SEPTA and its partners Project HOME and the City of Philadelphia received an award from TransitCenter, a national transportation advocacy organization, for the "Hub of Hope" program, according to the agency's press release.
Every year, TransitCenter recognizes outstanding work across the country in the transit field with its "Frequency" awards.
"We are incredibly honored to receive this award," said Leslie S. Richardsm, SEPTA CEO/GM. "As we strive to find compassionate, long-term solutions for the vulnerable population, we are fortunate to work with Sister Mary Scullion and her exceptional team of outreach experts at Project HOME’s Hub of Hope. Through our partnership with the City of Philadelphia and Project HOME, we are making SEPTA safer for everyone."
The award comes at a time when SEPTA is expanding its social outreach efforts under the S.C.O.P.E. program. With S.C.O.P.E., which stands for safety, cleanliness, ownership, partnership, and engagement, the authority is growing the work it began in 2011 with the Hub of Hope and deploying outreach workers to multiple stations throughout its system.
The Hub of Hope provides outreach services to individuals experiencing homelessness on and around the SEPTA system. Within its sprawling 11,000-square-foot location in SEPTA’s Suburban Station Concourse, the Hub of Hope offers meals, health care services and help finding a permanent home, among other services.
In implementing S.C.O.P.E., the authority has adopted Hub of Hope’s model of partnership. In just over six months, the S.C.O.P.E. team partners with civic organizations, city governments, nonprofits, and universities throughout the five-county region to work on solutions to the challenges of homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health issues.
"Similar to our approach at the Hub of Hope, we are focused on connecting people to services, not policing them," said Ken Divers, S.C.O.P.E. program manager.