Dignity Housing's Spotlight Newsletter

Dignity Housing Welcomes Record Number of Volunteer Groups Fall 2016• Volume 37 A Special Thanks to Our Product Sponsors We’re excited to announce that this past year, Dignity Housing hosted more volunteers than ever before. In March, we welcomed students from Bowdoin College in Maine. The students worked in the Resource & Opportunity Center and also learned about Dignity’s role in breaking the cycle of homelessness in Philadelphia. In This Issue: • Message from the Executive Director • Dignity’s Holiday Angels • Spotlight On: ESP Resident, Ms. B • YOU Helped Raise $40,000 For information on how you can volunteer with Dignity Housing, please contact Jessica Blum at 215-713-0960 ext. 207 or jblum@dignityhousing.org • Save the Date: Dignity’s Annual Gala • Remembering Esther Bowens Remembering Esther Bowens Former Resident, Board Member and Inspiration BECAUSE OF OUR DONORS FISCAL YEAR 2016 Dignity served 216 individuals in 71 households. This included 57 new individuals (20 adults and 37 children) since July 2015. We are deeply saddened to report that Dignity graduate and Board Member, Esther Bowens passed away in September. Ms. Bowens was a true inspiration to all of us at Dignity Housing. As one of our first residents, she truly encompassed our program, utilizing our Alicia Christian Scholarship Fund to graduate from Temple University and becoming one of Dignity’s first residents to purchase a home. She recently retired from a long career with the IRS and sat on Dignity Housing’s Board of Directors since 2013. This year, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to Dignity’s Alicia Christian Scholarship Fund in Honor of Esther Bowens. The scholarships are awarded to residents to help them pursue higher education and technical training. John C. Ungar Executive Director 63% of employable adults gained or maintained employment. We distributed $1,575 in scholarship funds to three residents to attend Penn Foster Career School, Community College of Philadelphia, and Chestnut Hill College. How YOU Can Help DONATE VOLUNTEER SPREAD THE WORD WORKPLACE GIVING Make a secure donation online by clicking “Donate Now” on our website: www.dignityhousing.org Send a check to: 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 (215) 713-0960 www.dignityhousing.org SPOTLIGHT D i g n i t y Hou si n g ’s A n n u a l News le tte r Last November, Vanguard employees visited Dignity, painting our apartment buildings and planting flowers. We have also been fortunate to develop an ongoing relationship with our neighbor, St. Vincent DePaul Young Adult Center, which has sent three volunteer groups so far, with many more to come. In the next few weeks, Dignity is proud to host volunteers who are attending the B Corporation Champions Retreat. This is a global conference, and Dignity was selected as one of only two sites in Philadelphia to host service projects. Board Members Anthony Braxton, Chair Marie Gaddy, Vice-Chair J. Seth Thompson, Treasurer Wendy Smith, Secretary Marjorie Shiekman, Exec. Committee David S. Gerhart William M. Hughes www.dignityhousing.org Ask if your employer has a matching gifts program and double the impact of your gift! Workplace Giving: United Way Donor Choice #2338. Combined Federal Campaign Donor #77392 Written & Designed by Noelle Pitts Edited by: Jessica Blum, John Ungar & Vanessa Tercero Dignity held two basic computer courses with a total of 18 students. By the end of the 2016 school year, students in Dignity’s After School Enrichment Program averaged 65% on Math assesments, compared to an average 38.8% among homeless students nationwide. Students in Dignity’s After School Enrichment Program averaged 73% on Language Arts, compared to an average 43.2% among homeless students nationwide. Your Bricks are Building Dreams An Update on Dignity Housing’s Playground Project We are ecstatic to inform you that since our official launch of the Playground Project, we’ve raised over $23,000 for Beverly’s Playground Sponsored by Fox & Roach Charities! This puts us more than halfway to our goal of $40,000! The dream of building our children a safe and fun place to play, steps away from their front door would not be possible without you, our donors. If you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to buy a brick and leave a lasting legacy! The playground will be built on the gated property of our Alicia’s House program. The families at Alicia’s House are surviors of domestic violence, who fled with their children from unsafe situations; often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. In fact, most Dignity residents across our three housing programs have experienced domestic violence or other forms of trauma. Having access to the playground will be an added benefit for these families, as well as the children in our After School Enrichment Activities. We believe the playground will be a welcome addition, giving our families a place where mothers catch up with neighbors, children play freely with their peers and everyone can enjoy the fresh air in a safe environment. HOW YOU CAN HELP: •Log on to dignityhousing.org to purchase a customizable brick & leave a lasting legacy. •Mail a check to: Dignity Housing 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 •For any questions please contact: Jessica Blum jblum@dignityhousing.org 215-713-0960 ext. 207 GOAL! $40,000 $23,000 $0
Dignity Housing Welcomes Record Number of Volunteer Groups  Fall 2016    Volume 37  A Special Thanks to Our Product Sponso...
