November is National Runaway Prevention Month and fittingly, a new shelter has opened in Philadelphia to help get young girls off the streets.
The Basic Center Program or “Girl’s SHElter” is for girls under the age of eighteen who are homeless, runaways or at risk of becoming either.
"This program gives girls a chance at a good life when almost everyone else has walked away from them," said Lenora Pope, Program Manager at the Girls' SHElter.
Girls can stay at the shelter for up to 21 days and during that time, the center hopes to help them reconnect with their families or find a way to start a better life.
"Our aim is to approach each individual client with dignity and respect while offering various services as well as a safe and beautiful living environment," said Pope.
The new program is part of PathWays Pa, an organization that helps women, children and families become self-sufficient. Many young girls who live on the streets face risks that include exposure to sex, drugs and physical abuse.
Along with providing a safe place for the girls to stay, Girl’s SHElter offers services to help youths long-term. Basic skill training, healthcare screening referrals and educational programs are all a part of the three-week stay.
The program will host an open house and open-mic night on Monday, November 21 at the shelter’s location at 5013 Hazel Avenue in West Philadelphia. There will be information regarding the dangers of running away and living on the streets.
For more information visit PathWay Pa's website.