Information from Philadelphia crisis helpline.

Specialists that are part of Philadelphia crisis helpline provide referrals on social services and emergency programs that operate in the city and county. The agency itself operates by taking phone calls from people that reside in the county. Anyone can use their services, whether they are low to moderate income or if they are faced with other challenges.

A wide range of services are available to residents. So when they call the crisis helpline in Philadelphia, the staff can offer information on what non-profits or charities may be able to assist them. Both short and long term solutions are explored.

Health and dental resources

Health care needs are arranged from federal programs such as Medicaid or a variety of other well-being services. Staff offer information on a variety of resources to help address any medical or dental needs of the client. The following are some of what may be provided.

  • Clinics across the region can provide support such as check ups for dental needs, vouchers for prescription drugs, and check ups. The centers are for the low income and uninsured, and some operate on a sliding fee scale.
  • Medicaid is the main publicly funded health insurance program in Philadelphia as well as the state of Pennsylvania. It is for people in poverty as well as pregnant women. This can help pay a portion of medical bills.
  • Referrals to Medicaid for Pregnant Women are offered. This is a free, state-funded insurance program for pregnant females which covers delivery as well as prenatal services.

Philadelphia can offer information on other medical care resources. The purpose of the Medication Assistance program is to help low income or under insured individuals who are unable to afford or obtain prescription medications through other resources. Clients can receive everything from discount cards to savings or surplus medications from pharmaceutical assistance programs. In general, any prescription drugs provided are limited to those currently covered by the Pennsylvania Division of Human Services or Welfare.




Eligibility for any type of medical or dental care is determined by a social services specialist. They will need to review the applicant’s resources and needs. Based on the results of that assessment, the availability of services are subject to determination by social services staff.

Philadelphia crisis helpline grant based solutions

Helpline staff can direct people to financial assistance. There is support for rent, foreclosure counseling, government grants for paying energy bills, and more. These will be funded using a combination of fund raisers from groups such as the United Way to an annual allotment of government grants.

Agencies in Philadelphia County provide rent assistance for persons that have a pay or quit notice and are facing the reality of becoming homeless. Charities across the region take a pro-active approach to this as it is more cost effective to keep someone in their current home or apartment versus dealing with someone that is homeless.

In order to get help, a tenant facing eviction meets with a case manager from a local non-profit. They will then assess their situation. Based on the result, they will then determine the extent of the need and explore resources available. Clients will need to work on a plan with the case manager so that the participant is able to maintain their housing expenses after any rental assistance is given. Philadelphia crisis helpline offers information on Emergency Solution Grant funds, FEMA funds, and other smaller foundation grants in the community.

In some cases, referrals are given to short term lodging. This may even include a free motel voucher after they become homeless. Or if these are not available, then specialists from Philadelphia crisis helpline will direct the family to a shelter.

Another short term solution is Transitional Housing. Note that the capacity is limited. When possible, families are able to live at centers in the city of Philadelphia for several months, provided they meet the program goals.

The intent of these Philadelphia crisis helpline services is to provide families a longer term, more affordable housing option. Since they will have a place to live, this then allows them to work on skills needed to become more self-sufficient. So what will happen is that while in the transitional housing, clients will need to work with their case manager on budgeting, schooling, saving money, life skills and other necessary skills for self-sufficiency.





Homeowners facing homelessness can enroll into free Foreclosure Prevention Counseling. Referrals are given by Philadelphia crisis helpline staff to non-profit HUD counseling agencies. Staff will go over loss mitigation alternatives that are available or that the lender may have offered them. They will learn how to apply for government aid or prepare a hardship letter. So the workout plan created will address a number of mortgage problems that the homeowner may be faced with.

The Philadelphia crisis helpline is a great resource for information on Heating Bill Assistance, including LIHEAP and payment plans. The main service in Pennsylvania, which is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, helps low-income families pay their utility bills. For those that are qualified, a cash grant is sent directly to the utility company to pay any amounts due. However the amount is limited.

Some agencies that partner with Philadelphia crisis helpline offer Burial and Cremation Services. This will mostly be from countywide social service agencies, such as DHS. The indigent or someone on benefits such as SSI can get a portion of the payment made for burial and cremation expenses on behalf of eligible individuals.

As noted, staff from the crisis helpline provide information and referral for a wide range of health and human services. There are database for clients so they can learn how to access medical needs, food, government grants, and much more. The phone number for the service in Philadelphia is 866-964-7922.



By Jon McNamara

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