Safe Haven

Kenya Edwards
Program Manager 

The City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Disability Services (DBHIDS) serves as the sole referral source for program participants deemed appropriate for Safe Haven. Outreach workers engage participants and screen to see if they meet the criteria for Chronicle Homelessness prior to contacting DBHIDS. Participants approved for admission are those who meet the definition of chronicle homelessness (one year of continuous homelessness or four episodes of homelessness in the past three years).

Safe Haven participants are single, adult men experiencing homelessness and have serious mental illness. They are between the ages of 18 to 60+ years old.  The average length of stay in the 19-capacity shelter is six months. While there are a number social and emergency related services available for families with children, there remains a significant gap in similar services for single men.

Safe Haven team members and partners:

  • Close the gap between housing and social services available for those homeless individuals who, perhaps because of their illness, have refused help or have been denied or removed from other homeless programs.

  • Offer residents more than just shelter. With a compassionate approach, team members create a housing environment that is safe, sanitary, flexible, and stable, and place no treatment participation demands on residents, but have high expectations for them.  

  • Assist participants with adjusting to life off the streets, while encouraging and guiding them to willingly accept services that address issues, which led to their homelessness.  

  • Offer Client Service Case Management (CSCM), which is critical to moving participants to permanent housing. CSCM is the center of the supportive services delivery system. The CSCM assists participants in identifying and overcoming barriers to independence by coordinating the approach to ensure the participant receives the resources and supports needed to successfully obtain permanent housing, reintegrate into society, and become self-sufficient.

  • Provide an environment in which services and programmatic activities are designed to support participants in preparation for permanent housing.  

  • Program focus addresses the needs of the participants to develop the skills necessary to transition to independence and permanent housing.


Safe Haven participants have access to an array of services that include skill building platforms, personal and character development opportunities, behavioral and physical health services, education, independent living preparation, permanency planning, and access to resources and community contacts.


Evidence-based programs at Safe Haven include:

  • Education Training (offered by the Office of Adult Education)

  • Structured leisure (evening and weekend) time

  • Employment Opportunities

  • Health Initiatives Offered by Temple University Medical Students

    • Wellness

    • Health Education

    • Resolving Medical Issues

  • Life Skills Development

    • Men Groups

    • Upkeep of Home and Surrounding Property

    • Recovery

    • Overcoming and Concurring Barriers

    • Personal Appearance

    • Grooming

    • Personal Hygiene

    • Budgeting

  • Community Connections and Supportive Relationships

    • Familial Engagement and Involvement

    • Community Engagement and Involvement

    • Involvement with Local Civic, Cultural and Religious Institutions


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1211 Chestnut Street Suite 205 Philadelphia, PA 19107