[NEWS] On Fairmount Avenue, hundreds line up for a shot at a home | Project HOME

[NEWS] On Fairmount Avenue, hundreds line up for a shot at a home


From Philly.com

By dawn Thursday, 500 people had lined up on the sidewalk outside the Project HOME apartments on Fairmount Avenue.

They had raced from work shifts and forgone sleep in a shelter bed or on a friend’s couch to wait through the night for the thing they needed most: a home. Word had spread through social workers and shelter staffers and friends of friends: on Thursday morning at 8, Project HOME would start accepting qualified applicants for its newest affordable-housing units on North Broad Street — on a first-come, first-served basis.

There were 88 apartments available.

The line started forming Wednesday morning. The sun rose the next day on hundreds who had spent the night on the street for a chance at a single-occupancy apartment. Few on Fairmount could afford to be last in line.

Kameshia Graham had arrived at 10 a.m. Wednesday and was first in line. A former dental assistant, she said she became homeless two years ago in the throes of a mental-health crisis, and moved from the South Bronx to Newark to the Center for Hope, a shelter across the street at Broad and Fairmount.

“I’m getting the help I need here,” she said. Her next step is living independently again, she said.