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HOME Word Blog

 

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).

 

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).

 

Susan and Joe Miller know about long term,committed relationships.They met at West Pittston High School in 1953, and their relationship is still going strong 61 years later.

So, it’s no surprise that after meeting S. Mary Scullion through their parish priest Fr. Ed Hallinanin the mid-1980’s, Joe and Susan are still committed to Project HOME’s mission. They have been longtime volunteers and donors since before Project HOME became a reality! And they passed this commitment down, as well: their granddaughter Rebecca has volunteered at Project HOME.

 

Ten years later, and it still never fails to happen: Newcomers turn the corner onto the 1900 block of North Judson Street, and they are astonished to see the beautiful modern facility dominating the street. But what is even more astonishing is what is happening inside the building in the lives of the students of all ages.

 

“Every day I wake up, the first thing that I do is thank the Lord for letting me see another day clean and sober.”

Crystal Lincoln has certainly come a long way from where she in her life before coming to Project HOME: struggling to avoid the streets and to overcome a mean addiction. She had transitioned between residing with her sister and family to living in recovery programs and homeless shelters. She was unable to provide for her two youngest daughters and could not keep them under her care.

 

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.

 

Taisha Shaw is a case manager at Project HOME's Rowan Homes.

With over a decade of sobriety under her belt Ms. Taryn Perkins is a shining star in the Project HOME Rowan Homes’ community.  Having been born and raised in the biggest city in Delaware Ms. Taryn made a choice to seek assistance and support in Philadelphia and hasn’t looked back.  Committed to growth and change Ms. Taryn has taken the opportunities before her to excel and become an outstanding example for not only her daughters and son but her whole community.

 

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.  

 

Here at Project HOME, we have long recognized that the solution to homelessness may begin with a roof and four walls, but must also include relationships and belonging in a vibrant community. Volunteers at Project HOME are often largely responsible for bringing people together.

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