From the Desk of Executive Director John Ungar Dear Friends, 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 Philadelphia. Regards, 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 http://www.purposefulnetworking.com/main-line-connect/ Spotlight on: 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 http://gofundme.com/pegspresents. 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 Sponsors Cross Construction Marjorie Shiekman Friends of Dignity Bradley & Bradley Associates Inc. Bruce and Anita Ficken Fulton Bank Carolyn Holmes Project HOME Renzi Bernardi Suarez & CO Ellen Solms United Bank of Philadelphia Barry and Linda Ungar Weber Gallagher Raffle Donors Bredenbeck’s Bakery Catalyst Consulting/Jeffrey Cruse Cutco Stores Inc./Cody Williams Dignity Housing’s Board of Directors Eastern State Penetentiary Han Dynasty Independence Seaport Museum Lincoln Center Petco Philadelphia Sports Clubs Ride the Ducks Philadelphia Salon 90/Cynthia D’Amico The Duke Barber Co. Victoria’s Kitchen Save the Date for Dignity's 2017 Gala! SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 | 6:00-10:00PM REGAL BALLROOM 5411 OXFORD AVENUE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19124 Silent Auction Donors Chestnut Hill Jewelers Kramer Portraits McAndrews Law Offices Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Mayor John Street The Academy of Natural Sciences/ Ted Daeschler The Mann Center/Nancy Newman Weber Gallagher
From the Desk of Executive Director John Ungar Dear Friends, As many of you know, I became Dignity Housing   s third Execu...
From the Desk of Executive Director John Ungar Dear Friends, 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 Philadelphia. Regards, 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 http://www.purposefulnetworking.com/main-line-connect/ Spotlight on: 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 http://gofundme.com/pegspresents. 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 Sponsors Cross Construction Marjorie Shiekman Friends of Dignity Bradley & Bradley Associates Inc. Bruce and Anita Ficken Fulton Bank Carolyn Holmes Project HOME Renzi Bernardi Suarez & CO Ellen Solms United Bank of Philadelphia Barry and Linda Ungar Weber Gallagher Raffle Donors Bredenbeck’s Bakery Catalyst Consulting/Jeffrey Cruse Cutco Stores Inc./Cody Williams Dignity Housing’s Board of Directors Eastern State Penetentiary Han Dynasty Independence Seaport Museum Lincoln Center Petco Philadelphia Sports Clubs Ride the Ducks Philadelphia Salon 90/Cynthia D’Amico The Duke Barber Co. Victoria’s Kitchen Save the Date for Dignity's 2017 Gala! SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017 | 6:00-10:00PM REGAL BALLROOM 5411 OXFORD AVENUE, PHILADELPHIA, PA 19124 Silent Auction Donors Chestnut Hill Jewelers Kramer Portraits McAndrews Law Offices Philadelphia School of Circus Arts Mayor John Street The Academy of Natural Sciences/ Ted Daeschler The Mann Center/Nancy Newman Weber Gallagher
From the Desk of Executive Director John Ungar Dear Friends, As many of you know, I became Dignity Housing   s third Execu...
