Since its founding nearly three decades ago, SELF has led the way in developing effective programming for Philadelphia’s homeless. We continue to identify innovative solutions to end homelessness and improve the delivery of services within the city’s emergency shelter system.

Low Barrier

SELF uses a balanced low barrier approach as the foundation of its emergency housing programs to meet our participants where they are and to improve outcomes for each participant. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the low barrier approach ensures immediate and easy access to shelter by eliminating income and sobriety requirements and other policies that make it difficult for individuals to enter shelter, stay in shelter, or access supportive services.


SELF’s Low Barrier Approach…

  • Participants must complete a program orientation with a SELF team member, but are  not denied service because of identification, sobriety or income issues.

  • Although sobriety is not required, no drug and alcohol use and/or paraphernalia is allowed at any SELF program. Participants experiencing drug and/or alcohol challenges are strongly encouraged to seek appropriate treatment programs.

  • Participants work individually with an assigned case manager to develop an individualized housing plan that includes benchmarks. Participants must actively participate. The goal is to move participants from emergency housing to permanent housing quickly.

  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in external and internal supportive service programs but are not required.

  • Participants are strongly encouraged to participate in the SELF savings program to support successful transition from emergency housing to permanent housing but are not required.

  • Participants deemed to be a health and safety risks to themselves, other participants and/or SELF team members as a result of behavior health and/or physical health challenges or drug and/or alcohol use, are  directed to appropriate external services or to the Office of Homeless Services centralized intake for an appropriate placement.

  • Service animals are accommodated based on ADA guidance.


For More Information:

© 2018 by SELF inc.

Designed By F.Preston

Call us:


Find us: 

1211 Chestnut Street Suite 205 Philadelphia, PA 19107