Project HOME and the Philadelphia Pride Festival
Tara Levine is a Saint Joseph’s University Student and Social Media Intern in our Social Enterprise Program.
On June 12, thousands of individuals were brought together during the Philadelphia Pride Parade and Festival. The Project HOME Social Enterprise team was among these individuals, serving as a vendor during the festival celebration at the Great Plaza at Penn’s landing.
When festival gates opened at noon, a flood of people entered the Great Plaza ready to enjoy live music, food, and over 150 vendors, one of which was Project HOME. As people stopped to look at HOME Made merchandise and resident art work, we would explain to them the Project HOME mission, an explanation that was continuously met with an excited response of, “Oh, that’s incredible! I want to help!”
As the day progressed, I couldn’t help but laugh as individuals who had just purchased our products and art work spread the word about the Project HOME mission. Among these people was a drag queen who struggled to fit her two-foot high wig under our less than 6-foot high tent. Although she struggled and almost didn’t make it out of the tent with wig still intact, she wound up being the biggest Project HOME advocate of the day, yelling the mission at people who would interrupt her conversation with us for a picture, and getting in one last “Everyone stop by Project HOME, they’re a fabulous organization combatting homelessness in Philadelphia” as she walked away.
Throughout our day at the Pride Festival, our team was continuously overwhelmed by the generosity of the people we met. Everyone we met seemed to want to help our cause in one way or another, whether that be through making a donation, purchasing art work, buying HOME Made products, or asking for more information on how to get involved.
Despite some logistical problems caused by strong winds that were determined to break our tent and blow our merchandise away, we couldn’t have asked for a better day to celebrate Pride and spread the word about Project HOME. We are excited to see what the rest of the summer has in store for us as we travel to different events throughout Philadelphia, continuing to inform more people about the Project HOME mission and to sell products handmade by our residents. Be sure to check out our social media pages for updates on where we’ll be, and how you can get involved!