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Project HOME receives 2016 Spiritus Paenitentiae award

July 26, 2016 Tags: Alumni , Community Engagement and Outreach , Distinctions , Faith , University News

Loretto, Pa., __Saint Francis University is honored to present the 2016 St. Francis of Assisi Spiritus Paenitentiae (Spirit of Penance) Award to Project HOME. 

Project HOME is a Philadelphia non-profit organization empowering individuals to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through affordable housing, employment, health care, and education.

2016 Spiritus AwardSister Mary Scullion, President and Executive Director of Project HOME, accepted the award on behalf of her organization at an awards ceremony in Philadelphia in June.

Sr. Mary has been involved in service work and advocacy for homeless and mentally ill persons since 1978. She was a co-founder, in 1985, of Woman of Hope, which provides permanent residential and support services for homeless, mentally ill women. In 1988, she founded the first Outreach Coordination Center in the nation, an innovative program coordinating private and public agencies doing outreach to chronically homeless persons living on the street.

In 1989, Sr. Mary and Joan Dawson McConnon co-founded Project HOME, a nationally recognized organization that provides supportive housing, employment, education and health care to enable chronically homeless and low-income persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty. Under their leadership, Project HOME has grown from an emergency winter shelter to over 700 units of housing and three businesses that provide employment to formerly homeless persons.  Project HOME also prevents homelessness in a low-income neighborhood in North Philadelphia.  This initiative includes economic development, homeownership for the working poor, and the Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs – a 38,000 square foot, state-of-the-art technology center that offers comprehensive educational and occupational programming.

About the Award:
The Spiritus Paenitantiae (Spirit of Penance) Award recognizes individuals or organizations whose acts of love, charity, and care of all creation exemplify the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. 

The award is made possible through The  Rev. Gabriel J. Zeis, T.O.R. Endowment in Franciscan Studies and Roman Catholic Theology, established by Saint Francis University alumnus Lou DiCerbo, CLU, ChFC, of Manhasset, NY. DiCerbo is a member of the General Agents and Managers Association (GAMA) International Management Hall of Fame and a Distinguished Alumnus of Saint Francis University.

Saint Francis University, founded in 1847 by six Irish Franciscans, is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States and one of the twenty oldest Catholic colleges in the nation. The University is inspired to share the Rev. Gabriel Zeis Endowment’s vision and content with other institutions of higher learning in order to promote peace and good will, contained within the words of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, through the promotion of similar philanthropic efforts.

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