Success Starts in the Home

It’s hard to focus on homework when, for the second time this month, you must collect your things and move to a new couch.

This is the reality for more than 32,000 children in Pennsylvania who are currently experiencing homelessness, a record-setting number for the state. And homelessness is one of the most disruptive and traumatic events to occur in a child’s academic career, affecting social and economic outcomes later in life.

Through the Siemer Institute for Family Stability (SIFS), United Way is focused on helping local families experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness become, and remain, stable.

Why we fight for youth success through family stability:

Al and Barbara Siemer

Founders, The Siemer Institute

The Siemer program was initiated by the generosity of United Way’s Tocqueville Society donors, Al and Barbara Siemer. Moved by a desperate need in their Ohio hometown to address student mobility, they created The Siemer Institute to support programs that provide ongoing case management and material supports to empower families to achieve stable housing and ensure children stay in school.

Today, the program reaches 53 communities nationwide, including Philadelphia through support from United Way’s Impact Fund.

2-Gen Stability

When children experience stability at home, it provides a pathway to success that the entire community benefits from. Through a combination of financial assistance, case management, budget coaching, job training and more with United Way’s partner, UESF, the Siemer program deploys a whole-family approach that ultimately enables children to thrive.

Over the past year, our Siemer Institute program has helped more than 340 families avoid homelessness, and has kept 952 children in school.

Email us to learn more about the Siemer program.


Lillian faced eviction after owing thousands in unpaid bills that she desperately tried to pay down.

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