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“A homeless veteran should not have to stand at a freeway exit with a cardboard sign. That's not okay.”

-- Joe Walsh

This is a simple campaign, really. We want to create a safe space to house homeless veterans in Philadelphia. And we’re almost there.

The Parsonage Project has been working since 2023 to engage both government and the community to enable us to provide new solutions to the homeless veteran problem. We’ve engaged city officials and become a preferred vendor for housing and earmarked both vacant property and existing structures for construction and renovation. We also have a list of veterans who have applied to live in these spaces.

Now all we need is the funding to execute the final steps to make these spaces ready to house those of us who pledged what Lincoln called “the last full measure of devotion” to serve our country. The fact that we even have a homeless veteran problem is as shocking as it is disappointing. No one who serves, who pledges their lives to protect our freedoms, should be forced to live on the street. 

Our plans include leasing or buying existing buildings from religious institutions and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) which are divesting their larger properties, ie rectories, abbeys, monasteries, and camps to convert to single or family housing units.

If enough is raised, it will enable us to build smaller, ground-up, co-housing units with central hubs in green, environmentally sound biophilic communities. Cohousing is an intentional, collaborative neighborhood that combines private homes with shared indoor and outdoor spaces designed to support an active and interdependent community life. Cohousing is not a financial or legal model, but rather a descriptive term that emphasizes the active participation of residents in everything from design to governance.

We could also convert larger industrial buildings with clean footprints ("no brownfields") into contemporary living spaces utilizing proven co-housing concepts to keep construction costs down and return those savings back to future tenants

Long term, we envision putting all those who want to be homeowners into specialized lease-to-own agreements so those who wish to purchase their own units can do so. We’ll then assist with credit counseling and non-punitive financing.

But if we want this change to happen, we must all take part. If you’re one of those people, like ourselves, who feel compelled to thank veterans for their service, we should also remember that a thank you, plus five dollars, can buy a latte. And not even a good one. We must match our thanks with our actions. Is a thank you worth $5? $50? $100? That’s up to our donors to decide, and we hope you will join their ranks. Please help us do this work. 

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