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Connelly House celebrates first anniversary
On March 12, Connelly House celebrated its one-year anniversary. Residents, volunteers, and staff gathered to celebrate the program's successes.
Board member and former Executive Director Angelo Sgro told the story of partnering with multiple organizations and individuals to build the permanent supportive housing residence. "What this says to me is that there are people in Philadelphia who care deeply about each one of you," he told residents. "Use this place to take the next step in your life journey."
Bethesda Project's program at Connelly House serves 24 men in recovery. The men there engage in at least 24 hours of meaningful activity each week, including employment, GED classes, volunteer work, or job skills courses.
Executive Director Domenic Rossi emphasized that relationships are a crucial part of the program. "Human decency is what builds a home."
Residents spoke about their experiences at Connelly House and offered tours of the building to guests. One, an alumni of Connelly House who now has his own apartment, praised the staff, "decent and loving people who routinely give of themselves."
"I've started to care for those less fortunate since I came here," said another resident, who recalled the shame he felt being illiterate and the desperation of sleeping under the El while he struggled with addiction.
Located in the heart of Center City Philadelphia, Connelly House is a partnership between Project H.O.M.E. and Bethesda Project and is named in memory of John and Josephine Connelly, founders of the Connelly Foundation, which has provided decades of generous support to both Bethesda Project and Project H.O.M.E. The building sits next to St. John the Evangelist Church, a key partner in the project that first suggested using its land for affordable housing.