PHMC Health Care for the Homeless

The PHMC Health Care for the Homeless program provides high-quality, trauma informed, patient-centered care for men, women and children experiencing homelessness and those at risk of homelessness. The program is coordinated with PHMC’s Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless and the entire PHMC health network, providing primary and behavioral health care and comprehensive social services to meet the complex needs of this vulnerable population.

PHMC Health Care for the Homeless’ mission is to improve the health outcomes of homeless individuals and families in Philadelphia through high-quality, culturally competent and comprehensive patient-centered care. We achieve this mission by:

  • Providing high quality care with dignity and respect to promote a goal of self-reliance.
  • Developing health solutions that utilize evidence-based and promising practices, and innovative technologies to address the complex health needs of homeless individuals and families through strategic partnerships with city government, communities and coalitions; advocacy and outreach teams.


Mary Howard Health Center

As part of the Health Care for the Homeless Project, the Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless, a comprehensive primary health care center for homeless people, opened on February 25, 1997 with support from Philadelphia's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Independence Foundation, and other public and private funders. The Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless is the only nurse-managed health center specifically for homeless people. It is based on the premise that comprehensive, continuous health care of homeless people is achievable. This level of care is possible because of the unique "community" developed over the past fifteen years by the Health Care for the Homeless Project and many other providers working in partnership with homeless people.

Located at 125 South 9th street, the Center provides health care to homeless people at all points along of the continuum: from the street to shelter to transitional housing to self-sufficiency. Health Care for the Homeless outreach staff are the lead providers addressing the special health needs of the hardest to reach homeless people; those identified by outreach groups responding to the Sidewalk Ordinance. While seeking out homeless people on the street, the Center is able to continue health care as people move toward self-sufficiency.

The Health Care for the Homeless Project and Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless have developed expertise in providing continuity of care to a transient population with limited support systems. Seventy-nine percent of the clients at the Mary Howard Health Center for the Homeless had successful follow-up/treatment of abnormal results. This success is possible in part because the Health Care for the Homeless Project has developed services in partnership with homeless people, advocates, and homeless service providers. The project also collaborates with the Philadelphia Department of Health to address the special health risks associated with life on the street and in shelter. In addition, the project nurses and nurse practitioners use problem and social visits as opportunities for health promotion and disease prevention. The result is care as comprehensive as clients are ready to accept. Services include:

  • Primary Care
  • Family planning
  • Assistance with benefits
  • Physical exam


Services are open to any patient regardless of ability to pay; sliding fee is available for uninsured and underinsured patients.

Contact information

125 South 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
215.592.4500 PHONE
215.592.4326 FAX

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H.E.L.P Philadelphia

H.E.L.P. Philadelphia is a transitional housing program that builds self-sufficiency among homeless and low­ income families by developing key independent living skills. The goal is to enhance the strengths of all the men, women and children served so that the prospect of homelessness becomes an unlikely future. Learn more about H.E.L.P. Philadelphia.

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Serenity Court

Serenity Court Homeless Medical Respite offers post-acute medical care for homeless men and women on the streets or in an emergency shelter who are too ill or frail to recover from a physical illness, surgery or injury. These patients are less likely to be readmitted to a hospital for several months after a stay at a medical respite, resulting in better health outcomes for the individual and cost savings for hospitals, insurance companies and the community.

If you think your patient meets the criteria or you are interested in becoming a contracted hospital, please feel free to contact us at:

Serenity Court Homeless Medical Respite
1221 North 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121
215.684.3430 (Office)
215.817.9864 (Cell)

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