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Wednesday, November 30, 2022
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Broke in Philly

Broke in Philly is a collaborative initiative among 19 local news organizations to provide in-depth, nuanced and solutions-oriented reporting on the issues of poverty and the push for economic justice in Philadelphia.

Valley Youth House is one Pennsylvania nonprofit organization that serves an essential function, especially during the new coronavirus pandemic. In addition to youth housing services, the organization provides educational programming, employment services, programs geared toward LGBTQ+ youth, mentoring and abuse prevention, among many other services. Valley Youth House has offices in several locations, including Philadelphia, Lancaster, Media and Harrisburg....
Since the beginning of COVID-19-induced quarantine and social distancing, Philadelphia’s LGBTQ community has organized via underground and online channels to meet the most basic and pressing needs of those suffering from loss of work and homelessness. Now, these channels are narrowing their focus to new challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic.  Bri Golphin, a busy community organizer in West Philly,...
Has the city done all it can for queer youth amid the Supreme Court's decision to hear vital Philadelphia-based LGBTQ+ civil rights case? Leigh Braden first sought to foster parent an LGBTQ+ youth a few years ago, out of a desire to help at least one person make the often-difficult transition from foster care to independence. The caseworker, though, from...
Like many other integral businesses in Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the nonprofit public interest law firm AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania (ALPP) continues to provide its clients with remote legal services during state-wide shutdowns to thwart the spread of the new coronavirus. New and existing clients can still reach ALPP staff by phone or email.  Gov. Tom Wolf...
Action Wellness recently launched its third prison linkage program to help newly released prisoners reintegrate into society and get the healthcare they need. The organization’s new Linkage and Engagement After Prison program (LEAP) focuses specifically on assisting formerly incarcerated individuals struggling with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD). The Philadelphia Department of Public Health is funding the program; last fall, the...
Both Philadelphia FIGHT and Mazzoni Center continue to provide health services to existing patients with some modifications, as confirmed cases of the new coronavirus continue to rise both locally and nationally.  During the April 7 Philadelphia City Hall COVID-19 briefing, Health Commissioner Tom Farley announced 544 additional confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Philadelphia, raising the number of known...
Applying to jobs is often stressful. But for AJ Kingsbury there’s an extra layer of anxiety — one where “you can feel your insides curl.” “Usually, when looking at a job application I don’t know if I can put down my preferred name or if I have to use my legal name that I had to change,” said Kingsbury, a...
A new intervention for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness  In honor of turning 17, Jennifer Roman* enjoyed a celebration at a bowling alley — the first birthday party she’d ever had, hosted by a woman she calls “Mom.” After spending most of her teenage years in foster care or between living situations to escape an abusive home, Roman now describes enjoying typical...
TransWork, an employment initiative for trans, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming people, held its second job fair Monday evening in Center City. The event, which took place at Independence Live on Market Street near 19th, was hosted in collaboration with health insurance organization Independence Blue Cross, which is among the largest employers in the region. About 25 people attended the event to...
To increase access to housing services for patients of FIGHT's Y-HEP Adolescent and Young Adult Health Center, the HIV-prevention group has teamed up with social services organization Valley Youth House. The nonprofits kicked off a collaboration Sept. 9 that has two Valley Youth House staff members visiting the Y-HEP Health Center on Mondays from 2-5 p.m. to connect patients experiencing...
The need for LGBTQ-centered mental healthcare  When her therapist went on maternity leave, Jourdan Porter pressed pause on her sessions after the therapist’s temporary replacement said her then-fiancé, a transman, “didn’t count” as male.  Porter, 24, has experienced depression since age 12, has a learning disability and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder last fall. Yet she took a therapy hiatus because...
A new app aimed at connecting LGBTQ Philadelphians with queer-competent, affordable health care providers is launching early next month, just in time for OutFest, the nation’s largest National Coming Out Day event on Oct. 13. QSPACES, which will be available for iOS and Android, will allow users to sift through providers by category or medical specialty, and leave ratings and...
During his late teenage years, Julian* lived in foster care under the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and experienced bouts of homelessness. While living on the streets, he often sought refuge at Broad Street Ministries, a church and social services hub in Center City, before connecting with the West Philadelphia-based family resources organization Methodist Services, which offers 10 transitional housing...
The LGBTQ+ subset of the City of Philadelphia’s Complete Count Committee met last week at Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau to discuss methods of publicizing the importance of the census to members of the city's LGBTQ+ community. The Complete Count Committee advises Philly Counts 2020, which leads Philadelphia’s grassroots engagement efforts to increase awareness and participation in the 2020 Census,...
The Homeward Initiative and Valley Youth House are nearing the launch of their housing collaboration Host Homes. Homeward Initiative founder Brendan Taliaferro hopes to get the program up and running in early March.  Taliaferro created the Homeward Initiative in 2019 after carrying out a senior project wherein he identified gaps in the network of resources accessible to LGBTQ youth facing...
According to the most recent data, about 10 percent of youth between the ages of 13 and 17 identify as LGBTQ. Among queer and trans students, 33 percent report experiencing school discipline of some sort, including principal’s office visits, detention, suspension or expulsion.  This disproportionate treatment is endemic for LGBTQ students, according to GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused...
Zi Aronow, who has been organizing the Feminist Flea Market and Craft Fair via the production company House Cat since 2018, has created temporary space to drive business to local artists and makers, many of whom are queer and/or BIPOC. In order to create a more permanent space to keep that momentum going, Aronow has opened a physical location...
The Philadelphia theater scene is about to get even more queer with the introduction of a new nonprofit theater company, The Strides Collective. The collective produces queer-themed plays by local queer playwrights, with a mission of “normalizing the conversation about queer identity,” fostering a “safe haven” for new playwrights to tell their stories, and providing a judgement-free space where...
When it comes to basic human needs, government programs that provide clothing are few and far between. While some Philly nonprofits have clothing closets or partner with other organizations to make clothes available, the nonprofit, donation-based social enterprise The Wardrobe is dedicated solely to providing clothing to communities in need. The Wardrobe’s mission is to “eliminate clothing insecurity” by...

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