Sister Mary Scullion has provided shelter for thousands of homeless individuals through her "Project HOME" and other efforts.
In 1988, the City of Philadelphia had a very large number of homeless people living on its streets, many suffering from severe mental illness and/or addictions and with very few programs providing anything beyond emergency shelter. Scullion, with emergency funding, set up a temporary winter shelter called the Mother Katherine Drexel Residence in a vacant city recreation center. Its goal was to provide a refuge for homeless men and to offer services and a sense of dignity and belonging. The Drexel Residence was a remarkable success in breaking the cycle of homelessness for many of its residents, many of whom moved on to permanent housing, job training and employment.
After one year, however, the Drexel Residence was forced to close its doors and Scullion once again tried to find a way to help the homeless. She founded Project HOME (www.projecthome.org) whose initial constituency was chronically homeless single adults. Project HOME soon expanded its mission to encompass not only a continuum of care for homeless adults and families, but also prevention outreach and neighborhood revitalizations. Scullion realized that it's often not enough to help people come off the streets without offering the services and support to enable them to find permanent residences. Her care model grew to include street outreach, supportive housing, and comprehensive services including health care, education and employment.
To date, Project HOME has helped more than 7,000 adults and children break the cycle of homelessness. Under Scullion's care, the organization has grown from one emergency shelter to 418 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment services to former homeless individuals.Back to Top