Volume 2 |April 2019
SELF, ODAAT, and Good and Services Host Voices of the Homeless Philadelphia City Council Candidates Forum
On April 9, 2019, more than 150 people, many with lived experience, poured into the gymnasium at Church of the Advocate to share their stories with Philadelphia City Council Candidates and hear what candidates planned to do to end homelessness if elected. SELF, ODAAT, and Goods and Services came together to give individuals experiencing homelessness an opportunity to be heard. SELF President and COO Mike Hinson moderated The Voices of the Homeless City Council Candidates Forum which attracted 22 City Council Candidates including four incumbents.

"We weren't hearing homelessness or issues related to homelessness as part of the 2019 municipal election discussion, " said Hinson. "We knew that if we wanted this topic brought to the forefront, we would need to do it."

Those in attendance asked very poignant and pointed questions.

"I want to know why there isn't much help for single adults," asked Tiffany Williams, a participant at Susquehanna House. Another audience member asked candidates why the city hasn't used vacant properties to help the homeless.

Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., welcomed audience members. Carla Tisdale from ODAAT sat on the panel and shared her inspiring story as did Bonita Pritchette who spoke on behalf of SELF. President and CEO of Goods and Services David Tomlinson also shared a few words and encouraged attendees to continue to fight for dignity and housing.

Speakers also included Adohn McNeil from ODAAT and Dupree Norman from Outley House.

Candidates who showed that they cared about ending homelessness by attending the forum were: Councilman Curtis Jones, Jr., Councilman Allan Domb, Councilman Derek Greene, Councilwoman Helen Gym, Deja Lynn Alvarez, Sandra Glenn, Kathy Gilmore Richardson, Sherrie Cohen, Latrice Bryant, Joe Cox, Moses Santana, Ogbonna Paul Haggins, Beth Flinn, Daniel Orsino, Andrew McGinley, Billy Thompson, Ericka Almiron, Joe Cox, Willie Singletary, Asa Khalif and Ethelind Baylor.

"I think it was a good forum. It helped me decide who I'm going to vote for," said one voter.

Thank you to ODAAT President and CEO Mel Wells and Goods and Services President and CEO David Tomlinson for hosting the event with SELF. And thank you to SELF Vice-Chairman of the Board Craig Williams, our program partner UAC President and CEO Sharmain Matlock Turner for supporting the forum and to Director of Policy and Communications Rhashidah Perry-Jones for organizing.

Adohn McNeil shared his story and credited ODAAT and Mel Wells for putting him back on track.
Carla Tisdale of ODAAT shared her recovery story and let audience members in recovery know that it works when you work.
SELF President and COO Mike Hinson brilliantly moderated the panel and candidates making sure that people with lived experience in the audience had a chance to be heard and have their questions addressed.
SELF Chairman and CEO Rev. Dr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr. welcomed the audience and spoke about the importance of voting. UAC President and CEO Sharmain Matlock Turner attended the event and spoke with several participants afterwards.
President and CEO of Goods and Services David Tomlinson addressed the crowd of 150 urging them to continue to take action..
SELF Susquehanna Participant Tiffany Williams addressed council candidates and wanted to know how they intend to help people experiencing homelessness.
Click below to see SELF Chair and CEO Rev. Dr. Goode's interview with
Action News and click the next arrow to see video of
President and COO Mike Hinson, Bonita Pritchette, and Carla Tisdale speaking at the forum.
The overwhelming success of the forum prompted Mike Hinson, Mel Wells, and David Tomlinson to pen an opinion piece which ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer on April 22 entitled, " City Council candidates should focus on fixing homelessness. " Click here to link to it on philly.com
Temple University Students Learn About Homelessness

Dr. Maia Cucchiara, a Temple University professor, invited SELF President and COO Mike Hinson and SELF S-CAB Co-Chair Marcey Canalichio to speak to students enrolled in her Urban Education course on March 25, 2019. Students were reading Matt Desmond's Evicted which centers on the housing crisis and the frequency with which families--especially children--are evicted. Students learned about patient-dumping, the lack of affordable housing, and about the health and other challenges people experiencing homelessness face daily.
Media Project For SELF Participants to be Held at Ife Wellness Center

Intentionally Theatrical Conversations (ITC)/Freedom Songs, seeks to help participants release their personal trauma by speaking out their truths through public arts. The goal of the project is to give participants a platform to tell their stories and express their humanity through a creative platform inspired by Photo Voice. Poets, visual artists, photographers, mcees, dancers, writers, spoken-word artists, and singers are encouraged to participate in the six-week creative workshops that will culminated with a performance that celebrates creativity. Portions of the workshops will be presented online as a video vlog series and it will live at a pop-up site.

If you are an artist, please come to the May 1 and May 8 information shelters held at 6 p.m. at Ife Wellness Center. Thank you to the creative team featuring ZBE Productions, John Dower, Victor Jackson and Cobbina Frempong and especially our President and COO Mike Hinson for making this happen.

Richard Jones Recovery House Helps Community with Spring Cleaning

RJRH is an active part of their community and has been participating in the Spring Clean Up since 2014. Our participants enjoy doing it and giving back in the community because they feel they may have destroyed neighborhoods in their active addiction.
Susqehanna House Participants Help to Keep the NeighborhoodClean

City Bright Philadelphia and Susquehanna House's fabulous ladies fought through the rain and filled 200 bags full of trash around the neighborhood bordering Temple University. Way to Go!
Introducing our Softball Team:
The SELF Motivators

Come and root us on in our first game on Thursday, May 2, (against RHD/FaSSt/Connections) at 6 pm at Fern Hill Park (corner of Roberts Ave. and Wissahickon Streets.) Look on our Facebook page for game and practice times.

Thank you to the women of Susquehanna House including Program Manager Joanne, our Outreach Team--Tom, Ruffin, and Peter, Outley House Program Manager Frank, Ife Wellness Program Manager Danielle, Case Management Supervisor Tom, and Director of Policy and Communications Rhashidah, all who came out to practice. And a special thank you to our Director of Programs Quibila for organizing our team!!

Your support makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of people experiencing homelessness.
We appreciate your support!!