Loretta D. entered Dignity Housing in 2011 from a drug treatment center. At the time her children were living with relatives while Ms. D was struggling to overcome years of substance abuse. Once in a stable living environment at Dignity’s Alicia’s House (Dignity II Transitional Housing Program) and with the support of her Dignity case manager, Ms. D was able to reunite with her children. With stable housing and encouragement, Ms. D was able to complete a training program at the Institute for Recovery & Community Integration sponsored by the Department of Behavioral Health, where she obtained certification as a Social Service Peer Specialist.In January 2013 Ms. D successfully graduated from Alicia’s House to permanent housing with Project Home’s Rowan Homes Judson development. Her children are also thriving thanks to the help they received at Dignity Housing – With the encouragement of Dignity’s Educational Instructor, Ms. D’s son applied for and received a scholarship from the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship program to attend Penn State University. Her oldest daughter obtained full-time employment and hopes to attend college in the near future, and her youngest daughter continues to do well in school. Now that she has obtained permanent housing, Ms. D’s future plan is to gain employment as a Social Service Residential Assistant or a Peer Specialist.Ms. D stated she is proud of her family’s accomplishments, and is appreciative to Dignity for helping her and her family gain stability and providing a stable and safe environment for them to succeed.
“It doesn’t feel like a program, it feels like family.” – Marion, a tenant of Dignity Housing’s Enhanced Services Program.
Video produced by Temple students Marchelle Roberts and Tiffany Mercer-Robbins
“Dignity Housing is like a rescue boat to someone who is in the ocean struggling to survive.
Essay by Marie T., former Dignity Resident, written while she resided at Dignity.
In Philadelphia, numerous educational and housing assistance programs can be acquired through Dignity Housing. This organization helps people to “get on their feet,” and re-establish themselves in society.Dignity Housing is like a rescue boat to someone who is in the ocean struggling to survive. Once rescued, the survivor has a chance to rebuild what was lost through ignorance, self destruction, fate, or just no having the right connections. Programs pertaining to education grants/scholarships, loans and homeownership are all provided through Dignity Housing’s external networks. Resources such as workshops, seminars, support groups, outings, and internships builds confidence and self-esteem. This, along with annually reviewing “Life Skills” planning with a counselor, keeps participants focused during any hardship that come along their way. Without this support, some of us may get lax, fall into old habits and fail as success.Dignity Housing teaches that we can survive this cold, hard world where others think we are a liability and fail to see our potential. And in our struggles, we cannot forget others who are in the same situation. However, instead of allowing them to pull us down, with knowledge and a helping hand, we can help pull them up. In a time of constant changes, Dignity Housing keeps its members abreast of changing laws and common thoughts of our society. We must stay aware and we must care for each other. Dignity Housing is aware. Dignity Housing gives support. Dignity Housing cares.Before coming to Dignity Housing, I was constantly struggling in an ocean of helplessness. Now, I am aware. By taking advantage of the resources in this program, I have gained confidence and self esteem. I care about myself and others. I am almost on my feet and hope many people in need will come to this program and benefit from their resources.
Rebecca has overcome enormous obstacles and made tremendous strides. She came to Dignity Housing with an extensive history of substance abuse. She was homeless, unemployed and at the end of her rope. Her children were placed in kinship care, a devastating loss that opened Rebecca’s eyes to a harsh reality and made her see that she needed to make a change. With the help of her Case Manager and Dignity’s Education and Workforce Coordinator, she is now seven years sober, employed full time and able to provide a life of stability for herself and her children. Last year, she completed our program, and moved with her children into their own apartment. It has been almost ten months and Rebecca and her children are doing great in their new home, happy to be together as a family and looking forward to celebrating the upcoming holidays together.
In June 2016, 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.