A: Project HOME stands for Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, and Education. Project HOME empowers people to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.
A: Our primary activities consist of the following four components reflected in our name, as well as Advocacy:
A: Project HOME traces its history back to the winter of 1989, when a group of volunteers, including co-founders Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, opened a short-term emergency shelter for chronically homeless men in the locker rooms of a vacant city recreation center. The shelter was funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and was named Mother Katherine Drexel residence. Of the 88 men who stayed at the Residence for at least one month, many did return to the mainstream of society. At the end of the winter, at the urging of the community of homeless men and women, Project HOME began planning for a broader program of residential and support services.
A: No—although our programs are recognized as a national model, Project HOME focuses its work throughout the City of Philadelphia. We do quite a bit of advocacy at the Federal level and work with many national partners to promote positive public policies.
A: Project HOME has approximately 334 staff members, including both full- and part-time employees. A number of employees are Project HOME residents, former residents, or members of the North Central Philadelphia neighborhood where we focus our neighborhood revitalization efforts.
A: The data from our homeless system in Philadelphia indicate that:
For additional information about homelessness and how we can address it, see our Facts on Homelessness Page.
A: Structural, personal, and political factors can result in homelessness and determine where it will occur most often.
A: No—none of our residences has a limit on the duration of a person’s stay. Our entry-level facilities—or safe havens—are different from shelters in that they are intensively service-enriched, there are clear individual goals developed and promoted, and there is no time limit on a person’s stay. The rest of our facilities are permanent supportive housing with residents signing at least a year’s lease. Additionally, all Project HOME residences provide supportive services, ranging from case management to medical care to education and employment. Finally, all residents pay 30 percent of their income towards housing costs.
A: No, but as indicated in Project HOME’s values statement, our work is deeply rooted in a strong spiritual conviction of the dignity of each person.
A: Our referrals come from a variety of sources including the City of Philadelphia, Project HOME’s Outreach Coordination Center, case managers from other programs, and individuals themselves. If the person is currently homeless, the best way to access services is to call Project HOME’s Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984. They will work with the person to find the most appropriate housing placement possible.
Depending on the site, some Project HOME programs have short waiting lists while others are much longer. Our Safe Havens use a priority system to help get people into the program who are most in need, with an emphasis on the most vulnerable people living on the streets.
We recognize there is a high demand for the supportive affordable housing that we offer and know that we must continue to advocate for more affordable housing so that everyone has a safe, affordable, and decent place to call home.
A: Our latest financial information can be found here. Our financial portfolio is unusually diverse with about one-third of our funding derived from City, State, and Federal government and the remaining through corporate, foundation, and individual contributions. Some of our income comes from resident rent, with residents contributing 30 percent of their income as rent and utilities.
A: Proceeds from Project HOME Social Enterprise businesses support the creation of jobs by paying for staff wages and necessary training. Employees earn income while gaining marketable skills. Project HOME’s small businesses were designed to create jobs for people who have been homeless, or teens who want to try their own business ideas.
A: We often encounter persons on the streets who ask for money. Do not give a person money – instead, we should do what we can to help a homeless person get the appropriate services he or she needs to get off the streets.
Whatever you do, the message we must all send is one of hope—recovery is possible and help is available when someone is ready.
If you are concerned about a person on the street who is mentally or physically impaired and needs help, call the Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984.