Shelter Health Outreach Program (SHOP)

HealthMedicineCommunity ServiceAdvocacyUndergraduateSAC


The homeless population is of the most vulnerable when it comes to accessing healthcare: 50% - 62% suffer from hypertension, among other health issues that go undetected.

The Shelter Health Outreach Program (SHOP) is Penn's premier undergraduate organization that seeks to provide meaningful, hands-on clinical volunteering experiences by training volunteers to provide free blood pressure screenings at Philadelphia shelters through direct patient contact. SHOP's volunteering model comprises of 1) long-term, weekly volunteer sessions at our 7 partnered shelters and 2) the development and sustenance of our student-run mobile health clinics held twice per week in conjunction with Penn Medicine. Through these clinics, we reduce the financial and logistical barriers that vulnerable populations often face when trying to access healthcare. SHOP also aims to foster a tight-knit, internal community of volunteers through a consistent volunteer cohort system and social events!

At SHOP, we prioritize meaningful volunteering that is consistent, sustainable, and bidirectional. We seek to forge genuine, long-term connections with local Philadelphia residents and empower those who are unhoused to regain agency over their health through personal health tracking and primary care.

Check out our story on Penn Today: The Care They Need, Where They Are 


Most Recent
Question: When do you expect applications to open back up again? - Elisabeth Schuth

Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 school year!

- Chloe Chang
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Question: Hi! Will applications be available this coming spring (2023)? - Anonymous

Hello. Unfortunately based on our shelter availability this semester, we were unable to open as many spots in SHOP as we hoped for. For that reason, Spring 2023 applications will be closed. Please reach out to with any additional questions.

- Isabella Mirro
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Question: I know that the application currently live is for the fall semester, but is it possible to join in the Spring? - Anonymous

In the past we have accepted applications in both the fall and spring semesters, however this has not been the case every spring. Based upon our shift capacities, we may or may not accept new application this spring. Updates will be posted towards the end of the semester. 

- Isabella Mirro
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Question: What exactly does SHOP volunteering consist of? I know blood pressure screening and providing referrals are mentioned, but does SHOP provide service in other ways as well? - Anonymous

During the pandemic, SHOP worked remotely. You can check out our PowerPoint from the fall explaining our remote operations:

More recently (post-university COVID resitrictions), SHOP has returned to in-person volunteering. We have maintained the fundraising and donations, marketing and education, and policy and outcomes committees. In addition, we are excited to have opened out community clinic is partnership with the SHAMs clinic.

- Isabella Mirro
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Basic Info

55 Registered (50 - 100 Members)

Not Currently Accepting Members

Application Required

Fall Semester


How to Get Involved

  • Interest Form:
  • Info session on Tuesday, 9/5 at 7:30 pm in Leidy 10
  • Apply for the 2023-2024 school year by EOD September 10th, 2023. Early submissions are encouraged!

Additional Pages