HopePHL News
This year marks HopePHL’s 51st holiday season providing a safe place for families experiencing homelessness to live, heal, and celebrate what they are grateful for. Gloria’s Place served as the residence for 6 adults and 43 children this year – all families with more than four children who face many obstacles and challenges to locating affordable housing or emergency shelter.

Last month we were informed that the shelter’s contract would not be renewed (see our public statement here) and that families staying here would no longer be supported by the Office of Homeless Services. While our team sought other accommodations for these families, a fire broke out in a housing unit above the shelter last week. No one was injured, but several units were rendered uninhabitable due to fire, smoke, and water damage. For more information, and to make a contribution to assist with the recovery, visit our website.
Kwanzaa Fire & Ice Celebration
One of our most joyful celebrations, Kwanzaa Fire & Ice, took place at the Community Education Center on Friday December 8th. This gathering of the community included a jam-packed line up of performances, guests, and activities!

The night kicked off with a live ice sculpting demonstration and a Beyond the Bars musical tribute in memory of Khalia Robinson, a West Philadelphia musician, mentor, and community advocate.

As the night continued there were performances by Jahwula Seapoe and saxophonist Kenny Sykes, Mental Health Moments with Dr. Ashley Poole, a snow globe craft with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society, and even art kits gifted to children by the Barnes Foundation.

This Kwanzaa celebration brought together many different groups of people including community members out for a stroll, Drexel students, friends of artists, and many more to spend time celebrating each other.

Everyone was invited to write down a resolution for 2024 or something they wished to release and leave in 2023 on a piece of paper and toss it into the fire. The night ended with lots of laughs and line dancing along Lancaster Avenue.
Walking In A Winter Wonderland
On December 14, the garden and Community Room at Rowan House was transformed for our Winter Wonderland event to celebrate the season with our residents.

Guests were able to admire the white lights strung in our garden as they approached the Rowan House entrance and the lobby was decked out with a decorated tree, garland, and more to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

The event was packed with about 100 people in attendance, laughing and chatting with each other. Everyone got to experience their own personal Winter Wonderland with fresh popped popcorn, watching cotton candy being made, s'mores melted over an open fire and even a hot cocoa corner! To keep the spirit alive there was music playing, crafts, cookie decorating, a festive decoration contest, booth experience with Santa, and a chance for 44 children to write letters to Santa.

Of course, our Winter Wonderland wouldn't be complete without a visit from Santa Claus himself who was joined by Mrs. Claus (our own Kathy Desmond), and Elf Nicole who all took part in spreading cheer to all of our staff and families!
Reading Corner: Storytelling with Former Miss Pennsylvania
At the end of November, Gloria’s Place welcomed a very special guest: Former Miss Pennsylvania Billie LaRae Owens. Billie joined children and parents for a special event with the West Philadelphia Reading Captains to stop by for a fun hour of storytelling!

The kids were excited to chat and ask questions after the reading was done. Billie continued their conversation by getting to know the kids more, discussing their likes, dislikes, and future aspirations.

We hope to have the former Miss Pennsylvania back one day!
West Philadelphia Holiday Decorating Contest
There are still a few days left to submit pictures of your West Philadelphia holiday decorated porch!

Show off your holiday spirit by posting photos of your festive home, tagging us, and using the #HopePHL hashtag by 12/31 for a chance to win a fabulous prize!

The winners will be announced on 1/5/24.
HopePHL Lights Up the Philadelphia Zoo at LumiNature
HopePHL was among one of the local organizations chosen to partner with the Philadelphia Zoo's LumiNature to decorate a tree! The Zoo extended invites to all participating organizations for their Community Night.

Angie Maury, Supervisor at Baring House, got the chance to check it out with a few kids! "We had a fantastic time. I took a group of kids who had a wonderful time engaging with the characters, looking at the beautiful lights, especially the tree representing HopePHL while testing the QR Codes, treats, and light up bracelets and stickers."

Thank you to the Philadelphia Zoo for showcasing great organizations and getting the community involved in spreading holiday cheer!
Thank you so much for being a part of our community!
Main Office: (267) 777-5880
325 N. 39th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
​Email: hello@hopePHL.org