Residents & Alumni Stories | Project HOME

Residents & Alumni Stories

This vignette from the short film "Vets Finding a Home" focuses on Dionne Stallworth and her struggles with homelessness and identity in the years after her military service ended.

David Brown | 25th Anniversary of Project HOME

Tall, dignified, and sharply dressed, David Brown cuts an impressive figure. It’s a far cry from what he looked like just a few years ago.

When Project HOME was just starting out in 1989, David Brown had already logged several years on the streets. In fact, he spent 25 years on the streets – most of them under the awning of the old Youth Study Center, now the site of the Barnes Foundation. A troubled youth with little education or work experience gave him few options, so he toughed it out, along with many others experiencing chronic homelessness.

Tanisha Clanton | 25th Anniversary of Project HOME

Many years ago, Tanisha Clanton might have seemed like one of the countless children in Philadelphia facing a bleak future. Her family life was marked by homelessness, addiction, and instability.

Dionne Stallworth | 25th Anniversary of Project HOME

Dionne Stallworth insists that you can’t fully understand her if you don’t understand her attraction to superheroes. 

Her posters of Batman, Wonder Woman, et al, testify to her belief that “one person has the power to bring about change.” Dionne has been bringing about change for many years – starting with herself. From her battles with mental illness and homelessness, she has found a home at Project HOME’s Connelly House.

On the door to her West Philadelphia apartment, Zarah Teachy has a sign that reads “I’m a Miracle.” Her story would bear that out. Zarah first met Sister Mary Scullion in 1983 while incarcerated, but it would be years before she came to Project HOME to commence her long journey out of homelessness and addiction.

During her time as a Project HOME resident, Zarah received her high school diploma. At that time, she decided she could use her experience to help others.

Among the celebrants that joined Project HOME on Tuesday, April 22 to witness the grand opening of JBJ Soul Homes was new youth resident Cheryl Ann Davis.

Cheryl Ann is one of  several young people aging out of foster care and taking up residence at JBJ Soul Homes, and her thoughtful, beautiful remarks brought tears to the eyes of many at Tuesday's grand opening. 

Hyacinth King | Project HOME 25th Anniversary

It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Hyacinth King.  As a young person, she had a solid path ahead of her:  She went from a private elite high school to Temple University, where she studied business, with the probability of someday taking over her parents’ independent grocery store.  She hadn’t planned on the severe mental illness that would disrupt that path, causing her to live first in her car, then later in cardboard boxes on the streets of Center City.

Julia Galetti | Project HOME 25th Anniversary

Julia Galetti is very clear when she describes her life these days:  “I am an empowered woman!”

That spirit of empowerment is hard won.  She has overcome addiction, family trauma, and homelessness, and now resides at 1515 Fairmount Avenue, which has been her home for the past decade.  After twenty-three years clean, she still is diligent in maintaining her recovery – “I never want to go back to being homeless again.”

 

Emanuel Havens was low.

It was 1990 and he was squatting in an abandoned North Philadelphia house, his body wracked by the pain of heroin withdrawal.

He needed help and he knew it. Pulling himself together as best he could, he found his way to our St. Elizabeth's Recovery Residence - which happened to be just down the street - and received just want he needed: a clean bed and a new start.

A week later, Emanuel somewhat reluctantly accepted an invitation to join one of St. Elizabeth's discussion groups.

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.”  

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