Project HOME History | Project HOME

Project HOME History

Our History

Since its beginning in 1989, Project HOME has been a leader in providing comprehensive and effective services to persons who experience chronic homelessness. With innovation, leadership, and an unyielding commitment to the dignity of each person, we have developed nationally recognized programs that have proven that homelessness can be solved. We have also been a leader in Philadelphia in responding to the root causes of homelessness by helping to rebuild low-income neighborhoods and by engaging in political advocacy to bring about positive public policies for low-income and homeless persons.

The 1980s
  • The Night Winter Coalition operates a short-term emergency winter shelter for men. Many of the men moved on to treatment and supportive residences. From that work, the non-profit organization Project HOME was formed based on the solution to homelessness: Housing, Opportunities for Employment, Medical Care, and Education.
The 1990s
  • The Outreach Coordination Center moves from Women of Hope to Project HOME to coordinate street outreach efforts throughout the City of Philadelphia.
  • Our first transitional residence for men opens on Diamond Street (later called Hope Haven).
  • Project HOME began working with Jefferson Hospital on health care access for low-income neighbors in North Philadelphia.
  • The Crossing opens as a second transitional residence for 10 men (It later serves women, and closes in 2003).
  • Seeds of Hope program opens in the Diamond Street neighborhood. This was our first after-school program, where we offered an after-school snack and read stories to kids in a safe environment.
  • Kairos House transitional residence and In Community Supported Independent Living Program open for persons with mental health issues who are homeless.
  • Project HOME takes over operation of St. Columba, an emergency shelter for older, frail men.
  • We begin counseling, job training, and recovery programs.
  • The St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence opens, providing supports to men in recovery from substance dependence with a history of homelessness.
  • Opened several job-training and employment initiatives, including the Back HOME Café, Our Daily Threads thrift store, and an expanded cottage industry program.
  • After four years of litigation, Project HOME wins the right to provide housing at 1515 Fairmount Avenue.
  • Project HOME begins participation in The Philadelphia Plan, partnering with Crown Cork & Seal to do comprehensive community development in the Diamond Street and St. Elizabeth’s Neighborhood.
  • We opened a free neighborhood health clinic in partnership with the Independence Foundation.
  • Women of Change opens, a “safe haven” for mentally-ill women from the streets.
  • First rehabilitated homes are developed and sold to first-time homebuyers. Between 1998 and 2013, Project HOME rehabilitates 49 homes in the Diamond Street/St. E’s neighborhood, bringing some blocks back to between 90 percent and 100 percent occupancy.
  • Project HOME battles a proposed Sidewalk Behavior Ordinance, ultimately winning both reduced penalties and increased resources for street outreach and entry-level housing programs.


The 2000s
  • Rowan Homes Judson Street opens, providing housing and services to 31 homeless families.
  • Second phase of Rowan Homes on Diamond Street opens, providing housing and services to eight homeless families.
  • The Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs opens under the leadership of Lynne and Harold Honickman in partnership with Aileen and Brian Roberts and Comcast.
  • Kate’s Place opens, providing 144 units of affordable housing  for low- to moderate-income individuals in Center City. 
The 2010s
  • Connelly House opens, providing 79 units of permanent housing through a unique joint venture with Bethesda Project.
  • James Widener Ray Homes opens, the first Project HOME capital investment of Raynier Institute & Foundation.
  • Janet and John Haas begin the Haas Initiative for Integrated Recovery and Employment, tripling annual job placements among Project HOME residents.
  • Betty Moran establishes the Elizabeth R. Moran Fund at Project HOME, enabling significant expansion and renovation of Project HOME housing.
  • The HOME Spun Resale Boutique opens.
  • Project HOME launches a social enterprise program, including resident-crafted HOME Made products.
  • JBJ Soul Homes opens, providing 55 units of affordable housing.
  • Neubauer Family Foundation provides the Neubauer Catalyst for Young Adults multi-year grant to launch our Young Adult Program.
  • Francis House of Peace opens, providing 94 units of affordable housing.
  • The 28,000-square-foot Stephen Klein Wellness Center opens to expand comprehensive, integrated healthcare services to a low-income North Philadelphia neighborhood.
  • PA Center of Excellence (COE) status awarded to Pathways to Housing PA, Project HOME Healthcare Services and Prevention Point Philadelphia to allow Medication Assisted Treatment of opioid use disorder.
  • Ruth Williams House at the Gene & Marlene Epstein Building opens, providing 88 units of affordable housing.
  • Gloria Casarez Residence, the first LGBTQ-friendly permanent housing program for young adults in Pennsylvania, officially opens.
  • Sacred Heart Recovery Residence opens for people seeking recovery (providing 62 new recovery-focused beds).