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Heather smiles for the camera in her favorite chair.

I will never forget meeting Heather. It was my first time at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank as an intern of Pathways to Housing PA, and I was eager to see our work in action. As you may know, the furniture bank is an incredible organization by Pathways to Housing PA that allows low-income families to receive furniture for free. At Pathways, we work to house homeless Philadelphians, however we quickly learned that four walls do not make a home. A house without any furniture is not really a home at all. This is the story of Heather, and her journey in making her house a home.

A picture of Brittany Thomas, an intern at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank.

While an intern at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, Brittany Thomas not only made a difference, but was changed for the better.

Last month concluded my internship at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank, and I have to say with all honesty that I will miss it tremendously.  In the short time I spent there working alongside its amazing staff and the multitude of case workers it had a significant role in allowing me to discover what I am truly passionate about, and for a 20-something year old fresh out of college, that is a huge deal.

Formerly Homeless Poet Shares Creative Writing Tip

Ebony Moon

by James Evans

 

Fields a’ Laughin’

Young man croons

stars a’ moanin’

‘Round that Ebony Moon

 

Lilacs smell

so sweet

sweet

In the midnight heat

 

Fireflies glow

Bright

Near the porch

A participant and staff member smile.

Art, Trauma, and Bumper Stickers

When I was in high school, some years ago, and just learning to drive, my best friend inherited her first car. It was a small Nissan Sentra, of a vibrant turquoise, and among its other charming quirks it carried a bumper sticker on the right hand fender that read “Art Saves Lives.” That bumper sticker always bothered me. It wasn’t funny, or tongue in cheek. It wasn’t political, or incendiary. And as a sticker of the heartwarming variety, it didn’t seem to strike any real chord.

clothing and other belongings laying on a sidewalk in the evening

This perspective is Part II of a two-part series documenting the experiences of Pathways to Housing PA internes, Emily Mann and Gracie Harrington at the 2016 Point in Time Count.

On the night of the Point in Time count I had the opportunity to see my neighborhood in a different light. Signs of homelessness are visible during the day, such as a sheet or sleeping bag that is soaking up moisture from the sidewalk vents or a line of people waiting in line to receive a meal.

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