Since 1908, Polish American Social Services (PASS) has been assisting people in the Philadelphia area. PASS began as a service to help new immigrants from Poland coming to Philadelphia through the Immigrant Port of Entry at Washington and Delaware Avenues in South Philadelphia.
For many years, it assisted the growing American population along the riverfront. In 1972, the agency expanded its scope, with the assistance of community activists, to help elderly residents to retain and maintain their homes in the face of escalating housing-related costs.
The agency, through its United Social Services Outreach Program, continues to help elderly and low-income citizens, especially those with language barriers, who frequently have difficulty understanding and accessing city, state and federal programs designed to improve or maintain their quality of life.
PASS fills this gap in the social service delivery system by offering a comprehensive program of advocacy, translation, benefits counseling, and information and referral services.
In 1978, PASS expanded its services through part-time outreach sites in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. Since 1981, through its United Social Service Outreach Program, PASS has extended services to a wide variety of ethnic groups living in the areas serviced by the agency.
PASS's community outreach has added stability to neighborhoods by supplying information, resources and direct assistance to homeowners and renters. PASS is the only agency equipped with a multilingual staff to address social service needs of Philadelphia's Polish/Slavic communities.
The main office of Polish American Social Services is at 308 Walnut Street in Philadelphia, and it maintains several neighborhood outreach sites, works with several senior citizen groups, churches, organizations, and media outlets to ensure that its constituents are informed and have access to available services.
PASS also maintains a web site (PolishAmericanSocialServices.com), which highlights programs that can assist people of all ages.