Two local nonprofit organizations have partnered up to support young-adult programs. The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) provided a $100,000 grant to Project HOME, an organization that empowers homeless individuals.
TPF’s grant will specifically go toward Project HOME’s Young Adult Program, which emphasizes support services, education and employment. Project HOME will provide this program at its planned LGBT-friendly residence at 1315 N. Eighth St. and will include 30 housing units for ages 18-23.
“We are thrilled to be able to partner with The Philadelphia Foundation on this new project that is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania and one of the first in the nation,” Sister Mary Scullion, co-founder and executive director of Project HOME, said in a statement. “Homelessness among young adults is on the rise and over 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. The Philadelphia Foundation, with its high standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability, will help us shine the light on this growing tragedy.”
In the same statement, TPF President and CEO Pedro A. Ramos said his organization is “proud to have a long record of support for both Project HOME and the LGBTQ community.”
“When we convened meetings among homelessness providers and others to build awareness of the specific needs of LGBTQ youth, the need for this sort of housing became clear,” Ramos said. “That’s why we helped leverage support for the capital construction drive. We know that just as essential will be the ongoing services that are provided. It is our hope that others will see the need for programming and will add to our financial contribution.”
Nasir Fears, a Project HOME resident, told PGN it was “surprising” to see the program receive the funding.
“There are a lot of companies that don’t help and don’t condone helping LGBT youth and LGBT people in general,” the gay 22-year-old said. “It’s shocking but it’s a really good thing and we really appreciate it.”
Fears said he wants “every homeless person to get off the street” and hopes this project will help support that goal. After living with Project HOME for a year, he credits the organization with helping him find jobs and internships.
“[Project HOME helped me with] everything I wished for supportive-wise, housing-wise, helping me get a job and getting me on my feet,” Fears said. “It’s giving me a chance to live my life and make me stronger at the same time.”