Sharing a Message of Hope
Curtis Stubbs' situation had become dire in the weeks before Project HOME outreach worker Sam Santiago entered his life.
Suffering from untreated schizophrenia and drug addiction, Curtis’ sense of hopelessness had already driven him to attempt suicide once. He was living on a razor’s edge and he knew it; so when Sam offered him a way out, Curtis grabbed it with both hands.
"I'm still working on myself," he admits. "But if I didn't have Project HOME I'd be in one of two places: jail or six feet under. Project HOME is a blessing."
Curtis' story - a powerful example to the men and women who are still struggling with homelessness - is a testament both to his own perseverance and to the targeted outreach efforts of Project HOME and our partners through the Hub of Hope, our most recent initiative that was centered in the Suburban Station concourse.
Hub of Hope housing staff helped Curtis acquire supportive housing at our James Widener Ray Homes residence, while medical staffers helped Curtis receive both drug treatment and medication for his schizophrenia. Curtis has also begun adult education classes at our Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs. But more than anything, his experience with the Hub of Hope renewed his sense of hope and trust.
Curtis was not alone. In just four months – between January and April of 2012 – 360 men and women experiencing chronic street homelessness were connected to vital – and sometimes life-saving – social service and medical resources through the Hub of Hope.
The primary goal of the Hub of Hope was to bring essential services directly to those who needed them most, creating a safe space that emphasized a community approach to meeting the needs of the most chronically at-risk men and women living in and around the Concourse.
The pilot program proved a resounding success as the centralized, welcoming environment promoted trust among the participants and Hub staffers, resulting in a strong follow-up rate.
The collaboration of so many stakeholders – among them business owners on the Concourse, SEPTA employees, the Philadelphia Police Department, and partner agencies from around Philadelphia – led to:
- 1317 social service visits from 360 unique individuals
- 292 medical visits from 134 unique individuals
- 103 essential medical assessments and forms completed for housing, services, and benefits
- 95 placements into shelter, treatment, and other housing options around the City
- 30 individuals connected to primary care providers
Curtis Stubbs can be counted among the believers.
“If it weren’t for Project HOME and the Hub of Hope, I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. “They put a lot of people back on their feet. I can say that because they helped me.”