Families Forward Philadelphia is the new name for our legacy organization, Travelers Aid Society of Philadelphia, which is part of the oldest nonsectarian network of agencies in the country.
1851 The first Traveler’s Aid was set up in St. Louis to assist families relocating to California by covered wagon.
1901 The Travelers Aid Society of Philadelphia was established to aid stranded travelers in our city, mostly new immigrants. At this time, there were over 100 Travelers Aid organizations across the country assisting with the large influx of new immigrant travelers.
1910 and on During the Depression era, we extended our mission to include housing and other assistance to the city’s unemployed.
1915 Travelers Aid Society of Philadelphia was officially incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania.
1940s We helped found the United Service Organization (USO) to assist traveling uniformed personnel during WWII.
1980s Our group assisted refugees from wars in Southeast Asia and Central America.
1990s We shifted our focus to the persistent problem of poverty and homelessness in Philadelphia. Our organization developed new emergency shelter and transitional housing programs, intensive case management, employment support and after-school/summer programs for children.
2000’s Today Families Forward Philadelphia is a key part of Philadelphia’s continuum of services for homeless and impoverished families. We are especially recognized for our expertise in helping large homeless families (3+ children).