YSI and People’s Emergency Center (PEC),  two Philadelphia nonprofit agencies with a long history of providing critical services to vulnerable children, families, and youth in the city, announced today that we have notified the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General of our intention to affiliate.

We have already partnered for several years on parenting programs, respite shelter for young children, and services for youth and young adults experiencing homelessness.

“As a combined entity, we can better share our complementary services and expand services by combining our resources and leveraging each organization’s specialized expertise,” said Gwen Bailey, executive director of YSI.

“The affiliation of PEC and YSI will create a strategic partnership to integrate services and provide a continuum of services for clients of both agencies,” said Kathy Desmond, president of PEC.

YSI will retain most of its current operational and governance structures for a three-year transition period. After that, PEC will assume full governance and operational control over YSI. PEC and YSI will continue to operate our existing programs while pursuing opportunities to create new programs and develop operational efficiencies.

A closer look at the benefits to come

The affiliation capitalizes on many synergies between the two agencies: similar service populations, a service mix that is both distinct and complementary, and mutual work that addresses the city’s strategies to improve services and housing for vulnerable children, youth, and families.

Here are key program areas of each agency and benefits to be gained through the affiliation:

  • Housing and community development. PEC offers several housing and supportive services for families, children, and youth experiencing homelessness. PEC’s Community Development Corporation expands mixed-income housing opportunities and provides economic development and quality of life programing in West Philadelphia. YSI provides immediate shelter for teens, emergency care and shelter for young children at a crisis nursery, and services for young adults experiencing homelessness.

Together, the agencies can provide more housing options for all of our clients. The resources and connections of both agencies will also enable us to grow our efforts in the communities we collectively serve: West Philadelphia, Germantown, and North Philadelphia. YSI also serves other counties in Pennsylvania with its teen shelter.

  • Family support and education. Both agencies’ services are trauma-informed, strengths-based, and solution-focused. PEC offers job training, parenting and early childhood education, financial education and planning, and life skills and technology classes. YSI offers counseling and in-home support services to children, youth, and families to strengthen families, foster self-sufficiency, and develop the health and well-being of children and the family unit, including life and job skills.

Clients of both agencies will be able to access more seamlessly the combined array of services.

  • Policy and advocacy. PEC is a leader in policy work and public education to address issues relating to families, children, and youth who experience homelessness. YSI is active in youth homelessness policy work.

Combining forces will strengthen the agencies’ mutual advocacy efforts and voice.

For now, business as usual

For the time being, clients and anyone else YSI works with can expect to receive the same services from the same staff they currently work with. We will communicate service enhancements as they occur.

Increasing impact: What it’s all about

“This is really great news for everyone—our clients, our staff, our communities, and more,” said Ms. Bailey. “Working with another agency with a similar mission and of PEC’s caliber will increase our impact exponentially.”