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Project HOME Staff

Owen Riordan is the Program Manager at Connelly House. (Photo by Michael Gainer)

The following article is featured in the Fall 2017 edition of News From HOME, our quarterly print newsletter.  You can read the whole newsletter online.  If you want to subscribe, click here.

We recently said farewell to and celebrated a beloved long-time staff member, Rudy Mackey, who moved on to a well-earned retirement after many years of service.  Rudy first joined the Project HOME staff in 1998.  For most of his time with us, he was our Addictions Counsellor.  In that role, he provided loving and strong support to hundreds of residents in their recovery.  One of our current residents, Frank Bradley, who lives at our Connelly House residence, expressed his gratitude to Rudy in this message:

Mr Rudy,

Taste of HOME Street Festival | Photo by Jay Gorodetzer Photography | Image may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission.

On Friday, June 20, several hundred residents, alumni, volunteers, and current or former staff flooded two blocks of Fairmount Avenue for “A Taste of HOME,” our festive 25th Anniversary community celebration. Adults and youth enjoyed great food, music and dancing, art projects – and the gratification of all being part of an amazing quarter century of this mission of ending homelessness. 

I am Project HOME | Eric Smelser

When Eric Smelser first came to work in Project HOME’s Information Technology Department 13 years ago, the whole organization had less than 50 computers for the many residences and programs, and only a handful of staff were on email.


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). 


The kids enter the classroom bursting with energy, loud and boisterous. Within a few moments, with her strong but gentle presence, Miss T has them focused, attentive, eager to learn, and open to another day of possibilities at the Honickman Learning and Center Comcast Technology Labs (HLCCTL).


Will O’Brien has been a member of the Project HOME community for almost 25 years.  He serves as Special Projects Coordinator.

Sometimes, upon making a new acquaintance, I get the typical question about what kind of work I do.  And I obligingly give a brief description of Project HOME.  Not infrequently, the response carries with it a subtle or not so subtle insinuation that such work must be hard, challenging, and even depressing.


Erika Slaymaker is Project HOME's Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. She published these reflections on our efforts to be green in a recent issue of Consp!re magazine.  


In 2010, S. Joanne Whitaker might have considered stepping into her golden years of retirement. After all, she had already logged practically a half century as a member of the Sisters of Mercy religious order, first in teaching and later in serving some of the most vulnerable and needy populations.


During this Easter week, we share this spiritual reflection, written several years ago by Will O’Brien. Will has been a member of the Project HOME for over 23 years. A version of this article was originally published in Sojourners magazine.

It was Easter Sunday, and I was in the mental ward.


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