executive Director, YSI

About PEC and YSI
Affiliated in January 2020, PEC and YSI work on several fronts to provide a holistic response to society’s ills. We provide food, housing, and resources. We counsel to help heal the heart. We inspire children’s curiosity through education and provide supports to opportunity youth. We promote job readiness through preparation and exposure. Our services are infused with a trauma-informed approach to soothe the spirit and promote healing.  We encourage a unique community identity through creative placemaking in our neighborhoods. And we  amplify the voices of the people we serve to policymakers so that their stories, their words, their voices may be heard.

News & Events

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