Wawa and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority Commit Funds to Support Services, Long Term Housing


PHILADELPHIA – On November 18, business leaders from Philadelphia’s hospitality community gathered during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to learn of achieved successes by PHLCares, a business-led initiative investing in solutions to homelessness.


Leaders from City of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS), the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, Wawa, Philadelphia Foundation, SEPTA, and Target shared remarks and commitments to compassionate, innovative, and impactful solutions to chronic street homelessness.  Liz Hersh, Director of OHS, shared the impact initiatives like PHLCares, which grew out of the Mayor’s Shared Public Spaces Taskforce, have had on homelessness over the last five years including:

  • A 22 % reduction in homelessness across Philadelphia
  • A 12 % decline in the total number of unsheltered individuals
  • A 42 % decrease in family homelessness

“We are energized by the continued growth of PHLCares and the acknowledgement from the City’s business community that we will only find success by working together,” said John J. McNichol, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, PHLCares Fund Advisor, and Co-Chair of Shared Public Spaces. “The Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority is fully committed to PHLCares and keeping the momentum going towards permanent solutions to end homelessness.”


Since its founding in 2019, PHLCares has raised over $1.5 million from corporate and individual donors in support of providing individuals experiencing homelessness with long term housing and wrap around services, which combined have a 90% success rate in preventing recidivism. PHLCares was created by some of Philadelphia’s highest profile businesses including the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority, PREIT, and Wawa. “The goal is to bring the city’s business community together to provide innovative and compassionate solutions backed by the financial and strategic resources needed to deliver supportive housing and rental assistance with wraparound services to the chronically homeless,” shared McNichol.


“We know that proactive and compassionate approaches to chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia are the answer and it’s inspiring to see so many of the City’s business partners joining the effort to fund these solutions,” said Tumar Alexander, Managing Director, City of Philadelphia, and Co-Chair of Shared Public Spaces.

“Wawa is proud to continue our support of PHLCares to provide inclusive services to individuals experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia,” said Dave Simonetti, Wawa’s Senior Director of Store Operations and a PHLCares fund advisor.  “Everyone deserves the opportunity to have a better life and the collaboration of Philadelphia’s business community can make that happen.”


At the PHLCares Connects Luncheon, Wawa committed $25,000 to support PHLCares and the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority pledged a match grant of $250,0000 to PHLCares to help provide local service providers the housing inventory and service support they need to ensure that homelessness in Philadelphia is rare, brief, and nonrecurring.


For more information on PHLCares, please visit https://phlcares.org/.


Donations to PHLCares can be made by:

  • Mailing checks to: The Philadelphia Foundation, P.O. Box 826728, Philadelphia, PA  19182. Please note “PHLCares” in the check’s memo.
  • Visiting www.philafound.org and clicking the “Give Now” tab. Enter “PHLCares” into the donation form.
  • Wire transfers or donating appreciated stock—for details, please email Lois Gabin-Legato at lglegato@philafound.org


Media Contact:

Pete Peterson

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E: ppeterson@bellevuepr.com