Dignity Housing Welcomes Record Number of Volunteer Groups Fall 2016• Volume 37 A Special Thanks to Our Product Sponsors We’re excited to announce that this past year, Dignity Housing hosted more volunteers than ever before. In March, we welcomed students from Bowdoin College in Maine. The students worked in the Resource & Opportunity Center and also learned about Dignity’s role in breaking the cycle of homelessness in Philadelphia. In This Issue: • Message from the Executive Director • Dignity’s Holiday Angels • Spotlight On: ESP Resident, Ms. B • YOU Helped Raise $40,000 For information on how you can volunteer with Dignity Housing, please contact Jessica Blum at 215-713-0960 ext. 207 or jblum@dignityhousing.org • Save the Date: Dignity’s Annual Gala • Remembering Esther Bowens Remembering Esther Bowens Former Resident, Board Member and Inspiration BECAUSE OF OUR DONORS FISCAL YEAR 2016 Dignity served 216 individuals in 71 households. This included 57 new individuals (20 adults and 37 children) since July 2015. We are deeply saddened to report that Dignity graduate and Board Member, Esther Bowens passed away in September. Ms. Bowens was a true inspiration to all of us at Dignity Housing. As one of our first residents, she truly encompassed our program, utilizing our Alicia Christian Scholarship Fund to graduate from Temple University and becoming one of Dignity’s first residents to purchase a home. She recently retired from a long career with the IRS and sat on Dignity Housing’s Board of Directors since 2013. This year, please consider a tax-deductible contribution to Dignity’s Alicia Christian Scholarship Fund in Honor of Esther Bowens. The scholarships are awarded to residents to help them pursue higher education and technical training. John C. Ungar Executive Director 63% of employable adults gained or maintained employment. We distributed $1,575 in scholarship funds to three residents to attend Penn Foster Career School, Community College of Philadelphia, and Chestnut Hill College. How YOU Can Help DONATE VOLUNTEER SPREAD THE WORD WORKPLACE GIVING Make a secure donation online by clicking “Donate Now” on our website: www.dignityhousing.org Send a check to: 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 (215) 713-0960 www.dignityhousing.org SPOTLIGHT D i g n i t y Hou si n g ’s A n n u a l News le tte r Last November, Vanguard employees visited Dignity, painting our apartment buildings and planting flowers. We have also been fortunate to develop an ongoing relationship with our neighbor, St. Vincent DePaul Young Adult Center, which has sent three volunteer groups so far, with many more to come. In the next few weeks, Dignity is proud to host volunteers who are attending the B Corporation Champions Retreat. This is a global conference, and Dignity was selected as one of only two sites in Philadelphia to host service projects. Board Members Anthony Braxton, Chair Marie Gaddy, Vice-Chair J. Seth Thompson, Treasurer Wendy Smith, Secretary Marjorie Shiekman, Exec. Committee David S. Gerhart William M. Hughes www.dignityhousing.org Ask if your employer has a matching gifts program and double the impact of your gift! Workplace Giving: United Way Donor Choice #2338. Combined Federal Campaign Donor #77392 Written & Designed by Noelle Pitts Edited by: Jessica Blum, John Ungar & Vanessa Tercero Dignity held two basic computer courses with a total of 18 students. By the end of the 2016 school year, students in Dignity’s After School Enrichment Program averaged 65% on Math assesments, compared to an average 38.8% among homeless students nationwide. Students in Dignity’s After School Enrichment Program averaged 73% on Language Arts, compared to an average 43.2% among homeless students nationwide. Your Bricks are Building Dreams An Update on Dignity Housing’s Playground Project We are ecstatic to inform you that since our official launch of the Playground Project, we’ve raised over $23,000 for Beverly’s Playground Sponsored by Fox & Roach Charities! This puts us more than halfway to our goal of $40,000! The dream of building our children a safe and fun place to play, steps away from their front door would not be possible without you, our donors. If you haven’t done so already, there’s still time to buy a brick and leave a lasting legacy! The playground will be built on the gated property of our Alicia’s House program. The families at Alicia’s House are surviors of domestic violence, who fled with their children from unsafe situations; often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. In fact, most Dignity residents across our three housing programs have experienced domestic violence or other forms of trauma. Having access to the playground will be an added benefit for these families, as well as the children in our After School Enrichment Activities. We believe the playground will be a welcome addition, giving our families a place where mothers catch up with neighbors, children play freely with their peers and everyone can enjoy the fresh air in a safe environment. HOW YOU CAN HELP: •Log on to dignityhousing.org to purchase a customizable brick & leave a lasting legacy. •Mail a check to: Dignity Housing 5227-R Germantown Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19144 •For any questions please contact: Jessica Blum jblum@dignityhousing.org 215-713-0960 ext. 207 GOAL! $40,000 $23,000 $0
Dignity Housing Welcomes Record Number of Volunteer Groups  Fall 2016    Volume 37  A Special Thanks to Our Product Sponso...