A Mother's Love | Project HOME

A Mother's Love


Holly McBride did her measure best to keep her children out of the Philadelphia shelter system.

For years, she worked hard to find them spare spaces with family members and friends, but her options eventually ran out and Holly and her children were forced into a shelter system she had successfully avoided for so long.

Luckily, their stay would be a short one. In 2008, the 28-year-old mom was able to move her twin boys, Thomas and Gabriel, into Project HOME's Rowan Homes residence, and she hasn't looked back.

Taisha Shaw, McBride's case manager at Rowan, can attest to the resiliency she has shown since her arrival.

"Since her entry into the permanent supportive housing program, Ms. Holly has made tremendous strides, shown profound growth, and is a standout resident due to her commitment to wellness and recovery," said Shaw. "Although she has endured many traumas — the most recent being the suicide of her children's father several years ago — she has been able to meet the many goals she has set for herself and her children."

Perhaps McBride's most impressive — and important — achievement in her time at Rowan is the successful management of her anxiety disorder, a life-long affliction.

"Living at Rowan Homes has helped me be more independent," she said. "I am able to do things on my own as a mother, not relying on others. In the past, due to my shyness, I’d have people walk with me to the store and go to appointments with me."

"Being a part of Rowan Homes helped me get connected with a good therapist. She has helped me find my voice and speak my mind. In the past I was more worried about what others thought about me; working with my therapist has increased my confidence and I’m not as focused on what others think. I feel happy about my progress."

Once McBride was able to remove that emotional obstacle, she began to thrive, recently earning her GED and enrolling in a pre-college program at our Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs. She will begin classes this fall at the Community College of Philadelphia.

"Holly’s commitment to growth and change is remarkable," said Shaw. "When I met her over a year ago she was shy and timid, though her insightfulness was always apparent to me during conversations. Holly has truly transformed into a swan over the past few months; with the attainment of her GED she has truly began to spread her wings. Her comfort with herself and surroundings has dramatically increased which has positively impacted her in many ways."

McBride is thankful for the "safe home and stability" Rowan has provided her twin boys, who will be entering kindergarten this fall.