News from HOME | Project HOME

News from HOME


Lynne Collins-Prillerman knows all too well what it’s like: The lack of self respect. The sense of shame and failure. The dehumanization and degradation. Being treated like you’re dirt – or worse, like you’re invisible.


Beauty will save the world.” The famous quote of the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky was a favorite of Dorothy Day, co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, a network of communities that provide hospitality to poor persons and advocate for justice. Day, whose life and work were enormously influential to the founders of Project HOME, understood that art and beauty were not luxury commodities reserved only for those of economic means, but were vital for the human spirit.


Loretta has come a long way from her time on the streets and in shelters. She resides at Project HOME’s Rowan Homes, is a community health worker for our St. Elizabeth’s health clinic, and interns at our HOME Spun Resale Boutique. She is also a certified peer specialist who has intensively trained to work with other residents to make positive steps in their lives.


In late 1989, three sisters – Josephine Mandeville, Emily Riley, and Christine Connelly – heeded the urging of their aunt, Sister M. Henrietta Connelly, RSM, to get to know two inspiring young women: a “feisty” nun and a recent MBA graduate, who were working with persons experiencing homelessness in Philadelphia. When they visited Sister Mary Scullion and Joan Dawson McConnon (at this time, it was Joan Dawson), they brought with them a box of Christmas chocolates and a check for $100,000.It was the start of a beautiful friendship.


During the bitter cold spell earlier this month, with a Code Blue emergency and life-threatening temperatures, our outreach teams along with our partner organizations worked long hours,pouring themselves out tirelessly. With other staff and residents helping out, they brought people in off the streets,out of the cold, encouraging them to take the first small steps toward breaking the vicious cycle of chronic homelessness. 


Jennine Miller’s office at 1515 Fairmount Avenue might be one of the messiest in all of Project HOME. But it’s also one of the most energetic. It’s a nearly constant den of activity,with interns, residents,and volunteers busy at work, or with visitors popping in to catch upon the latest advocacy efforts. The walls are adorned with posters and shirts from numerous social-change campaigns (as well as plaques and certificates signifying the many awards she has won). 


Basketball great Wilt Chamberlain has a legacy in Philadelphia—and not just due to his dominance on the court. Thanks to his family, his philanthropic spirit lives on through the generosity of the memorial fund that bears his name. The Wilt Chamberlain Memorial Fund has long been a partner in Project HOME’s work, ensuring, as he wanted, that the city in which he grew up has a chance to thrive.


This story originally appeared in our fall edition of News from HOME.


Although it is a beautiful view, could you ever imagine the limbs of a pine tree being your roof and vista from the dirt floor of your home? For Kevin Weldon, this was his view as he lay underneaththe tree in Pennypack Park where he lived on and off for the last 20 years. 

Kevin’s struggle with homelessness began in 1990 when his wife left him. He started to drink, and he eventually lost his job as a police officer. He lived on the streets and did not care anymore. 


On May 30, I attended the graduation ceremony of The Williamson Free School of Mechanical Trades in Media, PA.I was there with the family of Khalaf Dow, who was graduating.Khalaf lived at Project HOME’s Rowan Homes residence, and spent years participating in programs at our Honickman Learning Center Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL).


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