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City Year Philadelphia

Philadelphia is a vibrant, diverse city that’s a fantastic place to live and serve. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re a fan of history, museums, sports, food, or the outdoors! Learn more about the experience of living in Philly.

Welcome to Philadelphia

Recognized worldwide as “The City of Brotherly Love, Sisterly Affection, and Sibling Connection,” City Year is pleased to welcome you to Philadelphia!

  • Philadelphia offers a lot to explore no matter your interests, including history and culture, an amazing food scene, loyal sports fans, and easy access to beaches, nature, and even nearby cities like New York and DC. Plus, it offers an affordable price tag relative to other large East Coast cities, making it an ideal place to call home for your service year.
  • Explore the top ten reasons to live in Philly, and read tips and advice from our community on how you can make the most of your Philly experience.

Living in Philadelphia

Moving to Philadelphia or relocating within the city? Check out our housing guide to learn more about neighborhood recommendations, housing partnerships and resources, finding a roommate, and more.

In 2022-23, the median rent for Corps members was around $650 per month. The median amount of costs for security deposit and other move-in costs, including U-Hauls, furniture and food, is roughly $1,475 per person. Keep in mind that if it’s a security deposit, you can get it back. Additionally, other people pay much less as these costs vary from person to person.

Getting around the city

Roughly 80% of City Year Philly Corps members take public transportation, with most commutes taking under one hour. City Year provides Corps members with monthly SEPTA transportation passes, which covers the subway, bus, trolley, and regional rail.

Once your school placement is determined, try out SEPTA’s Trip Planner—or use Google Maps transit—to plan your route to and from school.

Corps members are permitted to drive, but parking at our schools and training sites is not guaranteed, nor does City Year provide any financial compensation for driving.

Just throw yourself into the city, and you’ll find that it gives back. It’s a wonderful place to live that will feel like home. Philadelphia is filled with so much—just seek it out!

Sean McClendon City Year Philadelphia Corps member, 2022-23

Local Corps benefits

As a City Year Philly Corps member, you will have access to a wide range of local resources and benefits to help ease the cost of living and make the most of your experience in Philadelphia. These include:

  • Hunger Coalition Connection: As an AmeriCorps service member, you are eligible to apply for SNAP benefits, which can help supplement your grocery budget. At CYP, we have a relationship with a local organization that supports members through the sometimes challenging application process.
  • ClassPass: Enjoy complimentary credits each month to use towards fitness classes, salon and spa appointments, and more.
  • Your Care Collective (YCC): Take part in trainings, collective conversations, and one-on-one coaching with YCC’s Life Advocates that help our Corps members tackle their toughest work-life challenges.
  • The Corps Pantry: Located at the CYP office, the Pantry provides complimentary food, toiletries, menstrual products, and other household items for our Corps members. We are able to stock the Pantry thanks to generous donations from our community and Board members.
  • Museums 4 All: All SNAP cardholders are eligible for free or reduced admission to museums, cultural institutions, and public gardens throughout the country. See a full list of participating institutions.
  • Transportation Pass Benefits: Your SEPTA transpass, provided by City Year, provides you with extensive perks, including reduced admissions to museums and theaters, and discounts at local restaurants and coffee shops. Check out a comprehensive list of benefits!
  • Philabundance: Receive access to dozens of food banks and pantries to supplement your groceries.
  • Enjoy community-building events hosted by our AmeriCorps Member Experience Team, including ice skating at Blue Cross River Rink, paint nights, movie nights, book clubs, and free tickets to sporting events (including the 76ers, Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies).
  • Educator Discounts: As an educator, you’re eligible for MANY perks, including but not limited to:

Learn more

Explore our impact

Each year, diverse teams of City Year Student Success Coaches support thousands of students in schools across Philadelphia.

Explore our impact

Serving in Philadelphia

Learn more about what to expect when you serve as a Student Success Coach in Philadelphia.

Learn more

Our stories

Discover stories about our Student Success Coaches, alumni, staff, and partners to learn more about our work to advance educational equity.

Read our stories

Helpful links for your City Year in Philadelphia

Apply to serve

Apply today to make a positive impact on the lives of Philadelphia students.

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