U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D., Pa.) joined forces with Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME and the Covenant House organization Monday to support President Obama's request for $2.48 billion in this year's budget to help the homeless.

The joint news conference took place at the Youth Emergency Service teen shelter in the city's Spring Garden section.

The amount the president wants is up almost $80 million from his request last year and $350 million more than allocated by Congress.

For the first time, $40 million would be earmarked for homeless youths, Casey said.

While it is impossible to know how many Philadelphia youths are homeless, John Ducoff, executive director of Covenant House, said that in addition to the 500 young people the group estimates it serves every year, it has had to turn away 400 because of lack of resources.

That number includes about 180 young mothers, he said.

Youths are among the least seen and least served of the homeless, Ducoff said, moving from couch to couch instead of sleeping in shelters or on the streets.

215-854-2771