Y-HEP – The Youth Health Empowerment Project

Y-HEP is located at 1417 Locust Street, 3rd Floor, between Broad and 15th Streets, Philadelphia, PA.

For more information on Y-HEP, visit www.y-hep.org or Y-HEP’s Facebook or Twitter pages.

Y-HEP - The Youth Health Empowerment Project

Y-HEP is a program of Philadelphia FIGHT, a comprehensive AIDS Service Organization providing state of the art, culturally competent HIV primary care, consumer education, advocacy, social services, outreach to people living with HIV and to those who are at high risk, and access to the most advanced clinical research.  FIGHT’s goal is to end the AIDS epidemic within the lifetime of those currently living with HIV. 

About Y-HEP

Y-HEP is comprehensive adolescent and young adult program that offers holistic health services, sexual health education, drop in day services, and leadership activities to over 3000 high-risk/high promise, low-income, urban youth ages 13-24 living in Philadelphia.

Y-HEP’s Programs and Activities

The Empowerment Center is a day drop-in center that gives adolescents and young adults access to resources that fulfill basic needs such as showers, a meal, laundry services, personal care items, and gently-used clothing. The center also seeks to enrich participants’ intellectual and emotional lives by offering educational opportunities and experiential activities that stimulate thoughtfulness and creativity. The Empowerment Center is a safe space for all youth, and an entry point for young adults to be connected to Y-HEP’s many other programs and services.

Prevention Counseling provides individualized, client-centered counseling and goal planning to support youth in stabilizing their lives and making healthy, productive choices as they transition into adulthood. Prevention Counselors often assist participants in finding housing, job searching, continuing their education, resume building and job readiness, applying for benefits, obtaining health care, connecting to behavioral health treatment, and accessing other local resources. 

Daily Groups and Activities include regular groups such as male and female support groups, queer women’s support group, T.R.A.P. House (our drug and alcohol educational group), life skills classes, and “Family Meeting.” Evolving, rotating, and changing groups include creative writing, art, cooking classes, Anime, sexual health, Yoga, Zumba, “Freestyle Fridays,” dance groups, and open discussion groups.

Community Outreach uses street outreach, social networking and various types of presentations to promote engagement in health care and holistic wellness, provide sexual health education, and empower other members of the community to take action around HIV health disparities in hopes of ending the epidemic within our lifetime.

Therapy services include free individual, couple, and family therapy as well as and multi-session therapeutic groups. Our licensed therapist provides counseling for a wide variety of issues and concerns, with a focus on youth who have experienced trauma. Our goal is to support participants in developing resilience and healthy coping skills.

School-based Programming includes classroom presentations on healthy relationships, HIV and STIs, safer sex, and awareness-building around topics related to LGBTQ identity. Y-HEP’s school board-approved curriculum is ideal for middle and high school students and can be done as single or multi-session class presentations, or as a larger assembly.

Computer Lab offers open access sign in for 30 minutes at a time as well as digital literacy classes, job readiness and resume building workshops, and one-on-one tutoring for daily tasks.

The Y-HEP Health Center offers free or low-cost primary care and family planning services for young adults. Primary care includes preventive medicine, vaccinations, physicals, sick and well visits, and referrals to specialists. Family planning services include STI testing, birth control and emergency contraception, pregnancy testing and options counseling, pelvic and breast exams, Pap smears and anal HPV screening and referrals. We will see young people for medical services regardless of their insurance status and support uninsured patients in insurance navigation and enrollment. We offer appointment and walk-in times daily.

Rapid HIV Counseling and Testing is provided onsite in the Y-HEP Health Center and off-site at a variety of locations including universities, clubs, and other places where young people gather. We provide pre- and post-test risk reduction counseling and use a standard 15 minute rapid test. Y-HEP can schedule a time to come out to your site or program to provide rapid HIV testing.

The I AM…Programis a  health initiative addressing the unique needs of young men of color who have sex with men (under the age of 30).  Through a community empowerment approach, I AM… provides the following programs to assist young men in building skills and staying healthy:

The Talk is our late night drop-in program on Monday Nights for youth who self-identify as LGBTQ and their allies.  This program offers discussion groups on identity, sexuality, and expression as well as other the same access to resources provided during Y-HEP’s regular Empowerment Center hours.

The I AM the Generation Run Project is our weekly running group for young gay/bisexual men who are impacted by the HIV epidemic and their allies.  The Run Club meets on Wednesday nights at 7:00pm to prepare for Philadelphia runs (5ks, half marathons and full marathons) and hopes to spread awareness of our generation’s perseverance, endurance and unity.  Runners of all levels are welcome!

The I AM Men’s Health Program is an innovative Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) program that targets youth who are at high risk of contracting HIV. Participants are prescribed PrEP medication, a pill that is taken once daily, and also receive free and confidential medical screening and group health education. Y-HEP’s PrEP Program combines weekly groups and medical services.

Comprehensive Risk Counseling Services (CRCS): CRCS is a short-term counseling program for newly diagnosed HIV+ and high risk HIV negative youth to help connect them to care and provide them with supportive services to stay healthy.

Open Access/Walk-In Hours

Empowerment Center

Dial 301 on the call box to be buzzed in.

  • Mondays: 7:00pm-11:00pm (ages 13-29)
  • Tuesdays: 11:00am-3:00pm (ages 13-24)
  • Wednesdays: 1:00pm-3:00pm  (ages 13-24)
  • Thursdays: 10:00am-12:30pm  (ages 13-24)
  • Fridays: 11:00am-3:00pm(ages 13-24)

Y-HEP Health Center (Ages 13-24 only)

Dial 302 on the call box to be buzzed in.

  • Mondays: 1:00pm-9:00pm
  • Tuesdays: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Wednesdays: 9:00am-5:00pm
  • Thursdays: 10:00am-6:00pm
  • Fridays: 9:00am-5:00pm

Computer Lab

Dial 301 on the call box to be buzzed in.

  • Mondays 7pm-11pm (ages 13-29)
  • Tuesdays: 1pm-5pm (ages 13-24)
  • Wednesdays: 2-6 (ages 13-24)
  • Thursdays: 10-12:30 (ages 13-24)
  • Fridays: 1-3pm  (ages 13-24)

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