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Advocacy & Thought Leadership

SELF Inc., is a leader in the social services field.  We spearhead roundtable discussions, candidates’ forums, and other programs that allow participants and providers to voice their opinions and gain knowledge about innovations in service delivery to individuals experiencing homelessness.   With more than 30 years of experience providing emergency housing, food, mental health-related, and treatment-related services to individuals experiencing homelessness, we believe it is our duty to share what we’ve learned.


COVID - 19

We hope that you and your family continue to be well and stay safe by practicing social distancing and following health and safety recommendations to help minimize your exposure to the coronavirus (which causes COVID-19).


At SELF, we follow best practices and guidance issued by our partners at the Office of Homeless Services, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control.


At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and with the health of participants and team members in mind, SELF went into action creating agency-wide mitigation plans and making recommendations to our partners at the Office of Homeless Services and the City of Philadelphia on how to protect the health and safety of individuals experiencing homelessness, both sheltered and unsheltered, and those who deliver emergency housing and related services.  Through our and other provider’s advocacy and the help and support of our Board Members Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., Craig Williams, David Fair and Kareem Thomas as well as Councilmembers Curtis Jones, Jr., Jamie Gautier, Derek Green, Cindy Bass, and Isaiah Thomas, our partners at the City adopted nearly all of our recommendations including:

  • Adding public restrooms and hand washing facilities for individuals experiencing street homelessness in Center City and Kensington

  • Pre-screening potential-participants during the intake process which includes recording their temperatures and providing the data to providers

  • Providing protective wear to homeless service providers

  • Identifying a quarantine site for people experiencing homeless who have tested positive and/or awaiting test results

  • Implementing a cross-system data collection tool to capture COVID-19 related incidents and hospitalizations

  • Identifying space to isolate participants with known exposure to COVID-19

  • Identifying space to accommodate participants who are over 60 years old and those with serious health and underlying conditions


We are humbled that our thought leadership improve the safety of thousands of individuals experiencing homelessness and those who help them.


Program Partners

SELF works with over 50 Program Partners (off and onsite, outside agencies), who help us to ensure our program participants have access and receive the services and resources they need to transform their lives.  Each uncontracted Program Party signs an MOU that delineates expectation on the part of both parties and establishes key metrics which we use to evaluate the effectiveness of the program or invention at the end of the term.


Self Advocates

SELF Advocates is comprised of current SELF participants who want to effectuate change in the community.  Similar to SELF Peer Leaders, advocates support fellow participants on their roads to recovery, and also focus on engaging in civic action and engagement aimed at improving services and housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness.  SELF Advocates have worked to help educate community members about the U.S. Census and are members of the Our Votes Count Too! Coalition a partnership between the Philadelphia Election Commissioners, SELF, and other human services providers.


SELF Community Advisory Board (S-CAB)

SELF alums play an important role in our development.  They offer invaluable direction on programming, are reality-based role models for current participants, and serve as our shining ambassadors. The SELF Community Advisory Board facilitates new interest and initiatives for the organization and our services. The SELF Community Advising Board, or S-CAB, plays an integral role in offering advice and suggestions on current and future programs offered by the organization as well as act as representatives to the community on behalf of the organization.  The S-CAB consists of current and former participants of SELF programs.


Our Votes Count Too! 

Out Votes Count Too! is a partnership between Philadelphia Commissioner Omar Sabir’s office, SELF, and other civically-minded organizations.  The coalition seeks to ensure that people experiencing homelessness are registered to vote and have access to voting.

Medical Fragility

After recognizing an increase in patient dumping--which occurs when hospital staff attempt to drop of patients with open wounds, those who are bare responsive, or display other physical conditions that require medical attention to emergency housing facilities-- SELF President & COO initiated discussions with the City of Philadelphia Office of Housing Services to ensure appropriate care for participants with medical fragility. In spring 2018, SELF held roundtable discussion to raise awareness about medically fragile participants and to offer solutions to the challenges providers face when serving these participants.

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