Leadership at Project HOME

Since 1989, Project HOME has helped thousands of people break the cycle of homelessness and poverty by providing a continuum of services that includes street outreach, supportive housing and comprehensive services that focus on health care, education and employment through both adult and youth education and enrichment programs at the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs and community-based health care services at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center. Project HOME and its partners have pledged to end chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia, housing 2,200 people—1,000 people who have been long-term street homeless, 200 youth who are homeless and/or aging out of foster care, and 1,000 people who are homeless on the street and addicted but ready for recovery and work.

The leadership team at Project HOME is dedicated to empowering individuals to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through affordable housing, employment, health care, and education

See below for our leadership teams and select milestones from the past three decades.

Leadership and Milestones


Sister Mary Scullion
President and Executive Director

Sister Mary Scullion has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. She was a co-founder, in 1985, of Woman of Hope, which provides permanent residential and support services for homeless, mentally ill women. In 1988, she founded the first Outreach Coordination Center in the nation, an innovative program coordinating private and public agencies doing outreach to chronically homeless persons living on the street.

In 1989, Sister Mary and Joan Dawson McConnon co-founded Project HOME, a nationally recognized organization that provides supportive housing, employment, education and health care to enable chronically homeless and low-income persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Under their leadership, Project HOME has grown from an emergency winter shelter to nearly 1000 units of housing and two businesses that provide employment to formerly homeless persons.  Project HOME also prevents homelessness in a low-income neighborhood in North Philadelphia. This initiative includes economic development, homeownership for the working poor, and the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs – a 38,000 square foot, state-of-the-art technology center that offers comprehensive educational and occupational programming.

In 2015 Project HOME opened the Stephen Klein Wellness Center. The Stephen Klein Wellness Center is a model for integrated health care including primary care, behavioral health, dental, a YMCA, pharmacy and wellness services.  It serves those that are homeless and is located in the second poorest zip code in Philadelphia.

Sister Mary is also a powerful voice on political issues affecting homelessness and mentally ill persons. Her advocacy efforts resulted in the right of homeless persons to vote as well as a landmark federal court decision that affects the fair housing rights of persons with disabilities.

Sister Mary has received numerous honorary doctorates for her leadership including Georgetown University and University of Pennsylvania. She was selected by Time Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Influential People in 2009”. In addition, Sister Mary and Joan Dawson McConnon received the Laetare Medal from the University of Notre Dame. She was awarded the Eisenhower Fellowship in 2002.

Sister Mary has served on the Board of Trustees of St. Joseph’s University and the Board of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. She also chaired the Hunger and Homelessness Committee for Pope Francis’s visit to Philadelphia in 2015.

Joan Dawson McConnon
Associate Executive Director

As the Associate Executive Director of Project HOME Joan Dawson McConnon is responsible for the financial leadership of the organization and its related entities. In addition, Joan collaborates with the Executive Team Leaders driving our real estate development and asset management activities, our property management services, our IT initiatives and our Legal and Human Resources functions.

McConnon earned her B.S. degree in Accounting from Penn State University and her M.S. degree in Taxation from Drexel University. She co-founded Project HOME in 1989 after working in industry and the public accounting sector for eight years.



Yevette R. Carmichael
Senior Vice President of People and Culture

Carmichael has served as a leader and change agent strategist for over 15 years. Prior to joining the Project HOME community, Carmichael worked with a Head Start agency to close the opportunity gap for children and support families in interrupting the cycle of intergenerational poverty. As the SVP of People and Culture, Carmichael supports the execution of the organizational strategic plan to function as an anti-racist organization. Carmichael’s strong belief in equitable policies, practices and systems, that create a sense of authentic belonging, drives her to move the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion forward at Project HOME.

Carmichael is a graduate of Stonybrook University where she received a B.A. in Sociology. Carmichael will complete a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, December 2022. Additionally, Carmichael holds a certification in DEI from Cornell University, as well as certifications in Change Management and Organizational/Developmental Coaching.

