BRANCH OF THE VINCENTIAN FAMILY INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT: C.M. and MSBT
NAME OF SYSTEMIC CHANGE PROJECT: Inn Dwelling Comprehensive Youth Program
PROJECT ADDRESS: 109 E. Price Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
CONTACT PERSON: Br. Alfred J. Smith, C.M. or Sr. Rosemarie Jefferson, MSBT
LENGTH OF TIME THE PROJECT/PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE: 13 years
PROJECT WEBSITE: www.inndwelling.org
Inn Dwelling is a non-profit corporation dedicated to assisting poor families in the Germantown and Northeast sections of Philadelphia. Inn Dwelling seeks to be the agency of change through which area residents can reach their goals of self-sufficiency, social responsibility and upward mobility. Inn Dwelling believes that the most appropriate and fundamental solutions to poverty and homelessness are those that are holistic. All solutions to families’ economic crises must support the independence of people bound by poverty and its effects.
The Board of Directors of “Inn Dwelling” approved a program expansion to create The Comprehensive Youth Program after a technical study and assessment of unmet needs. With many community partnerships, it provides at-risk youth with social, arts, sports and educational tools and scholarships to prevent dropouts, provides college preparation and educational assistance. The outcomes of this program include 100% record of admission to quality Universities, with over 50% of the tuition paid in scholarships and grants and a 100% retention rate.
Most participants feel empowered to continue to work for needed changes. The children in this program have learned the importance of “giving back.” One of our students received her master’s degree in public administration. After teaching in Beijing China, allowing her to gain a more “global” perspective, she plans to return to her community and seek political office. Another, presently in Korea as a Fulbright Scholar, anticipates going to Law School and becoming an advocate for the poor. Another who achieved a teaching degree is teaching in an urban school and in the after-school program of Inn Dwelling. System change is happening from within the community and these children (now young adults) are being liberated from the chains that held them captive. They are entirely self-sufficient and engaged or will become engaged in “change” for their communities.