MPOWER's 10th Anniversary
A Decade of Progress—and Measurable Impact
It all started with a bold question.
What would it take to end chronic street homelessness in Philadelphia?
Leigh and John Middleton both came from families who were committed to giving back. They were looking for a way to make real impact in their philanthropy and were directed to meet Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon. They met together at the Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs, and then visited Rowan Homes, St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence, and the Helen Brown Community Center in the neighborhood.
They were so impressed with the students, the well-run programs, and the sense of community. They recognized the strong commitment to combatting homelessness and its root causes that permeated every aspect of the organization. They saw great potential.
In a subsequent conversation Leigh and John asked Mary and Joan a significant question: “With no resource restraints or other hurdles, what would the plan to end homelessness in our city look like?”
It was from that inspiring conversation that MPOWER was born.
The Project HOME team shared a blueprint for a pipeline of increased housing capacity, and expanded support services. As that plan took shape, Leigh and John provided a transformational investment and joined likeminded philanthropic visionaries committed to the mission: The Connelly Family, The Honickman Family, The Maguire Family, Janet and John Haas, The Raynier Institute and Foundation, Betty Moran, Jon Bon Jovi, among others.
Today, the partnership is 25 members strong and is celebrating its 10th anniversary. MPOWER has transformed Project HOME’s work and driven tangible progress in tackling the epidemic of homelessness in Philadelphia.
“Leigh and John were visionary in their ideas. They were the first to say to us, ‘plan for the end.’ And so we did. MPOWER is that transformational roadmap to end homelessness in Philadelphia.”
Joan Dawson McConnon
Project HOME Co-Founder
The MPOWER Story
MPOWER is a Project HOME Community Investment Partnership drawing on a powerful network of people and ideas that multiplies Project HOME’s impact in five key areas: investments, relationships, resources, advocacy, and evidence.
This includes building new homes and programs to support the vulnerable individuals of today and tomorrow, expanding outreach services, helping to end veteran homelessness, breaking the cycle of homelessness for young adults, and expanding education, employment, and health care opportunities.
MPOWER’s Measurable Impact
MPOWER has unlocked resources that have significantly accelerated progress to end and prevent chronic homelessness in Philadelphia. It has afforded Project HOME and the larger system the opportunity to think bigger, expand the public system to support individuals who are currently experiencing homelessness, and provide solutions for those who become homeless in the future.
“MPOWER has given us the opportunity – and, quite frankly, the obligation – to scale our mission in ways we never could have imagined when we were just starting out. It’s given us the partners and resources to bring our approach to empowering individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty to more individuals and families in more communities across Philadelphia.”
Senior Vice President of Residential and Property
The 163% Effect
In less than a decade, MPOWER has multiplied Project HOME’s impact by 163%.
- Leveraged $25 million into more than $250 million
- Built nine new residential programs with a total of 500+ additional housing units–doubling overall housing capacity Built the Stephen Klein Wellness Center, offering integrated health services including primary, behavioral health, and dental care, together with wellness programs
- The impact of these homes and the supportive programs that accompany them goes beyond helping individuals to revitalizing entire communities. Residents are encouraged to participate in recovery-oriented activities that lead to personal growth, well-being, and self-sufficiency. These are communities with a shared vision who leverage what Jon Bon Jovi calls "The Power of We" to make ending chronic street homelessness a reality.
“MPOWER partners share a passion and purpose that amplifies our impact in a profound way. Together, we’ve accomplished more than we ever could have individually.”
MPOWER Founder and Partner
A Mission that Matters More Than Ever
Over the last decade, surging social forces drive a new urgency in addressing the crisis of homelessness and its underlying causes. COVID-19 and unprecedented addiction rates have exacerbated the vulnerabilities and challenges for individuals experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
Today, MPOWER partners lead the way to address these challenges head on, along with the systems fueling poverty and injustices.
Even as MPOWER celebrates its accomplishments, we recognize that there is much work to be done. We know that what impacts one of us, impacts us all. Project HOME’s credo is as true today as ever: None of us are home until all of us are home.
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