Today marks a special occasion for YSI and another venerable Philadelphia nonprofit, People’s Emergency Center (PEC). We are announcing our intention to affiliate to enable us to do even more for the people and communities that we serve.

The accompanying article and infographic (below) provide more information on the affiliation. As the leaders of the two organizations, we want to take this opportunity to describe why this partnership is so important and exciting.

This is a strategic partnership for these primary reasons:

  • PEC and YSI currently serve many of the same populations experiencing homelessness or basic needs insecurities. These include families, young children, school-aged children, youth, young adults, adults, and communities in West Philadelphia. These people often have experienced trauma; are vulnerable to barriers in housing, education, or employment; and lack the ability to sustain their families in a safe, stable, and supportive environment.


  • Right now, PEC and YSI provide both distinct and overlapping services. Between the two agencies, we currently provide housing, temporary shelter and supportive services, child abuse and neglect prevention services, intervention services, education, and economic development opportunities for families, children, youth and communities. As a combined entity, we can better share our services and expand them by combining resources and leveraging each other’s specialized expertise and capabilities.


  • The affiliation will create a continuum of services for clients of both agencies. It will be much easier for clients to get the full range of support they need.


  • We have been working together for some time and thus know each other. The two agencies have already partnered for several years on parenting programs, respite shelter for young children, and services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness. Working with a known entity gives us a better idea of how we can succeed.


  • YSI and PEC currently work together in ways that advance the city’s strategies to improve outcomes for vulnerable children, youth, and families.

One of these strategies is Improving Outcomes for Children, which aims to provide child welfare services that are more community- and family-centered. Another is reducing the number of people who experience homelessness, making the experience shorter and less traumatic, and reducing the number of people who cycle back through the system.

This affiliation will strengthen our joint efforts.

Our journey forward is just beginning. We want to thank our many stakeholders—our clients, staffs, communities, elected officials, government agencies that help fund our services, other funders, community groups, boards, volunteers, advocates, and more—for their continued support as we head into this exciting next chapter.

Much work needs to be done to align new programs and services across the organizations. You will hear more about them as we move forward.

In the meantime, we are tremendously excited about the additional impact this affiliation will have on the people we serve.

Yours respectfully in service,

Gwen Bailey, executive director of YSI

Sara Moran, chair of YSI board of directors

Kathy Desmond, president of PEC

Greg El, chair of PEC board of directors