Philadelphia City Council Holds Hearing on Youth Homelessness

On any given night, hundreds of teenagers and young adults are homeless on the streets of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia City Council on Thursday will hold a hearing specially on youth homelessness. The hearing is the first of its kind focusing on the issue after the Joint Committees on Children and Youth and Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless passed a resolution earlier this year to hold hearings on the matter.

Councilwoman Helen Gym and Councilman Allan Domb head up the committees, respectively, and joined forces in the fight against youth homelessness in January when both participated in the annual homeless count.

The NBC10 Digital Team spent more than two months meeting young people throughout Philadelphia who live on the streets and in the city’s only crisis shelter serving only them. It’s a silent epidemic. NBC10’s Vince Lattanzio shares some of their stories.

NBC10 explored the problem of youth homelessness in Philadelphia in depth late last year in Faces of Homeless Youth, an extensive television and web-based report that follows the stories of several teens and young adults who have experienced homelessness. NBC10 reporters Vince Lattanzio and Morgan Zalot spent time on the streets with kids who are homeless and in Covenant House Pennsylvania, the only crisis shelter in Philadelphia that serves homeless youth between the ages of 18 and 21 exclusively.

No one wants to be homeless, but breaking the cycle of homelessness is a vertical climb. Still, it’s possible. MORE STORIES: Faces of Homeless Youth

As a result of NBC10's reporting, tens of thousands of dollars in donations and volunteer hours poured into Covenant House, the organization's executive director, John Ducoff, said after the story aired. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., also called on Congress to approve $42 million in new funding for youth homelessness on the heels of Faces of Homeless Youth. Congress eventually approved that amount.

You can watch the livestream of the City Council hearing on youth homelessness right here on or on the NBC10 app at 1 p.m.

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