A stable home. A healthy child. A resilient family. A safe community.
Our Housing First model combined with our trauma-informed, 2-generation approach makes our community better for all.
Friends is unique in that we focus on keeping families together during times of crisis while connecting them with highly personalized case management, community resources, and skill-building. We support all families experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness in Chester County structured as they are when we meet them, including single moms and dads, two-parent, multi-generational, grandparent, and LGBTQ+ families.
We work with families to empower them as they build on existing strengths and skills and work together to build resiliency, stable housing, and financial independence.
Bold, innovative, and committed. The Friends team is a small but mighty force that draws on its own experiences and expertise to provide families with the care and support they need to be empowered to succeed.
Chief Development Officer
Director of Programs
Director of Administration
Director of Community Engagement
Executive Administrative Assistant
610-431-3598 x 213
Daphne Gilliam Miller
Data Entry & Report Specialist
LCSW & Program Support
Friends Association Board members are dedicated and passionate about ensuring that every family in our community has a home. Their experience spans the nonprofit, legal, construction, medical, and financial and social services industries.
Yolanda Van de Krol
Clerk of Courts
EVP, Chief Credit Officer
Immediate Past President
Certified Financial Planner
Market Street Wealth
Univest Bank & Trust
Rev. Caroline Cupp
Church of West Chester
District Operation Supervisor
HH Communications & Consulting
Steve E. Jarmon
Lamb, McErlane, PC
Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees
Co-Owner & Managing Partner
MacFadden & Springer Investments
United BioSource LLC
Hogan Lovells US
‘Proceed as the Way Opens’: To undertake a service or course of action without prior clarity about all the details but with confidence that divine guidance will make these apparent and assure an appropriate outcome.
- Founded on Quaker principles recognizing the inherent value of each individual in our society
- Quaker and African American women, led by Friend Ann Yarnall, provide a home for children who had lost their parents in the city of Philadelphia.
- 30-50 children each year received a home and schooling, many of whom were the children of individuals who had escaped enslavement
- Moved to Cheyney, Pennsylvania, and focused on providing education, training, mental health support, and most importantly, a home for girls and young women
- Moved to the second floor of the YMCA building in the borough of West Chester, by the end of 1982 trend toward foster care, little need for shelter housing girls, shelter is empty
- Emergency shelter provided to a family, start of Emergency Family Shelter that continues today
- Foster Care program began with a request for care for special needs, older children
- Coatesville Project, a housing and drug & alcohol program in Oak Street Public Housing started
- Bridge Housing Program, assisting families transitioning from shelter started
- Moved to Kesher Israel Synagogue providing shelter for 6 families
- Purchased apartment building on Chestnut Street to provide transitional housing for families
- Innovative Family to Family Foster Care Program started in Coatesville keeping kids in their community of origin
- Providing Foster Care for 45-50 children and specialized adoption services
- Foster Care and Adoption programs transitioned to Children’s Home of York. Our mission became focused on homelessness and housing instability.
- Aligned with Housing First National Model, premised on evidence that a family experiencing homelessness is more responsive to interventions and social service supports if they are housed safely first.
- The Emergency Family Shelter was moved to Chestnut Street, allowing the agency to serve diverse family compositions; single parent, two-parent, multi-generational, and LGBTQ+ families, and to provide families with a way to continue a normal daily routine during the trauma of housing instability.
We continue to operate the only publicly funded, low barrier, Housing First Emergency Family Shelter in Chester County that keeps families together during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
Our Homelessness Prevention Programs combine targeted assistance and a collaborative approach that focuses on stable housing, financial independence, and resilience.
At Friends, we believe that it starts with a home and we are committed to walking alongside every family as they take the first steps on that journey.
“Over 55% of cities report that families had to break up to enter emergency shelters.*
2022 marks the 200th Anniversary of Friends Association providing Chester County individuals and families experiencing homelessness with opportunities to build family well-being.
REPORTS AND FINANCIALS
Friends Association promotes the independence of families by providing shelter, programs and services that prevent and end homelessness in Chester County.
Last year, Friends Association provided services to 840 of our neighbors (283 families) throughout our four pillars of support.
2018 – 2021 Strategic Plan
(click to view)
Fiscal Year 2020 Audit (click to view)
Fiscal Year 2019 Impact Report (click to view)