Philly FIGHT Celebrates Re-Opening

The Youth Empowerment Project moves to a new location

Philadelphia FIGHT’s Youth Health Empowerment Project moved its location to 1417 Locust Street over the summer and the organization is welcoming members of the community for a Grand Reopening Celebration on Wednesday, September 12 (2 p.m.). State Senator Larry Farnese, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown and State Representative-elect Brian Sims are expected to join the event.

The new 6,000-square-foot location features a new drop-in center, group workrooms, computer lab with seven workstations, a multimedia center, family planning clinic, private rooms for HIV testing and counseling, space for therapy, a shower room, prep kitchen, and offices for Y-HEP’s staff of 15. Y-HEP was previously located in the JFK Community Mental Health Building at 112 N. Broad Street.

“With our new location, we have the opportunity to implement new, creative, innovative ways to educate Philadelphia’s youth about health and wellness, and provide the tools they need to make good life choices,” says Katie Dunphy, Y-HEP’s director. “This new space is more welcoming to the young people we serve, which gets them off the streets and in a safe location where they can take advantage of the services we provide.”

Y-HEP’s offers varied services, including HIV counseling, testing and prevention education; therapy for young adults; workshops in leadership development and peer advocacy; job and computer skills training; support groups for young men, women, and those using drugs and/or alcohol; a family planning clinic; and, among other services, the “I Am Initiative” dedicated to enhancing HIV prevention and care services for young men of color (who have sex with men) and their partners.

In 1994, Y-HEP began as a citywide pilot project to reduce the spread of HIV and STDs among adolescents and young adults in the Philadelphia area. Today, the group serves high-risk teens and young adults aged 13 to 24. And each year, FIGHT reaches more than 8,000 people through education and outreach efforts, and treats more than 1,300 people with HIV at the Jonathan Lax Treatment Center.