Our Brother's Place
The Salvation Army Gateway Service Center has been re-named Our Brother's Place (OBP) and evolved as the result of public and private ideas and goals, both altruistic and economic. In the spring of 1993, the government of the City of Philadelphia signed a contract with the Salvation Army to run Gateway.
Conceived as a humane alternative to the old city system of temporary housing, OBP was intended to serve as an entry level shelter for the hardcore homeless population of Philadelphia. The center runs two programs: a shelter capable of housing 150 residents nightly and a day program serving up to 100 people per day.
Admission to the shelter is controlled by the city Office of Service to the Homeless and Adults (OSHA). OBP is classified as a low demand shelter, which means that the men who live at OBP do not have to be drug and alcohol free ("clean and sober") to stay. The center is geared towards healthy young and middle-aged individuals who are difficult to help in traditional shelter programs, but is meant to be a short-term stop on the way to more permanent living situations. The program works to help residents address their housing and addiction problems, and works to facilitate long-term solutions. Residents stay in the shelter for an average of 60-90 days and some stay as long as 180 days.
Our Brother's Place
– Thursdays, 6-10 p.m.
– 907 Hamilton Street, Philadelphia
– (215) 685-3892
Pete van Hoff
From JAH, take 11th Street, past Vine Street, to Hamilton Street and turn right. Take Hamilton Street, across 10th Street and under the railroad trestle, to 9th Street and turn left. Gateway is the red building on the left. Take 9th Street to the shelter’s gated parking lot, which is directly ahead. Enter the shelter through the courtyard at the north-east corner of the building, tell the staff worker that you are from JeffHOPE, and ask him or her to open the parking lot’s gate. The JeffHOPE clinic is held in the southwest corner of the building.
The day program at OBP is open to any adult homeless men. The day program, like the shelter program, seeks to affirm the dignity of the individual, to respect the individual's needs, and to assist each person in meeting their needs for addiction counseling, medical care, social and vocational skills, or other types of services.
In addition to facilities to care for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, the building that houses OBP contains space for life-enriching activities. There is a classroom where drug and alcohol recovery support groups are held, and where program participants can work towards a GED.
The designers and builders of OBP also included facilities for the provision of medical services to a population desperately in need of such services. In the shelter's own medical clinic space, providers from JeffHOPE and Fairmount Medical Center administer to the health needs of people who come to Gateway.
JeffHOPE runs this medical clinic every Thursday evening in northern Philadelphia near Chinatown. In one given night some 15-30 patients are treated.