Project H.O.M.E. Providing Support For Homeless In Philadelphia - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

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Project H.O.M.E. Providing Support For Homeless In Philadelphia

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PHILADELPHIA -

The City of Brotherly Love is home to one of the highest poverty rates in the country at 26 percent.

But a program in Philadelphia just got a lot of money, helping it put food in the mouths of the homeless and doubling the number of apartments it can offer.

Project H.O.M.E. has helped some 8,500 people get off the streets and ultimately lead new lives with affordable apartments, job opportunities, a learning center and a free healthcare clinic.

Raising money to fight homelessness is difficult. Often times potential big private donors don't donate because they think the problem is too overwhelming and it's the responsibility of the government to solve.

But Project H.O.M.E. is convincing donors otherwise and has received a $30-million donation, one of the largest in homeless philanthropy.

"Most people, when they see someone living on the street, are moved by the plight of people living there and want to know what they can do. And the solution can only be a public-private partnership. One or the other cannot solve this problem alone," said co-founder of Project H.O.M.E., Sister Mary Scullion.

Sam Santiago is a retired cop. He spends his days searching for homeless people in need of Project H.O.M.E.'s help. He offers water, blankets, but it's all with the hope of ultimately convincing them to accept long-term help.

"You know that it's not easy, but you also know that you are probably the only contact that these folks on the street might have with medical stuff, with the V.A., with housing at some point," said Santiago.

David Brown lived on the streets for 25 years. He couldn't read or write. But today he lives in an apartment and works at Project H.O.M.E.'s clothing store.

"If you understand the words of Project H.O.M.E., then you understand their mission. Like the H is for housing, the O is for opportunity, the M is for medical and the E is for education. If you give a homeless person them four things, he won't be homeless no longer," said Brown.

From 2012 to 2013, Philadelphia's homeless population declined by 2.3 percent.

During that time, homelessness rose by 27 percent in Los Angeles and 13 percent in New York, FOX News' Bryan Llenas reported.

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