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.

Social Determinants of Health

SELF programs use a comprehensive public health approach that takes into consideration the effects of Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) on overall participant outcome. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines SDOH as conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes. Some of the factors that affect the health risk and outcomes include:


  • Access to medical care

  • Early childhood social and physical environment, including childcare

  • Education and health literacy

  • Ethnicity and cultural orientation

  • Familial and other social support

  • Gender

  • Housing and transportation resources

  • Neighborhood safety and recreational facilities

  • Occupation and job security

  • Other social stressors, such as exposure to violence and other adverse factors in the home environment

  • Sexual identification

  • Socioeconomic status

  • Spiritual/religious values


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