Lekeisha Evans
Vice President of Education, Employment and Neighborhood Services

As the Vice President of the Education, Employment and Neighborhood Services, Evans leads a dynamic team of individuals responsible for managing day-to-day operations in the K-8 After School, College Access, Adult Education and Employment Programs at the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs and Community Development Program at Helen Brown Community Center. Programs that work with students, families, residents and other community members to provide K-12 students access to high-quality academic, arts and technology programming as a pathway to college and career success, increase the employability and earning potential of adult learners, engages community and serves as a resource center to the North Philadelphia community.

Prior to joining Project HOME, Evans worked at the Harlem Children’s Zone for 14 years. She managed Education and Youth Development programs aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty and creating opportunities that afforded children in central Harlem access to quality educational support, continuous growth, and development. She has a B.S. in Business from Penn State University and is an alumnus of Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs Emerging Leaders in Nonprofit Management program.

Cheryl Hill
Senior Vice President of Property Operations and Residential Services

As Senior Vice President of Property Management Services, Hill leads a team responsible for the day to day property management activities such as leasing, re-certifications and maintenance at the residential and commercial locations. The property management services team is also responsible for ensuring the process incorporates a mission driven approach to property management, while maintaining compliance with applicable regulatory programs and funding entities.

Prior to joining Project HOME, she worked for 15 years in the affordable housing industry, helping to establish policies, operational procedures and compliance programs. Cheryl has a B.A. from San Francisco State University and a MBA from Georgia State university. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) and has a number of housing industry certifications.

Annette Jeffrey
Senior Vice President of Development and Communications

As Senior Vice President of Development and Communications, Annette Jeffrey leads a talented team of fundraising and communications professionals seeking to grow financial resources for Project HOME. In this role, Jeffrey works closely with Project HOME’s philanthropic partners and oversees annual and capital giving, individual and institutional giving programs, donor events, volunteer and in-kind gifts, and Project HOME communications.

Jeffrey has over 20 years of development experience providing leadership at United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, and the Philadelphia Orchestra and Academy of Music.

Jeffrey has B. M. and M. M. degrees from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.

William Kurtycz
Vice President of Healthcare Services

As the Vice President of the Healthcare Services, William Kurtycz oversees the Federally Qualified Health Care (FQHC) operations of Medical, Dental, Behavioral Health operations for The Stephen Klein Wellness Center, Hub of Hope, and Pathways. An FQHC is a community-based organization that provides comprehensive primary care and preventive care, including health, oral, and mental health/substance abuse services to persons of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status. Thus, they are a critical component of the health care safety net.    

William has over 20 years' experience in the health care arena and is dedicated to community health care. William earned his Master's in Business Administration (MBA), with a focus on Health Care Administration from Tiffin University. His professional affiliation NCCHC, PACHC, AHIMA, and HIMSS.  William has received the John Anderson Award, Access Enhancer Award, Health Care Disparity Reducer Award, Innovation Award, and Most Newsworthy. 

Kevin P. Noel 
Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration/Chief Financial Officer 

As the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration/Chief Financial Officer, Kevin supplies leadership and strategic direction for the financial and administrative functions at Project HOME.  He directly oversees the finance, accounting, information technology and risk management activities of the organization. 

Kevin has over 25 years’ experience in the non-profit social services sector and has served in senior roles at the Delaware HIV Consortium, Family & Workplace Connections and Children & Families First in Delaware and, most recently, NorthEast Treatment Centers.  He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Delaware and completed his undergraduate work at Widener University.

Ron Patterson
Vice President of Information Technology

As the Vice President of Information Technology, Ron leads a team focused on infrastructure, innovation, and user experience. He believes that you start with the end in mind when building scalable and sustainable solutions focused on driving an organization. Ron has 20 years of experience in management consultation, team building, professional development, strategic implementation, and company collaboration.

Prior to joining Project HOME, he worked for another mission-driven organization that supported seniors by providing Home Care services. There he led several initiatives to help seniors maintain their quality of life. Ron has a B. A from the University of Richmond, an MS, and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.

Candice Player
Vice President of Advocacy, Public Policy and Street Outreach

Candice Player joined Project HOME in July 2019.  In her role as the Vice President of Advocacy, Public Policy and Street Outreach, Player provides mission-focused leadership for our street outreach programs. Through the Outreach Coordination Center, the Hub of Hope and the Ambassadors of Hope, Outreach engages individuals who are living on the streets of Philadelphia and provides vital linkages to housing, health care, food, clothing, meals, and other necessities.  In this role, Player also leads the Advocacy Department with a focus on removing systemic barriers to exiting homelessness.  

