Germantown: My Place Gives Homeless Hope

https://vimeo.com/20337142]

Just weeks ago, Amos Shattock was homeless. Now, he has a brand new apartment in Germantown.

Shattock is a resident at the new permanent assistance living shelter My Place Germantown located on East Price Street near Baynton Street. The house has 12 efficiency apartments with kitchenettes, full closets and private baths in a recently renovated historic building. Two of the units are wheelchair-accessible and a third is accessible for the hearing or visually impaired.

My Place Germantown is unique. It’s unlike a traditional homeless shelter where men are taken in with the goal of getting them out. The men at My Place can stay there for as long as they want. The men are referred to My Place through various housing organizations, such as the U.S. Department of Housing or transitional housing or homeless shelters. The men must have a history of repeated homelessness and disabilities.

My Place, a renovated historic home in Germantown.

Shattock, for example, typically wandered the streets at night and slept in homeless shelters. He didn’t want to discuss the reasons that led to his homelessness, but he said he lived on the streets for years and would eat where free food was offered. Shattock said living at My Place takes a big burden off of his back.

“It’s just so relaxing…really,” Shattock said. “Now I don’t have to worry about where I’m going to sleep at night. I have my own nice, clean apartment.”

Mark Bielecki is the program director at My Place. He said the program’s focus is to get the men used to living a normal life by helping them ease their way back into society and independent living.

“Our goal is to empower the men the best we can, provide them with the skills to live independently,” Bielecki said. “A lot of these guys have never lived independently, or haven’t in a long time, so they need assistance with that transition.”

Amos Shattock relaxes while watching television in his new apartment.

A part of that independence is paying rent. The men pay different amounts according to their income. They are also encouraged to work if possible. Because the men at My Place come from all walks of life, some of them have disabilities that prevent them from working.

If the men need extra assistance or attention, someone is there to provide on-site support 24 hours a day. A community health nurse visits weekly to monitor residents with chronic illnesses, provide routine inoculations, conduct wellness assessments and offer health education.

Nelson Troche is a caseworker intern from La Salle University. He has been with My Place for several weeks. His job is to help the men succeed outside of the home and in the community. He helps them locate public transportation, churches, community organizations and other facilities in Germantown.

“We expect our guys to become a part of the community and active in the community in however way they define,” Troche said. “We hope to partner with local residents to make this a good experience for everyone involved.”

Troche said My Place is different from standard homeless shelters because it’s a restored home, designed to fit in with the rest of the houses on the street and in the neighborhood.

“We have quite a large home here in Germantown. Our presence is known in the community,” Troche said. “So we’d like to not only help the men inside of the home but also in the community as well.”

Amos Shattock returns home to My Place.

My Place is for men only. However, Bielecki said if the facility continues to do well, it’s expected that a similar home for women will open. The ultimate goal is to have houses similar to My Place all over the community.

So far, eight out of 12 of the apartments are occupied. Bielecki said there is room for four more men. He is working on filling the rest of the rooms as needed and is working to provide men like Shattock with a stable and healthy life.

Shattock said he loves his new apartment and it’s starting to feel more and more like his own place.

“It’s just so much better than living on the streets,” Shattock said.

For more information, visit myplacegermantown.org.

19 Comments

  1. I THINK IT IS SO NICE HOW SOME AREAS IN PHILADELPHIA ARE HELPING HOMELESS PEOPLE THIS HAS BEEN ONE OF MY GOALS. ALSO TO OPEN UP A SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS SO THEY CAN BECOME SELF SUFFICIENT AGAIN IN SOCIETY. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK AND GOD BLESS YOU FOR ALL THAT YOU DO.

  2. Soon to be homeless I am looking For something like this please Help I am desperate I do work doing the day.

  3. I am a 44 year old male that have no where to go and been living in the street. I have many health issues and need a place to stay so i am able to get myself together. I asked if there a room i can occupy so i wouldnot have to continue to live on the street. I would appreciate all to your help in these times for me. I can be notified by email listed above this message. I thank you and may God be with you always.

  4. I’m in the process of being homeless. I’m in need of a place to stay with counseling to follow. I’m at my lowest point. I work Part time but I can’t seem to make ends meet. If someone could get back to me ASAP I would gladly appreciate it. Thank You in advance.

  5. Hi im reaching out to you for some help..im 44 yrs old on the street ive never been in this position and
    i dont know what to do. .i am capable of working i just need some place to rest my head and call home to get back to my independence again..please contact me…God bless

  6. Hi im reaching out to you for some help..im 43 yrs old on the street ive never been in this position amd i dont know what to do. .i am capable of working i just need some place to rest my head and call home to get back to my independence again..please contact me…God bless

  7. I can no longer stay we’re I’m at with my friend. I’m looking for work but I’m not hs Bing any luck

  8. I’m in the process of cleaning out my closets and would like to donate clothing I no longer need or wear. Can your organization use these items?

  9. Hi I’m Jonathan Barnes I’m homeless need a place to stay.i do work in the day smh just don’t have a place to lay my head. 267 582-2798.

  10. hi my name is Jonathan Foggie. I have been thrown out of my sisters house by my brother-in -law .I’m currently unemployed and have no where to go. Could you please help me? i ca be reached at 215-289-3153.Thank you and God bless.

  11. Hi my name is Jackie I only been living in Philadelphia for 4 years I gave up my home and my life to come and help out my daughter and my son in law. And now my daughter want me out. I’m 55 no friends or family in Philadelphia. I cant work I have heart problems. You reach me throw my Email jac_walton@yahoo.com

  12. I am a homeless male , with no where to go ,i would like somewhere to stay to help me get my self together to find emoyment and become independent. I can be reached at 4848447476.May God bless.

  13. Are you in need of mens clothing for your residents? I do not want to give to places that sell clothing.
    Thank you…

  14. Are you in need of mens clothing for your residents? I do not want to give to places that sell clothing.
    Thank you…

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