Travelers Aid Family Services of Philadelphia (TAFSP) Travelers Aid Family Services of Philadelphia assists homeless families and travelers in Philadelphia. We operate the city’s largest privately run shelter for homeless families as well as 75 transitional and permanent family residential units in West Philadelphia.
Our mission is to help homeless families become healthy, productive, and self-reliant. We do this by providing emergency shelter, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, intensive case management, and academic enrichment services for the children and young people that we serve.
We also operate a volunteer booth at Central Concourse of 30th Street Station that provides travel and visitor information to over 1,700 Amtrak, SEPTA, and regional bus passengers each week.
Gloria Guard is Executive Director of Travelers Aid Philadelphia. Previously she managed Philadelphia-based People’s Emergency Center for over 30 years. Under her leadership PEC moved from being a small, church-basement housed volunteer organization to become the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s oldest and most comprehensive organization for homeless women and children.
During her tenure at PEC Ms. Guard developed numerous program firsts in Pennsylvania’s non-profit sector: parent-child education program; on-site case management for families; homeless homeownership program; one-stop welfare-to-work, including childcare and nursing services; digital connector program that brought computers, technology training, and broadband into low-income homes; digitized legal library for administration; and created PEC Bike-Share. She also founded the People's Emergency Center Community Development Corporation to revitalize its low-income host neighborhood, established the PEC Foundation, and oversaw the creation of the PEC Community Playground.
In recognition of her achievements, Ms. Guard received in 2005 the City of Philadelphia’s most prestigious honor -- The Philadelphia Award. She holds master's degrees from Bryn Mawr College in social work, and law and social policy.
Throughout her career Ms. Guard has served on more than 30 non-profit boards, including the Red Cross, the United Way, and international groups that serve the poor through technology and groups serving immigrants and people with AIDS. She has held teaching positions in three area colleges.
TAFSP works closely with the City Office of Supportive Housing to improve the lives of homeless families in Philadelphia by providing safe and decent shelter and housing. The TAFSP mission is the break the generational cycle of homelessness by enriching the lives of children and supporting their parent’s efforts at self sufficiency. TAFSP tries to light a spark of hopefulness and confidence in the children and their parents.
In 2008-2009, Travelers Aid Family Services benefited 278 homeless Philadelphia families, including 834 children. TAFSP assisted 1,413 stranded travelers, including 235 children. In the first 6 months of 2009-2010, from July 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010, TAFS assisted 185 homeless families and 220 stranded travelers.
Travelers Aid Family Services operates a volunteer based Passengers Assistance Booth at Central Concourse of 30th Street Station and currently provides travel and visitor information and advice to over 1,700 Amtrak, SEPTA, and regional bus passengers each week.