Prior to joining Project HOME, Player was an Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern Law School, where she taught classes on health law, health policy, mental health law, torts, and bioethics. Player holds an A.B. from Harvard College, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, and a Ph.D. in Ethics and Health Policy from Harvard University. In 2003, Player received an M.Phil. in Criminology from the University of Cambridge.  In addition to her role at Project HOME, Player is a senior fellow in the School of Policy and Practice (SP2) at UPenn. Her thought-provoking articles on the law and ethics of civil commitment have appeared in publications including The Sanford Law & Policy Review, The International Journal of Law & Psychiatry, and The Rutgers Law Review.  Player is a licensed attorney and a member of the New York Bar.   

Janet Stearns
Senior Vice President, Real Estate & Asset Management

Janet Stearns has more than 30 years of experience in affordable housing and real estate and asset management. In addition to her JD, Janet has a master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration. Janet has been a senior leader at Project HOME since 2011, as a member of the executive team and leader of the Project HOME real estate team. Real estate and asset management at Project HOME are mission driven and focus on creating new supportive housing and space for mission related uses, as well as preserving our existing properties. Since 2011, Project HOME has completed more than ten major projects and now has more than 20 buildings used for housing, outreach, healthcare, education and employment.

Jessie Ai
Joanne Berwind
Jeff Cook
Caitlin Ferry
Gus Gray
Joyce Hagan
Hank Hockeimer | Vice Chair
Marissa Humphrey
Bridget Jacobs
Marc Jenkins
Juanita Jones
Lori Lasher
Megan Maguire Nicoletti
Leigh Middleton
Dainette Mintz
Wes Mitchell
Marcel Pratt
Norma Reichlin
Estelle Richman | Chair
Amy Riley
Jim Smith
Thomas Walker
Joyce Wilkerson
Mary Scullion* | Executive Director
Joan McConnon* | Treasurer
*All trustees are independent voting members except those marked with an asterisk.
Board Emeritus
Kathy Anderson
Donna Boscia
D. Walter Cohen
Steve D'Angelo
Robert Downing
Frances Egan
Debbie Fretz
Stephen Gold
Dennis Griffin
Margaret Healy
Lynne Honickman
Loree Jones
Hyacinth King
Louis Mayer
Joseph Miller
Joyce Miller
Kathleen Owens
Pedro Ramos
Emily Riley
Michael Rubinger
Susan Sherman
Glenn Shively
Georgianna Simmons
Gerald Strid
Riki Wagman
Lara Carson Weinstein

Board Chairs
Joseph Ferry

Stephen Gold, Esq.

Margaret Healy, Ph.D.

William Harvey, Esq.

Kathleen Owens, Ph.D.

Debbie Fretz

Estelle Richman

Deceased emeritus members italicized.

The Resident Advisory Board currently has 14 regular members out of 25 members who come occasionally to represent Project HOME permanent housing sites and alumni. Along with the Board of Trustees and the Executive Team, the Resident Advisory Board is a main leadership body at Project HOME.

The Resident Advisory Board’s three main roles are to:

  • Play a strategic role in helping Project HOME live out our vision: “None of us are home until all of us are home”
  • Advise Project HOME’s Executive Management team on the development and implementation of  our Strategic Plan
  • Ensure that resident concerns are resolved at the appropriate level


  • Formalize and strengthen the Resident Advisory Board
  • Develop a process to keep board focus on Mission, Advocacy and the Strategic Plan
  • Assist in the development and support of tenant councils

With a transformational leadership gift from Leigh and John Middleton, Project HOME created a public/private initiative to end and prevent chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia. MPOWER comprises visionary leaders who have joined with Leigh and John Middleton to ensure that together we realize this bold goal.

