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