The Hub of Hope is now open underneath City Hall to act as a center for the homeless in Philadelphia. The 11,000 square foot facility was once a police station and comes complete with showers, laundry machines, and a kitchen. The Hub will also act as a place where those in need can speak with case managers to take steps towards finding a permanent home.
The ribbon was cut at 11:48 Tuesday morning by some of the key members of the project including Pat Deon, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney, President of Project Home Sister Mary Scullion, and Jon Bon Jovi.
An emotional speech was given by Solomon Frazier, a SEPTA employee, who was formerly homeless. Frazier talked about his journey from homelessness to his current situation.
“I got with Project Home and they gave me hope. They gave me direction,” Frazier said. “They showed me some opportunities. And I ain’t (going to) do nothing to mess it up either.”
Sister Mary Scullion co-founded Project Home in 1989 with the mission of helping chronically homeless men. It has helped thousands of people who have faced homelessness find housing and opportunities to develop skills for employment. It currently boasts more than 800 units of affordable housing with plans to increase to 1000 units.
“I think it’s a great thing that we can all pull together. Republicans, Democrats, city, state, it’s a great project for all of us,” Deon said before the ceremony. “The transformation of this space is remarkable. It’s symbolic of the life-changing work that will be done here.”
While most famously known for his work on the stage, Jon Bon Jovi is also an avid supporter of Project Home and is the Chairman of his own organization, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation. The Soul Foundation provides support for thousands of people who face homelessness.
“We realized that one home was good, but one street was the beginning of one neighborhood, which has led to our vision for one city and then one country, and hopefully one world,” Bon Jovi said as subway trains passed overhead.
“We at the JBJ Soul Foundation are proud to have been a part of the Hub of Hope since its inception.”