Project HOME to Host Milestone Anniversary Gala, Honoring Co-Founders Joan Dawson McConnon and Sister Mary Scullion, Celebrating 35 Years of Impact

Project HOME
Joan and Sister Mary

Celebrating ongoing commitment to end and prevent chronic street homelessness, Jon Bon Jovi, elected leaders, and more will join in night of community, love, and generosity.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – May 1, 2024 – Project HOME today announced it will host its 35th anniversary gala! The evening will bring together special honored guests, friends, community partners, donors, community leaders, and more to honor its co-founders Joan Dawson McConnon and Sister Mary Scullion for their tremendous impact and legacy, while celebrating all that is to come with the future of the organization.

The event will be held on May 1, 2024 at 6:15 p.m. at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown to raise over $5 million. Highlights of the evening will include special surprises and remarks from Jon Bon Jovi and Governor Josh Shapiro, a fundraising extravaganza with a goal to raise an additional $1 million in the room, an unforgettable award ceremony, and much more.

“Over the last 35 years, we’ve built an incredible community that’s empowered countless people in Philadelphia and beyond to change their lives,” said Sister Mary Scullion, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Project HOME. “That kind of impact is something truly special, and it’s something worth celebrating. Yet this event isn’t just about looking back at all we’ve accomplished together. It’s also about marking Project HOME’s next chapter and continuing impact with a one-of-a-kind evening that will inspire and unite us in our commitment that none of us are home until all of us are home.”

The evening will celebrate the enduring legacy and friendship of McConnon and Scullion, who are transitioning out of their day-to-day leadership roles with Project HOME but will remain connected to the organization. During the event, the two luminaries will receive the Golden Heart Award, symbolizing the care, compassion and concern they have shown for thousands across Philadelphia. The event will also include remarks from Jon Bon Jovi, Governor Josh Shapiro, Leigh and John Middleton, Project HOME community members, and more. There will be a performance by the Project HOME Choir and a state proclamation issued by Governor Shapiro.

Project HOME traces its history back to the winter of 1989, when a group of volunteers, including co-founders Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon, opened a short-term emergency shelter for chronically homeless men in the locker rooms of the Marian Anderson city recreation center. In the 35 years since, the organization has served as a national leader in providing comprehensive and effective services to persons experiencing chronic homelessness. It recently surpassed more than 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing in Philadelphia and has built a robust network of resources and initiatives addressing housing, opportunities for employment, medical care, and education. More recently, Project HOME has taken bold steps to change the way the opioid epidemic is addressed for individuals experiencing homelessness, including the Epstein Street Medicine program and the Estadt-Lubert Collaborative for Housing and Recovery, creating a healing ecosystem to reduce inefficiencies and greatly enhance the care of people through a comprehensive approach.

Special events, speakers and attendees for the gala include:

  • Jon Bon Jovi, MPOWER Partner, event Co-chair, and Board Chairman, JBJ Soul Foundation
  • Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro
  • Sister Mary Scullion, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Project HOME
  • Joan Dawson McConnon, Co-Founder & Associate Executive Director, Project HOME
  • Leigh and John Middleton, MPOWER Partners and event Co-Chairs
  • Pam Estadt and Ira Lubert, MPOWER partners and Presenting Sponsors
  • Surprise guests
  • Presentation of the Golden Heart Award to Joan Dawson McConnon and Sister Mary Scullion
  • Performance by the Project HOME Choir
  • In-room fundraising initiative

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