Residents & Alumni Stories | Project HOME

Residents & Alumni Stories

Joint Hearings on Youth Homelessness: Testimony of Joseph Hill-Coles

On Thursday, April 28, public hearings were held in City Council to discuss the issue of youth homelessness in Philadelphia. Joseph Hill-Coles, a young adult resident at our Francis House of Peace residence, delivered the testimony below at the hearing. 

Good afternoon.  My name is Joseph Hill Coles and I am 22 years old. My story is about who I was and who I am today.


In the Philadelphia neighborhood where Robert (Bob) Ealey grew up, the only men who had fine clothing and money to spend were drug dealers. This was magnetic to a young teenager. Bob dropped out of high school after 11th grade and began substance abuse at age 18.  Even though he was using, he was able to hold down a job at the City of Philadelphia’s Sanitation Department. for six years.  Eventually, though, his addiction lost him his job.

Ericka Brown has become an expert in many things over the last year: teaching computer literacy to adults, managing the phones and doors at the front desk of several Project HOME sites, and telling a story that will leave an audience spellbound.


From the Philadelphia Tribune

For 25 years, David Brown had no place to call home.

“I used to be homeless and I was living on the street,” said Brown, now 60. “I refused to come in [off the street] because I thought Project HOME was like all the other homeless shelters that are taking advantage of the homeless.”

Growing Stronger: Personal Recovery Services

This article appeared in the winter edition of our News from HOME newsletter.  You can read the full newsletter online here.  If you don’t receive News from HOME and would like to subscribe, click here.

In From the Storm: Resident Leadership

David Brown spent twenty-five years homeless on the streets of Philadelphia before coming into Project HOME’s James Widener Ray Homes in 2013. It wasn’t an easy transition. “I slept on the floor of my new place for three weeks before I would get in my bed,” he says. “After two decades on the streets, I was only comfortable on the floor.”

Meet the Maker – Julia Galetti

For Project HOME resident Julia Galetti, art is more than a hobby. The recipient of multiple Leeway Foundation Art and Change grants, Galetti works across multiple mediums. Her portrait subjects range from vintage Rockettes to First Lady Michelle Obama in the White House Rose Garden.  Twenty-three years clean, Galetti says that art helps her maintain her sobriety.

Meet the Maker | Inayah Clay

For 17-year-old Inayah Clay, Project HOME has become a second home of sorts. 


Project HOME’s Employment Services celebrated Veterans Day with our 2nd annual gathering of graduates and our current class of veteran apprentices engaged in the PECO/ Project HOME Veteran Training Program. Attendees were from the 2009 class up to and including the current class.

There is a special bond which forms between veterans who have served their country and that is evident in these gatherings notwithstanding the small, friendly rivalries between the different branches of service.


Hyacinth King’s journey from homelessness to hopefulness is truly remarkable. The only child of parents who owned a chain of grocery stores, Hyacinth says growing up she “lived really well.” Hyacinth attended Friends Select School and went on to graduate from Temple University with a business degree.


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