[RELEASE] Project HOME Proposal to Solve Street Homelessness Named ‘Best Bet’ by University of Pennsylvania’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy
MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change Competition Submission the only to be Recognized in Pennsylvania
Project HOME announced that its MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition proposal to solve street homelessness was honored as a “Best Bet” by the University of Pennsylvania Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP). Project HOME is the only organization in Pennsylvania to be honored with this recognition.
The proposal includes a partnership between Philadelphia and Seattle to meet the unique challenges facing populations at risk of homelessness in each city. It calls for expanding housing and providing holistic services to create a pipeline of support that ensures chronically homeless individuals will not end up on the streets again after being housed. The submission was published in the CHIP publication Bold Ideas for Philanthropists to Drive Social Change.
“By forming committed partnerships and leveraging resources, we’ve created a model that amplifies our ability to get chronically homeless individuals into stable housing and keep them off the streets for good,” said Sister Mary Scullion, Project HOME co-founder and Executive Director. “While we may not have won the MacArthur Grant, we’re proud to receive this recognition for our work. Most importantly, we’ll keep working to build on it here in Philadelphia and continue to seek opportunities to adapt it in other areas to ensure every citizen has not just housing, but a home.”
Approximately 1,400 individuals in Philadelphia are considered long-term unsheltered and chronically homeless. Research by Dr. Dennis Culhane found that 20 percent of chronically homeless individuals in Philadelphia accrued 60 percent of public service costs, mainly from health care and incarceration. More recently, Culhane’s research reveals that young adults, especially those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment, comprise one of the fastest-growing groups in homelessness demographics.
The Project HOME proposal outlined a systematic approach to increasing housing capacity through extensive public-private partnerships and ignite political will, leverage resources and create a sustainable infrastructure. The plan also included details for replicating this model in Seattle. This vision was driven by partnerships with the Housing Development Consortium, the City of Philadelphia, the City of Seattle, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and many other service providers and philanthropic partners in Philadelphia and Seattle.
“The Center for High Impact Philanthropy chose its ‘Best Bets’ based on their potential to create significant, positive change in the world,” said Anne Ferola, CHIP’s Director, Education & Strategic Partnerships. “Our team was impressed by Project HOME’s plan to achieve ‘functional zero’ for long-term unsheltered and chronic homelessness in two of America’s largest cities, and see its potential to change the way homelessness is addressed across the country.”
Project HOME’s proposal was one of 1,904 submitted to the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change competition. The foundation selected the top 200 entrants and selected eight semi-finalists. CHIP, the only university-based center with a singular focus on how philanthropy can achieve greater social impact, evaluated the remaining proposals based on the problem the organization was trying to solve, who would be impacted by the solution, and how their lives would improve. It selected 11 submissions as “Best Bets”—including Project HOME’s proposal—to be included in its publication, which was released on Dec. 11, 2017.