MPOWER Visionary Leaders

Connelly Foundation
Sheila and John Connors
Gloria and John Drosdick
Bonnie and Jay Eisner
Pam Estadt and Ira Lubert
Janet and John Haas
The Honickman Family
I Am the Vine Foundation
Independence Blue Cross
JBJ Soul Foundation
Peggy and Harold Katz
Pierce and Katie Keating
James and Agnes Kim Foundation
Stephen B. Klein
Suzanne and Robert Levin
Maguire Foundation
Leigh and John Middleton
Elizabeth R. Moran
Neubauer Family Foundation
Oak Foundation
Raynier Institute and Foundation
Aileen and Brian Roberts
Jim and Marie Seward
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Inc.
William Penn Foundation
A. Morris Williams, Jr.
Connie and Sankey Williams

Deceased members are italicized.

Accomplishments and Recognitions



  • Our Advocacy and Public Policy team won a landmark case in the Third Circuit Federal Appeals Court, which established a legal precedent ensuring fair housing practices for homeless persons with special needs. For nearly 25 years, Project HOME has worked with a variety of coalitions on the city, state, and national levels to impact public policies, educate elected officials and maximize resources for housing and services
  • Teams from our Outreach Coordination Center, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, Hall Mercer, Horizon House, the Mental Health Association of SEPA, and SEPTA, canvass the streets of Center City and surrounding areas around the clock to link homeless individuals with shelter, supportive housing, medical care, mental health care and substance abuse treatment
  • Project HOME has developed 1,038 units of affordable and supportive housing for persons who have experienced homelessness and low-income persons at-risk of homelessness in Philadelphia, with an additional 40 units under construction and 100 units in the pipeline
  • James Widener Ray Homes opened in 2012, a completely renovated, 53-unit building in the Tioga section of Philadelphia, the first development of the Middleton Housing Partnership, made possible through a transformational leadership gift from Leigh and John Middleton
  • JBJ Soul Homes, a four-story, mixed-use development that will bring retail space and 55 apartments for formerly homeless and low-income men, women, and children to the Francisville neighborhood, opened in April 2014
  • Francis House of Peace, a 94-unit, mixed-use development that will provide affordable housing to both a special-needs population (formerly homeless men and women and young adults) and to individuals living on low incomes, opened in May 2016
  • Opened Ruth Williams House at the Gene & Marlene Epstein Building, an 88-unit mixed use building in North Philadelphia, in April 2018
  • Opened Gloria Casarez Residence, which will include 30 one-bedroom units of affordable housing targeted to young adults (age 18-23) who are homeless, have experienced homelessness, or are at risk of homelessness (including those aging out of foster care), and is LBGTQ-friendly
  • In partnership with SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia, expanded the Hub of Hope into a permanent location in Suburban Station to offer year-round services
  • Opened Maguire Residence, a 42-unit affordable residence in the heart of Kensington
  • Opened on Peg's Place, which will provide an additional 40 homes in the heart of Kensington
  • Opened Sacred Heart Recovery Residence, providing 14 respite beds and 48 entry-level long-term beds to people who have experienced homelessness and are committed to recovery
  • Opened Inn of Amazing Mercy in Kensington, providing eight entry-level beds and 54 units of recovery housing 

Opportunities for Employment

  • Our Employment Services program works with over 200 residents and alumni each year on educational assistance, job search, job coaching, resume writing and budgeting. We make employment referrals and maintain relationships with community partners including Fresh Direct, The Fresh Grocer, Loews Hotel, PA CareerLink, Morgan Lewis & Bockius and ShopRite
  • The Social Enterprise program was recently created to operate an increased number of social enterprises that provide employment opportunities and workplace skill development for formerly homeless individuals. The Library Restroom Attendant Program in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia, Project HOMEspun Resale Boutique, Project HOMEmade, and Project HOMEbooks number among the initiatives
  • Our Adult Learning Program at the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs, serves more than 1,200 annually, thanks to generous funders like the Raynier Foundation and Citizens Bank. The program provides employment services to formerly homeless residents and community members, including: Adult Basic Education/GED Preparation; Computers and Technology; Job Readiness; Resume Workshops; Career Tracks Programs; Workforce Development Workshops; and Career Fairs. We also partner with the Urban League of Philadelphia to provide free customer service training and placement support
  • The Harold A. Honickman Young Entrepreneur Program provides teens the opportunity to create and run small businesses. This competitive program provides students with business mentors, workshops and start-up funding for business projects proposed by them
  • In partnership with the Exelon Veterans Training & Employment Program and Independence Blue Cross, we place residents in paid internship positions at partner organizations across the city. Through this initiative, formerly homeless men and women have access to paid work experience for a period of three to six months

