HOME Word Blog | Project HOME

HOME Word Blog

We know that you care as much as we do about how the pandemic is impacting our collective work to end homelessness and alleviate poverty in Philadelphia. We also know that you want to help now more than ever before. Click here for ways you can help immediately while keeping yourself safe.

With so much going on related to the COVID crisis impacting people who are homeless or low-income, here are some policy and action resources we are following.

Keystone Counts 2020

Project HOME is a proud partner of Keystone Counts, a statewide nonpartisan coalition of advocacy groups, service providers, and community organizations working together to build an education and outreach effort to ensure a fair and accurate 2020 census. We want to be sure our KEYSTONE COUNTS! Project HOME is also partnering with Philly Counts 2020, the City’s effort to support the next United States Census.

Adversity, pain, suffering, and trauma can displace us from the home within ourselves— whether it be from racism, sexual- and gender-based violence, any violence for that matter, poverty, personal catastrophe, natural disaster, lack of access to basic needs, homelessness, grief, classism, chronic or acute stress, ageism, ableism, or any of the other many systems of discrimination and oppression. 

Yaya  in front of HOME Spun Resale Boutique

When Yishya, “Yaya”, took a job at our HOME Spun Resale Boutique at 1523 Fairmount Avenue, she figured it would just be a stopgap on the way to her next opportunity. “Honestly, I didn’t think that it was anything that I would be good at,” said Yaya. “I didn't know how well I would be able to engage with people, you know, being shy.” But she took to the position quickly and whenever a customer at HOME Spun asked about Project HOME’s mission, talking about it seemed like the most natural thing to Yaya.

On February 10, 2020, President Trump released his budget proposal for the 2021 fiscal year, titled, “A Budget for America’s Future.” The proposal includes billions of dollars in cuts for basic needs: housing aid, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP/food stamps, assistance for people with disabilities, home heating and cooling assistance, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, college work-study, and many other services that help low-income people.

A few days ago, I was working with one of the outreach teams who were trying to find a placement for a vulnerable woman on the streets. I was impressed by the diligence and care of one of the outreach workers, Mr. Ruffin Hill. In talking with him afterwards, he reminded me that he was a resident of our St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence 20 years ago. Ruffin has been sober for 21 years, and after stabilizing his life and making much personal progress, he was employed full-time as an outreach worker with a partner organization, SELF Inc.

Allen Turner sorting through the thousands of books donated to Project HOME

If you pass Allen Turner at Project HOME’s 1515 Fairmount Avenue office and ask how he’s doing, his response will likely be, “It’s another day in the neighborhood!” He’s channeling PBS’s much-loved Fred Rogers, who’s known for saying “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” Allen’s version of the saying holds tremendous and deep meaning for him. It signifies how every day gives him one more chance to love, grow, change, and live.

Last month we were selected by Penji for their Unlimited Program. This partnership will enable us to execute essential communications that will help amplify our messages internally and externally. We are excited to get things going and want to recognize Penji for their commitment to assisting non-profit organizations like Project HOME. 

There is a German word, weltschmerz, which translates literally to “world-pain or world weariness.” The word is meant to describe a sensitivity to the ills of the world and the misery of human suffering, with use in German poetry around the time of the first world war.

I feel this often-- personally and professionally. One of the many rewards of working as a Behavioral Health Consultant as a licensed clinical social worker is getting to know all that it means to be human-- seeing life begin, heal, and end.

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