The Eliza Shirley House which is centrally located at 1320 Arch Street has been providing housing for the homeless families and children of Philadelphia for nearly 31 years. The facility has security cameras throughout the building, both inside and out, to enhance resident safety.  ESH is a case-managed emergency housing facility with 35 semi-private resident rooms for a capacity of 90 individuals. For some families, coming into the emergency housing system can be a traumatic experience.  Our goal is to ensure that families are housed in a safe, secure environment, get help with their immediate needs, are informed about our policies and procedures and made to feel welcome and supported.  We do this by assisting them in securing an income, starting a savings account for housing expenses, helping them to obtain ID, if needed, offering them emotional stability, and by educating them on such things as addiction, domestic abuse, parenting, HIV and causes and effects of homelessness that may help them to break the cycle. The Eliza Shirley House continues to look for new ways to assist the residents we serve.

Eligibility Requirements: Families must be homeless, Families must have custody of their children and Families must be 18 years or older unless they have verification of emancipation.

Services Offered 

Recreational Programs 

The Salvation Army Eliza Shirley House provides a multitude of recreational programs each week for different age groups; families also provide suggestions for what types of activities they would like to participate in. We have movie nights, arts and crafts, game night, Karaoke, superman and princess parties, carnival night, etc. During the spring and summer months, we provide activities that take the residents outdoors such as field trips to museums, water ice outing, sight-seeing tours of the city, outings to the park. A team of volunteers also provide educational, recreational, and spiritual programming for our families.

Spiritual Growth

Elisa Shirley House provides our families with weekly church services, including Sunday school for children, Bible studies, devotionals, and one-on-one counseling, as requested. In addition, area churches provide donations to the women and children at the shelter throughout the year. 



Medical Services

Thomas Jefferson University: Doctor with interns and nurses assess the medical needs of residents.

Drexel University: Doctor with interns and nurses assess the medical needs of residents.

HIV Presentations: HIV testing and counseling.

Empowering Women's Group: Group discussion addressing stress, anger, shame, low self-esteem, guilt, and other presenting issues.


Referral Programs

Legal Services: Refer residents to legal services at another facility.

Drug and Alcohol Counseling

Drug and Alcohol Meetings: Information is distributed listing all drug and alcohol meetings held in the Center City area.

Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition: Refer residents for G.E.D., job placement, and housing.

Women of Transition: Empowerment counseling for women who have suffered domestic abuse.

Women Organized Against Rape (W.O.A.R): Assist women through counseling to begin to deal with their rape issues.

Mary Howard Clinic / The Health Center: Referrals for women without medical coverage.

Philadelphia Department of Human Services: Parenting classes.

Philadelphia Department of Public Assistance: Those with no income are referred for assistance.

Philadelphia Access Center: Social service counseling, parenting classes.

Philadelphia School Board: Transportation, uniforms, etc. for students.


The Salvation Army Eliza Shirley House
1320 Arch Street 
Philadephia, PA 19107
Phone Number: 215.568.5111 












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