Spirit of Generosity | PECO
This story originally appeared in our winter edition of News from HOME.
PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia region’s most active corporate citizens, providing more than $5 million in financial support to educational, arts and culture, diversity, environmental, economic development, and community programs and organizations in 2014.
Project HOME is one of many local organizations that has benefitted from PECO’s leadership and vision. Over the years, PECO has supported many Project HOME efforts designed to ensure that low-income and formerly homeless individuals and their families are able to achieve their full potential.
Understanding the critical need for affordable housing in Philadelphia, PECO supported Project HOME’s early efforts to develop homeownership opportunities for low- income, first-time homebuyers in our target North Central Philadelphia community. PECO provided a generous grant that allowed us to develop a Financial Literacy Program, which empowered adults in North Central Philadelphia with the knowledge to take control of their finances and become educated consumers of financial products.
PECO also directed their support to our Adult Learning and Workforce Development program at the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs. There, we have been able to impact the lives of hundreds of neighborhood adults through access to adult learning offerings, including GED and computer classes, as well as opportunities to develop work skills.
PECO has always been committed to supporting veterans in the Philadelphia region. In 2010, PECO partnered with Project HOME to address a growing problem: veteran poverty and homelessness. The PECO Veterans Training and Employment Program was developed to address the specific needs of veterans by providing opportunities for unemployed or underemployed veterans to gain the experience required to re-enter the job market.
The PECO Veterans Training and Employment Program has provided critical services to veterans. Participants engage in a six-month paid internship during which they meet with Project HOME staff to develop goals and review their progress. We provide veterans with assistance through a mentorship program, and they receive coaching on job searching, resumé and cover- letter writing, and interviewing. Participants are connected with other Project HOME services when appropriate, which may include primary and mental healthcare, housing, or financial assistance. The program tailors training to each individual’s interests and skills so they can pursue occupations that are meaningful and stimulating.
We salute PECO’s commitment to ending and preventing veteran homelessness. PECO’s commitment to giving back to those who have given so much is being realized at Project HOME, one graduate at a time. PECO’s strategic partnership with Project HOME has inspired other investments. Other funders of our employment initiatives include: Otto Haas Charitable Trust; Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP; Raynier Institute and Foundation; Haines Family Foundation; Independence Blue Cross; JP Morgan Chase; and Citizens Bank.