From the Desk of Executive Director John Ungar
As many of you know, I became Dignity Housing’s third Executive Director in March, following the
retirement of Beverly Roberts-Cruse. I was excited to join Dignity Housing for several reasons. As
the first housing and supportive services organization in the nation founded by homeless individuals
and activists, Dignity ensures that our work is guided by those who understand it best – people who
have experienced homelessness. Further, Dignity’s approach to supportive services demonstrates
respect for each individual, recognizing that every person has unique obstacles to overcome. I was also
impressed with Dignity’s 28 year track record and the steadfast dedication of our supporters. You have
donated money or volunteered your time because you understand the importance of our work and
how we make a significant difference in the lives of those we touch. Thank you for being our partner in
creating opportunities for so many families.
Since beginning in this role, I have made forming new partnerships one of my top priorities because we cannot do this work
alone. In addition, I have worked to ensure that our government leaders understand the needs of our clients. This summer,
I joined delegations of homeless and affordable housing providers in Philadelphia, Harrisburg and in Washington D.C. to
encourage legislators to provide additional funding for programs combatting homelessness and promoting affordable
housing. Thank you for your support as we continue to work together to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty in
John was recently featured on Main Line Connect, a weekly TV show that focuses on networking,
interviews and Main Line Happenings. You can view his interview by visiting their website
Dignity Housing Resident, Ms. B
Dignity’s Holiday Angels
The Holiday season is a time filled with laughter, cheer, delicious
food and unforgettable family moments. Unfortunately, for many
of Dignity Housing’s residents, the holidays are a disheartening,
harsh reminder of past insufficiencies and pain. They enter Dignity’s
program at or below the poverty level, and what little money they
have gets spent on basic necessities for themselves and their families.
This can be burdensome- especially for those with children who may
not understand why they can’t have certain things during the holiday
season. Enter Lee and Andrew Sequeria of Peg’s Presents. The giving
foundation is named after Lee’s mother, Margaret (Peg) Romano, who
adored children and loved gift giving, so the idea of providing presents
to children in need was the perfect way to honor her memory.
After researching local charities online, Lee found Dignity Housing
and knew it was her organization of choice. For the past 5 years, Peg’s
Presents has been donating gifts to every child at Dignity Housing
during our annual holiday party and we are incredibly grateful. They
put so much thought into each and every gift and it’s so wonderful to
see the joy on the childrens faces when they receive special gifts from
their “Holiday Angels”. To learn more or donate to their cause, visit
In June, Ms. B an ESP resident, graduated from
college with a Bachelor’s of Science degree. A
few days later she watched in excitement as
her oldest daughter walked across the stage
at her high school graduation and in August,
she hugged her goodbye as she left for her
freshman year at Drexel University on a full
scholarship! Everything Ms. B dreamed would
happen is finally coming true, but it wasn’t
always this way.
Ms. B came to Dignity Housing in 2002 after
a severe health condition left her and her
two young daughters homeless. Despite the
tremendous obstacles that she has faced, Ms.
B never gave up. Upon arriving at Dignity
Housing, she worked with her Case Manager
to make positive life changes and begin on a
path toward self-sufficient living. With the
stability and support of Dignity’s staff, Ms.
B continues to take steps forward in her life.
Now graduated from college, she is hoping
to find a job where she can help people, just
as Dignity Housing has helped her. And she’s
getting there, one day at a time.
Thank You for Making Dignity’s 2016 Gala a Success!
This April, we honored Beverly Roberts-Cruse’s 28 years of leadership and service to Dignity Housing. The unforgettable
evening helped ensure her legacy, raising over $40,000 for Dignity! To all who attended or donated items for the gala, we
sincerely appreciate your contribution. We hope you enjoyed the festivities and were moved by the testimonies of Dignity
Housing alumnus Wilhelmina Warren, former Philadelphia Mayors John Street and W. Wilson Goode, and by the heartfelt
words of our honoree, Beverly Roberts-Cruse.
Again, thank you for sharing an unforgettable evening with Dignity, as we honored Beverly’s dedication to the lives of
others and her diligent work to break the cycle of homelessness. We hope to see you at next year’s event!
Special Thanks to our Sponsors
Friends of Dignity
Bradley & Bradley Associates Inc.
Bruce and Anita Ficken
Renzi Bernardi Suarez & CO
United Bank of Philadelphia
Barry and Linda Ungar
Catalyst Consulting/Jeffrey Cruse
Cutco Stores Inc./Cody Williams
Dignity Housing’s Board of Directors
Eastern State Penetentiary
Independence Seaport Museum
Philadelphia Sports Clubs
Ride the Ducks Philadelphia
Salon 90/Cynthia D’Amico
The Duke Barber Co.
Save the Date for Dignity's 2017 Gala!
SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 | 6:00-10:00PM
5411 OXFORD AVENUE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19124
Silent Auction Donors
Chestnut Hill Jewelers
McAndrews Law Offices
Philadelphia School of Circus Arts
Mayor John Street
The Academy of Natural Sciences/
The Mann Center/Nancy Newman