Emergency shelters serve as temporary residences for individuals and families experiencing an acute housing crisis, such as eviction or domestic violence. In Philadelphia, the Office of Supportive Housing (OSH) coordinates a network of shelters for families and single individuals.
Homelessness among families with young children has risen dramatically since the 2008 recession. In 2009, over 5,000 children in Philadelphia were served the emergency shelter and transitional housing in, 46% of these children were under age 5.
The 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) created new funding for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing, which provided over $21 million over 3 years for homeless families in Philadelphia. This funding expires in September 2012 and it is unclear whether the City will be able to continue these successful programs.