Medical Care

  • Our Community Health Initiative, a partnership with the Thomas Jefferson University Department of Family & Community Medicine, makes approximately 2,000 contacts with patients annually, providing community-based, high-quality health care and health education services to the St. Elizabeth’s/Diamond Street neighborhood in North Philadelphia.  We work to ensure our residents obtain health insurance and link them to preventive health care services
  • Partnerships with Council for Relationships and House of Hope and Peace enable neighbors to access behavioral health services—including individual, child, couple and family therapy, as well as workshops on stress management, anger management, parenting, building family and community resilience, coping with anxiety and depression, and empowering the self and others to address violence in the community
  • Opened the Stephen Klein Wellness Center (SKWC), a Federally Qualified Health Clinic where Project HOME, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, and other partners will provide community-based, uniquely integrated health and wellness services targeted to the needs of the North Central Philadelphia Community. Recently opened a pharmacy inside the SKWC, in partnership with the AmerisourceBergen Foundation and Good Neighbor Pharmacy
  • In partnership with the Einstein Healthcare Network, began offering free root canal treatment at the Stephen Klein Wellness Center 
  • Announced the Estadt-Lubert Collaborative for Housing and Recovery, a groundbreaking collaborative changing the way the opioid epidemic is addressed for individuals experiencing homelessness
  • Began the Epstein Street Medicine Program, provides point-of-contact medical care to individuals experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia, with a focus on those living outside. Through holistic, person-centered, trauma-informed care delivered through a harm-reduction lens, the team aims to improve medical outcomes and enhance access to healthcare and support services. The Street Medicine team partners with Project HOME’s Street Outreach Team and provides medical services and establishes trusts with individuals experiencing homelessness where they live.


  • Our Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL), a state-of-the-art, 38,000-square-foot technology center in North Central Philadelphia, provides critical educational and workforce development programs for neighborhood children and their families.
  • Began our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Media Arts, and Math) programming in 2020, teaching our students at the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL) to build circuits, learn code, print 3D objects, program robotic behaviors, explore solar energy, and much more.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon receive The Philadelphia Citizen Lifetime Achievement Award (2024)
  • Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations (PACDC) Blue Ribbon winner for Francis House of Peace (2017)
  • Project HOME won the inaugural Willard G. “Bill” Rouse III Award for Excellence from the  Urban Land Institute Philadelphia for the design of JBJ Soul Homes (2014)
  • Philadelphia City Council recognized Project HOME for "achieving 25 years of providing exceptional services to the homeless population in the City of Philadelphia" (2014)
  • Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon awarded University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Urban Research's 10th annual Urban Leadership Award, which honors urban visionaries for their transformative leadership for sustainable and inclusive cities (2014)
  • Sister Mary Scullion received the 2013 James Cardinal Gibbons Medal from The Catholic University of America Alumni Association (2013)
  • Joan Dawson McConnon awarded Penn State’s Distinguished Alumni Award, the University's highest award for an individual (2012)
  • Sister Mary Scullion named 2011 Citizen of the Year by the Philadelphia Inquirer (2012)
  • Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon receive the University of Notre Dame Laetare Award (2011)
  • Sister Mary Scullion is selected by MORE Magazine as one of the “50 Strongest Women” (2011)
  • Sister Mary Scullion is selected by Time Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Influential People in 2009” (2009)
  • Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon are selected by Dunkin’ Donuts and the Philadelphia Eagles as two of the “75 Greatest Living Philadelphians” (2007)
  • Project HOME receives the National Alliance to End Homelessness Nonprofit Sector Achievement Award (2005)
  • Project HOME receives the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty’s STAR Award for constructive, creative, innovative and replicable approaches to ending homelessness (2004)
  • Project HOME recognized by The New York Times as a national model to end homelessness (2003)
  • Project HOME receives the Ford Foundation’s national “Leadership for a Changing World Award” (2002)
  • Project HOME recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as one of the “100 Best Practices” (2000)
  • Project HOME recognized by Philanthropy Roundtable as one of the “16 most efficient and innovative charities we know of anywhere” (2000)

None of us are home until all of us are home®