[NEWS] Citizen of the Year Awards: Sister Mary Scullion and Joan McConnon
The Philadelphia Citizen just announced Sister Mary Scullion and Joan McConnon will be recipients of their Citizen of the Year award on January 30. See below for more from the article:
"It’s fitting that the two women whose efforts to curb homelessness in Philadelphia birthed an organization now recognized as a national model first connected through the unhoused people they separately served.
In the mid-1980s, Sister Mary Scullion began working with unhoused Philadelphians as part of her commitment to the Sisters of Mercy. Many of the individuals she served would ask if she knew Joan Dawson McConnon, a Drexel University graduate student who did similar work.
Scullion didn’t know McConnon But, she says, everyone “said she was a remarkable person and that we should meet.”
When the pair did connect, they later realized they had a shared vision of how to address homelessness: Providing those in need with a continuum of care that addressed an unhoused individual’s multiple needs, including housing, opportunity for employment, medical care, and education. Together, in 1989, they came up with the concept of Project HOME.
More than 30 years later, their nonprofit has grown from a single transitional residence into a multi-faceted organization providing long-term housing and temporary safe places; access to mental and physical medical care, education opportunities, job training and placement programs; and expanding into drug and alcohol recovery support. Their efforts have improved the lives of every city resident, not just those they’ve directly served."