Homeless Health Initiative

If you’re seeking emergency housing, contact Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services for help. During the day, families can also call 215-686-7150. After hours (nights, holidays, weekends), call 215-787-2887.

CHOP's Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) provides free health services to families living in local emergency housing shelters. Dedicated volunteers from the HHI offer high-quality medical and dental care, health education, and more to shelter residents in the Philadelphia area.

Volunteer Opportunities

Homeless Health Initiative relies on the commitment and enthusiasm of our volunteers to keep our community programs running. Dedicated volunteers from HHI offer free, high-quality medical and dental care, health education, and other services to shelter residents in Philadelphia, Trenton NJ, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County and Montgomery County. If you are looking for a rewarding community experience, please consider volunteering in any of the following ways - we have clinical and non-clinical opportunities available during daytime and evening hours, weekdays and weekends. You will be supported by HHI staff and/or volunteer leaders at all programming.

Weekday daytime opportunities


  • SPARK: Safe Physical Activities and Recreation for Kids is a weekly fitness and nutrition program for children, empowering them to make healthy choices during their time in shelter and beyond. Volunteers receive ongoing supervision and support from program leadership to facilitate a structured trauma-informed curriculum that provides opportunities for fun play while learning healthy lifestyle choices.
    • Who: anyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!
    • When: One Wednesday a month at 4-5 p.m.
    • Where: LSH/Jane Addams Place, Philadelphia, PA

Trenton, NJ

  • CHOP Health Matters (health education workshops): Lead a parent health education workshop once or on an ongoing basis. Share medical topics or skill of your expertise, such as acute illness, asthma, diabetes, nutrition, vaccines, CPR, development, behavior, art therapy, etc.
    • Who: anyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!
    • When: every Thursday at 1:30-3:30 p.m.
    • Where: HomeFront, Ewing, NJ
  • Adult Exercise: Lead a yoga, dance or Zumba class once or on an ongoing basis.
    • Who: anyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!
    • When: daytime hours M-F, contact HHI for schedule
    • Where: HomeFront, Ewing, NJ
  • Adult Art: Lead an art class in medium of your expertise once or on an ongoing basis.
    • Who: anyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!
    • When: daytime/weekdays – specific date/time of workshop(s) to be mutually agreed upon
    • Where: HomeFront, Ewing, NJ

Weekday evening opportunities


  • CHOP Night: HHI's core program in Philadelphia. Once a month, HHI volunteers offer free onsite medical and dental care to families living in emergency housing shelters throughout West Philadelphia. HHI’s multidisciplinary volunteer team consists of CHOP attending physicians, pediatric residents, dental fellows, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, PARC outpatient registration volunteers, as well as local university students in nursing, social work, dentistry and medicine. The overall goal is to improve health and health access, and to reduce health disparities within this population.
    • Who: Only CHOP volunteers - clinical (RN, APP, MD, DMD), CHOP PARC team members; Penn medical/dental/nursing students, and HHI social work interns.
    • Contact HHI team for more details.

Weekend opportunities


  • Workout/character building with teens: The HHI team offers weekly workout and character-building sessions for teens living in shelter. We are looking for volunteers, especially those who specialize in adolescent medicine, to join our team. Volunteers encourage leadership by selecting teens to help recruit participants and lead the workout. After each workout, teens, volunteers, and shelter staff participate in a conversation about character strength and take turns recognizing each other for the strengths they possess. By the session’s end, everyone has been recognized for having at least one strength — sometimes it’s a trait they hadn’t even recognized in themselves before — and they leave feeling seen and loved.
    • Who: clinical (RN, APP, MD) and non-clinical volunteers (anyone 18 years and older is welcome to join!)
    • When: Sundays at 11:30a.m.-1p.m.
    • Where: HopePHL's Youth Emergency Service (YES), Philadelphia, PA

Our Team

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