HOME Word Blog | Project HOME

HOME Word Blog

Jessica looked strong and assured as she stood at the podium. Looking at the crowd of recent high school graduates, she told them she understood their feelings of apprehension about the future.
But she also wanted to encourage them through her own story. “I have come a long way,” she told them, “and I am proud of the person I am becoming.”

Move-in day at Ruth Williams House at the Gene & Marlene Epstein Building, Project HOME’s brand-new permanent housing facility. Rashawn is accompanied by Project HOME Residential staff as they take the elevator to the third floor. They arrive at Room 408, to find the door decorated with a large ribbon and bow, like a package ready to be opened. Filled with a mixture of excitement, amazement, and even some fear, Rashawn opened the door and entered the spacious, furnished efficiency apartment (complete with a gift basket of household supplies).

From the moment we met her, we knew that Helen Brown was a force of nature – but also a force of love and care for people. Helen, along with Chis Whaley and Priscilla Bennett (Ms. T), worked tirelessly to engage the people in the neighborhood.

The building was just what we were looking for. The beautiful solidly built four-story structure (originally a casket factory and later a furniture display warehouse) would serve perfectly as our first permanent housing residence for many of the people we had been working with who still needed to permanently break the cycle of homelessness with a place of their own.

It would be a challenge – securing financing, housing vouchers, permits. We even anticipated the usual protests from some in the neighborhood, an inevitable part of developing housing for people with special needs.

For almost 25 years, the vision, time, generosity and leadership of Lynne and Harold Honickman has been pivotal in Project HOME’s growth and success. Most significantly, their leadership greatly enhanced our belief in “the transformational power of education as crucial to addressing the degradation of homelessness and poverty.” The Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs stands as a beacon of opportunity for education and workforce development for children and their families.

Generosity: GIFTS of Community

Generosity is a way of life rooted in what we give ourselves and others. Generosity, the art of giving without the expectation of return, creates abundance when practiced regularly.

Backed by science, generosity is a known intervention to improve our quality of life and improve our health. Generosity – on neurobiological, interpersonal, and social levels - is known to reduce stress, support our immune systems, and enhance our sense of purpose. 

It all started on the streets.  Even when we had scarce resources to offer, the trusting relationships we formed with those men and women, many of whom had logged ten or more years on the streets, were the seeds of transformation.  They gave us hope and energy to truly believe that chronic homelessness could be solved.

They walk three abreast, one in a police uniform, another in a white Center City District (CCD) shirt with a purple hat, and a third wearing an orange vest with the words ‘Homeless Outreach’ on the back. Known as Ambassadors of Hope, this trio is pounding the pavement daily, stopping to talk to people they see experiencing homelessness, and bringing hope to each person they meet. “The thinking is that we can have a consistent presence in places where folks might spend their day,” explains Madelaine Guss, program manager for Project HOME’s Ambassadors of Hope.

Mark your calendars: December 3rd is #GivingTuesday!

Be part of the movement that helps change lives in our community. Please join the national celebration of generosity and help create positive change.

Last year, your contributions directly helped us in creating homes and offering supportive programming to those in need.

Gifts contributed to Project HOME's #GivingTuesday campaign will once again be matched by Gene & Marlene Epstein Humanitarian Fund up to a total of $10,000!

Please save the date and remember Project HOME December 3rd on #GivingTuesday!

Spirit of Generosity: SEPTA

Of the ten largest cities in the United States, Philadelphia ranks first in poverty and deep poverty. Like all major cities, Philadelphia lacks enough affordable housing and thousands have been impacted by the opioid crisis. Many struggling with homelessness and addiction increasingly seek shelter in SEPTA’s stations and terminals when they feel they have nowhere else to go.