One resident described Project Home to us as “a family unit.”

 

Hello world! We are five female students of SJU who have had the honor to be apart of the Beautiful Social class this semester. We are two seniors, Kate Gentile and Maya Wilson, and three juniors, Haley Rooney, Gina Pontarelli and Gina Falcone.

The client this semester is local nonprofit organization, Project Home. Project Home's mission is to help homeless people by providing the necessary assistance to break their cycle of poverty. They provide services in areas such as housing, healthcare, and employment. Project Home is not just a shelter, but a safe and respectful environment for people to grow and reach self-actualization. They truly care about their residents and work with them daily. The employees of Project Home are passionate about getting residents back into the workforce and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some residents have even gone on to become full time employees of the organization. One resident described Project Home to us as “a family unit.”

 


Our visits to Project Home

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Our first visit to Project Home was really special. When we arrived, we had no idea what to expect. We were able to learn a lot about the history of Project Home from Rachel and the rest of the staff. This led to a lot of insight about the classes and workshops and just how unique they are.

We got to socialize with the residents who were participating in the candle making class. Each one came from a diverse background, each having a personal story to share. We took the time to become friends with each of those who were participating in the class. This gave us an opportunity to make a real connection with the residents while we waited for the workshop to begin. The residents talked with us about sports, school, where we are from, what we want to do after college and other things.

The next day Gina, Gina, Kate, and Sam all headed to Project Home to film our interviews, and produce content for our videos. We participated in the morning welcome meeting. Many were excited for us to get a closer look into what they were making.

Fortunately, we got to watch the candle making process and all the work the residents put into it. The class requires patience, skill and creativity.

We interviewed three different people for the videos- participants and one resident- turned-worker. We got footage of the class in progress, the candle machines processing the class, resident interaction and more. It was really a learning experience because we were experiencing a nonprofit organization firsthand while putting the lessons we have learned in class to use like interviewing, filming and more. We had two cameras rolling for our scheduled interviews while the SJU Media Services team filmed us! It was a sight to see. All of our conversations with our interviewees were honest and compelling. We enjoyed the intensity of what it feels like to conduct an interview and making a personal connection with the interviewees.

 


 

Overall, we had a very positive experience with Project Home. Over the course of visiting Project Home we learned so much about the residents and how much the organization has affected their lives positively in multiple ways. We’re really excited to edit the footage and create the final product!