Homeless Health Initiative

How to Help

One of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population in America is families with children. Homelessness severely impacts the health and well being of all family members — children in particular.

little girlChildren without a home are in poor health twice as often as other children, and have higher rates of asthma, ear infections, infectious diseases, and increased cavities and oral infection rates. Children who are homeless experience more mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression and withdrawal. These illnesses have potentially devastating consequences if not treated early.

Our success in helping children and families experiencing homelessness depends on the generosity of individuals who contribute financial support, volunteer their time and contribute needed items. Please see below for information on ways you can help us.

Volunteer your time at a shelter

HHI volunteers provide a variety of services to children and families in the shelters we serve, including medical service and more. To learn details about who can volunteer and what medical, educational or other activities you can provide, see volunteers.

Interested healthcare providers can volunteer by downloading forms found on the volunteer page and emailing them to hhi@email.chop.edu.

Deliver donations

If time is short and you still want to make a difference with HHI, consider volunteering an hour of service time to help deliver donations to local shelters. E-mail our volunteer coordinator.

Donations drive or fundraiser

For those who wish to raise awareness of HHI and help families, consider organizing a donations drive or fundraiser that would benefit families and/or staff at local homeless shelters.

While each shelter has its own "wish list" of items needed at any particular time, some common items include:

Contact the shelters directly to find out what donations are being accepted and to make arrangements with them for delivery.

Advocacy projects

Another option for individuals who want to volunteer their time to HHI is to create an advocacy project to benefit families or staff at one or more local homeless shelter. Some examples of past advocacy projects include:

Suburban shelters

Volunteer with a suburban shelter. Please let us know if you are interested in offering an educational workshop in your field of expertise (i.e., new baby care) or hosting a drive for a shelter in Bucks, Chester, Delaware or Montgomery counties. Please e-mail  us.  


Reviewed by: Karen Hudson, MSW, LSW
Date: May 2013

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