Home / For Our Youth / Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Walking into a shelter to ask for help can be intimidating. But Covenant House Pennsylvania is a welcoming place to be.


Below we answer some questions you might have about the shelter and how things work here. If you can't find your answer here, simply pick up the phone and call us. We are always ready to help, whenever you need us.

Need a safe place to stay today? 

Call 215-951-5411 or Toll Free 888-829-1249


Our Crisis Shelter is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Someone is always there to answer the phone and let you know how we can help.

We are here if you need us.

Does it cost anything to stay at Covenant House?

No, it doesn't cost a penny, it's completely free. There are no shelter fees associated with our services. However, we do require you to deposit 75% of your income while staying with us, but every cent of that money is returned to you when you leave the shelter.

Where will I sleep? Shower?

We will provide you with a room upon arrival, where space allows. Our standard rooms are designed for up to four young people. Rooms include a set of bunk beds and lockers for storing personal belongings. We will give you a combination lock. Each floor contains a main bathroom with private showers, bathroom stalls, and a row of sinks with mirrors. Each floor also contains a laundry room with a pair of washers and dryers for cleaning your clothes on your laundry day. 

How much/what can I bring with me?

You can bring your personal belongings with you: clothing, hygiene products, small personal devices, school and work supplies, etc. We will supply you with a locker and a lock to secure your belongings. Belongings must fit into the provided lockers but if they do not you can make arrangements to store them off-site.  

When and what will I eat?

Meals are shared, community style. Larger meals when more young people are present in the building may be staggered to allow for seating. Meals vary daily and we take food allergies and other dietary restrictions into consideration. 


On weekdays, we serve Breakfast (8:15AM), Lunch (12PM) and Dinner (5PM) and Evening Snack. On weekends, we serve Brunch (10:30AM), Dinner (4PM) and Evening Snack.

Is there a curfew?

Curfew Sunday through Thursday nights is 8PM and 9PM on Friday and Saturday nights. If you are at work or school curfew is waived. Overnights and extended curfews are possible and can be approved by staff, your primary case manager, and floor coordinator when necessary. The purpose of curfew is to help you build structure back into your life so that you develop the right skills to eventually live independently. We want to make sure that you're back safely each night.

Will I be safe? 

Safety is everyone's responsibility and something we take very seriously at Covenant House Pennsylvania. We operate a drug and weapon-free program. Anyone living with us who brings in weapons, drugs, or alcohol will be asked to leave the program immediately. 


Covenant House Pennsylvania does not tolerate violence or threats of violence. These are grounds for immediate discharge. These are rare occurances, but they do occur from time to time. The building has a secure front entrance that means all visitors need to be greeted and allowed to enter the building. There are security cameras in and around the building to help staff keep the building safe for all. We also take fire safety very seriously. No smoking, candles, or any open flames are permitted in the building at any time. We create this environment to keep you safe on your stay here.

Can you help me get a job or go back to school?

Yes, Covenant House Pennsylvania has a team dedicated to help you with those goals. You will meet with the educational and vocational team, take an assessment, and see what support you need. Our educational specialist can help you get back into high school, take your GED, or find your way to trade schools or college. Our vocational specialists can help you complete our job readiness program, called CHOICES. You will learn how to create a resume, interview, and job search. You can also find appropriate clothing for job interviews, and be helped with transportation to those interviews. 

I identify as LGBTQ. Is Covenant House a safe place for me?

Covenant House Pennsylvania welcomes all youth regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Covenant House Pennsylvania is connected to other community providers for LGBTQ services and our staff are trained to support LGBTQ individuals. Covenant House Pennsylvania's housing policy is Trans-friendly. If you are unsure what that means for you, feel free to call, or ask when you come in or inquire about a bed. 

Covenant House sounds like a religious name. Will I have to pray or be involved in religious activities while there?

Covenant House does have its roots in the Catholic Church. However, all youth are welcome regardless of religious affiliation or denomination. Our Pastoral Ministry services are completely voluntary for those youth interested and they too are not restricted to one faith tradition. 

I have been locked up and/or hospitalized in the past. Am I eligible for services?

Having been locked up as a minor or adult does not mean you are ineligible to come into the shelter. We just ask that you are honest about your legal history so we can best support you with any legal concerns you may have. We have legal advisors who can help you with both criminal and civil legal matters.


Having been hospitalized for a physical or mental health issue does not mean you are ineligible for services. Once again, we just ask that you are honest about any physical health, mental health, or drug and alcohol history so that we can best serve your needs and help you get back on your feet.


Through our clinic, run by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, we offer basic physical health, mental health, and drug and alcohol services. If we can't meet your needs here we can help you find a provider locally.

Covenant House Pennsylvania is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization; (EIN/Tax ID number: 23-3003176) Built w/ love by P'unk Avenue