General legal assistance
Community Legal Services
Free legal advice and representation to low income residents of Philly. Civil cases only. No criminal cases.
- Community Legal Services website
- Currently accepting new clients by phone only (215-981-3700)
- Center City Office: 1424 Chestnut St. Philadelphia, PA 19102
- North Philadelphia Law Center: 1410 W. Erie Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19140
Defender’s Association of Philadelphia
Represents clients in adult and juvenile state counts at civil and criminal mental health hearings, and as child advocates for children with open dependent petitions.
Face to Face Legal Center
Legal services Mon & Fri 10am-2pm; birth certificates, Thurs 10am-2pm
Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Protection from abuse services, represents victims of domestic violence from abuse cases; Mon & Wed, 10am - 12pm. Legal assistance to low-income individuals & families
- 718 Arch St. Suite 300N, Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Save-Your-Home Hotline (Salva tu casa) (215-334-4663) Mon-Fri (Lun-Vie) 9am-5pm
- Family Law Hotline (Derecho de familia) (215-981-3838) Mon-Thu (Lun-Jue) 9:30am-12pm
- General Intake Hotline (Ingesta general) (215-981-3800) Mon-Thu (Lun-Jue) 9:30am-12pm
- Philadelphia Legal Assistance
Temple University Law School Legal Aid Office
Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project
Provides free civil legal assistance to low-income people who are incarcerated or institutionalized in Pennsylvania whose civil constitutional rights have been violated.
- The Cast Iron Building, 718 Arch Street, Suite 304 South, Philadelphia, PA 19106
- Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project website
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Many locations in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties
- Main line: 877-429-5994
- Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm
- Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania website
- List of locations and contact info
Christian Legal Services
Landlord disputes, custody cases, domestic abuse, immigration, will, criminal record expungement.
- Hunting Park: Joy in the City: 4455 N. 6th St, Philadelphia, PA 19140
- West Philadelphia: Salvation Army West Philadelphia Corps Community Center: 5501 N. Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19139
- South Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Access Center: 1700 Fernon St. Philadelphia, PA 19145
- Germantown: Impacting Your World 5507 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19144
- Kensington: Bethel Temple Community Bible Church 228 E. Allegheny Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19134
- North Philadelphia: Salvation Army: 1340 Brown St., Philadelphia, PA 19123
Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program (VIP)
Provides free legal representation for Philadelphians facing housing, family, and income challenges.
United Communities Southeast Philadelphia (UCSEP)
Provides assistance to renters behind on their rent and needing financial assistance to catch up.
Philadelphia Eviction Prevention Project (PEPP)
Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM)
Provides a range of financial and supportive services to individuals and families.
Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF)
Philadelphia based organization. Assistance includes help with back rent for families struggling to remain in their homes.
- 1608 Walnut St. Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19103
- Veterans Line: 215-814-6888
- UESF website
Tenant Union Representative Network
Philadelphia-based tenant services and advocacy organization.
Immigration legal services
Equal Access Legal Services
Nonprofit Philadelphia law firm. Provides low-cost or fixed-fee legal services, including immigration.
Justice at Work (formerly known as Friends of Farmworkers)
Provides legal aid not only to immigrant and migrant farmworkers, but also to low-wage workers across industries.
- 990 Spring Garden Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19123
- 215-733-0878 or 800-729-1607
- Justice at Work website (English and Spanish)
AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania
Immigration, bankruptcy, employment, & family law
Catholic Social Services
Comprehensive high-quality, low-cost immigration legal services
- 222 N. 17th St. Philadelphia, PA 19103
- 215-854-7019 Mon-Fri 9am - 1pm
- Catholic Social Services - Philadelphia website
Esperanza Immigration Legal Services
Non-litigation legal services to low-income immigrants and their families; workshops; citizenship prep courses; they speak English, Spanish, and French.
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
Legal and supportive services to immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers from all backgrounds in order to ensure fair treatment and full integration into American society
Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program
Immigration, civil rights, employment, and family law.
Penn Law Transnational Clinic
University of Pennsylvania legal clinic - international human rights and immigration
Emergency Housing and Shelters
Please note: Before you are placed in an emergency shelter, you are required to complete an initial assessment to determine your housing needs at a central intake service center.
What to expect during your initial intake appointment
Step 1: Visit or contact the site to make an appointment for your initial assessment
You may contact these intake centers (we've listed them below) over the phone to schedule an appointment or drop-in, but you will have to complete the intake assessment at the site, in-person. During your intake process, you will need to bring:
- Proof of identification for self
- If applicable, you will need to provide documentation for proof of guardianship of minor children
- Photo I.D., Social Security Card and Birth Certificates for all dependent children
Step 2: Intake Process
What to expect:
- You will complete a COVID-19 screening (questions and/or complete temperature check)
- A social service representative will inquire about personal information that will be used for HMIS (Homeless Management Information System).
- Information may include : birthdate, social security number, family composition, race, etc.
- This information will also be used to complete an intake log sheet.
Step 3: Placement
Depending on your case, a social worker will inquire about your specific situation to determine whether you have the financial ability to pay for alternative housing for the evening, whether you are able to be accommodated by a friend or family member for the night, or whether emergency housing is the best option.
If placed in a shelter:
- You will let the staff know of any medication you are prescribed or may need during your stay. It is best to have at least a five-day supply of necessary medications.
- You may bring up to two bags of clothing or personal items with you to a shelter
Central intake centers that you can contact during normal business hours (Monday- Friday from 7 a.m.- 5 p.m)
Appletree Family Center
Roosevelt Darby Center
After Hours Intake Centers (Nights, Weekends, and Holidays)
Salvation Army Red Shield Family Residence - For Families
Guadenzia’s House of Passage (Kirkbride Center) - For single women, including pregnant women with or without children
For those experiencing domestic or sexual violence
- Apple Tree Family Center intake center is equipped with an on-site domestic violence specialist (at Appletree Family Center only). If you do not complete your intake at this site, you will be referred there. During this time, you will complete a lethality assessment and safety plan as well as request an emergency housing placement.
- Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline phone number (1-866-723-3014)
- National Sexual Assault Hotline 24-hour hotline: 800-656-4673
For those who need language support and may require interpretation services:
- At intake appointments, if you need interpretation services, these services will be available to you. As needed, there may be printed materials in English and your native language.