Center for Student Missions, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

 February 28th-March 8th, 2015


"I learned that homelessness is tied to many other social justice issues. Lack of education, for instance leads to poverty, violence, and hunger. This unforgettable experience has taught me that homelessness is a multi-faceted isse that affects many aspects of a community" ~ 2015 Particpant

 Center For Student Missions- Philadelphia, PA

Spend the week living in West Philadelphia, exploring the city, going to a variety of work sites, and learning about the people of Philadelphia.  The focus of this trip is homelessness, but participants are also given opportunities at a host of different sites; from working at an after school center for kids, helping out at a home for people with disabilities, and cleaning up a neighborhood block in West Philadelphia.  This trip integrates service with making personal connections, especially with the homeless of Philadelphia, as well as learning about Philadelphia life, culture, and history.  The week begins with a Prayer Tour of Philadelphia where students learn about the different neighborhoods and some of Philadelphia's problems, as well as some of Philadelphia's wonders and successes.  Each day is spent at a different work site, the evenings at an after school center, for dinner, different ethic restaurants that represent some of Philadelphia's many vibrant cultures, and at night, many learning opportunities which include going to Love Park in downtown Philadelphia and talking one on one with some of the homeless.



What to Expect

  • Cost: Each ABE trip costs $375.
  • Travel: The group travels from campus to Philadelphia by van. The driving takes 2 days.
  • Lodging: The group stays at the Center for Student Missions headquarters in West Philly in bunk beds.
  • Food: Breakfast is cereal, lunch usually is sandwiches, chips, and a drink, and each night for dinner the group gets to experience a different ethnic restaurant around Philadelphia.
  • Work: The group works at a variety of external sites throughout the week which may include: Philabundance Food Bank: sorting and organizing food donations, Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission: preparing, serving, and eating lunch with the homeless, Hands of Hope: handing out bag lunches to the homeless in downtown Philly as well as getting the opportunity to talk with the homeless, and many other sites and opportunities.
  • Extra Fun!: The group gets the opportunity to explore downtown Philadelphia, take a tour of the city, and visit many of the historical sites of Philadelphia.
  • Focus: Homelessness, poverty


Interested in applying to co-lead or be a participant on the Center for Student Missions, Philadelphia trip?  Apply here to co-lead or here to participate!

Please note: $100 due with acceptance of a position!

Any questions about this trip can be directed to Alternative Break Experiences at

CSM Philadelphia

Philadelphia Packing List

Special Points of Interest

  • Culture
  • Urban Experience
  • Community
  • Homelessness

From Past Participants

"Despite all of the downfalls of Philadelphia, there is an abundance of life and love in the city, This is something we can take home and share with our CSB/SJU community." -2014 Particpant

"On this trip I not only learned about the problems in the city of Philadelphia, but I also learned about myself. I have the capacity to make a difference in the world." -Faith Kersey- Bronec

"You really get to see the real side of Philly. Even though there are people going through tough situation, they carry on with hope and help each other out." - Jackie Schoenecker