The homeless population is of the most vulnerable when it comes to accessing healthcare: 14%-25% suffer from hypertension, among other undetected health issues.
SHOP aims to (1) provide meaningful, ethical volunteering experience by training and commissioning volunteers to provide free blood pressure readings at Philadelphia shelters, and providing referrals to free clinics for follow-up care.
The second and equally important pillar of SHOP is to (2) foster a reflective, meaningful internal community of volunteers through a volunteer cohort system and consistent social events.
Over the past three years SHOP has established partnerships with 5 Philadelphia shelters (Chosen 300, Feast Incarnate, Bethesda Project, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission), helped over 500 people experiencing homelessness, and grown to 50+ volunteers! During the pandemic, SHOP has adapted its services to adapt to the changing needs of shelters, and to the limitations on in-person volunteering. SHOP has reorganized and restructured its cohorts to focus on supporting specialized issue areas: Fundraising & Donations, Policy & Outcomes, and Education & Marketing.