In Philadelphia, not having a safe, stable place to live prevents parents whose children have been placed in foster care from regaining custody 40 percent of the time — 10 percent higher than the national average — according to a recent study by the city.
That’s why Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services and Office of Homeless Services have partnered on a new program that gives priority for affordable housing to people whose kids are in the custody of child welfare.
The program is aimed at people who are on track to be reunified with their children in the next six months, and for whom housing instability is a factor in preventing that. Families don’t need to be homeless, but they must lack affordable, safe housing. That could mean they are couch-surfing, or live in a substandard rental.