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Alumni

The following article is featured in the Spring 2018 edition of News From HOME, our quarterly print newsletter.  You can read the whole newsletter online.  If you want to subscribe, click here.

When Michael Parson thinks back to his days walking the streets of Philadelphia, homeless and addicted to drugs, a wry smile flits across his face. “You could say I was looking for love in all the wrong places.”  

 

Mira is an alumna of Project HOME. Soft-spoken and always elegantly dressed, she frequently comes back to Project HOME to participate in alumni events, our speakers bureau, and advocacy efforts. On her recent visit, she shared some serious concerns: As she is following the media debate about gun violence, she is worried that the general public is getting a skewed view of mental illness.

 

This past week, members of the Project HOME community gathered for a memorial service for Billy Hope, a resident who passed away recently. Billy was part of our very first emergency winter shelter in 1989, and stayed connected to us ever since then. In honor of Billy, we republish this post, which was originally published last May. Billy is the resident described in the second paragraph -- a testimony to his generous spirit despite many rough years on the streets.

 
When Benjamin Mitchell first arrived at Project HOME in 1998, he felt a spark of hope. 
 
“I had heard people treated you with dignity and respect, and that the conditions were livable.”

He needed hope.  A native of some of the mean streets in North Philadelphia, Ben bore scars from a long battle with homelessness and addiction.  From his early days, he fell into what he described as the more seedy parts of the neighborhood.

 

Frank Miller is a St. Elizabeth’s Recovery Residence Alumni and former employee of the HOME Page Café.  In addition to volunteering in his community, Frank has recently competed a certification as a Network Cable Specialist and is continuing to seek competitive employment.

 
Will O'Brien has been part of the Project HOME community for over 20 years. He is editor and coordinator of "HOME Word."

Awhile back, I was asked to speak to a group of college students about the work of Project HOME and the crisis of homelessness.  Joining with me in the talk, to share his personal testimony, was one of our alumni, who after years living at one of our residences, is now on his own, working and contributing. After the talk I drove him back to his home.

 

Reggie Cintron has been a member of the Project HOME community for almost six years.  He shared his life story at a recent fund-raising benefit hosted by Wolverton & Company.  He is a gentle and caring soul, and contributes in many ways to our work and mission.

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