Hub of Hope is tackling homelessness day by day | The Triangle

Hub of Hope is tackling homelessness day by day

The Hub of Hope is located in a retrofitted SEPTA substation, and this ingenious use of the old rail station is giving necessary services to many. (Photograph courtesy of Philadelphia City Council at Flickr.)

Hub of Hope is an outreach and engagement center that opened January 2018, located under the Two Penn Center in Center City. Their ultimate goal is “to help get people off of the streets,” according to a 6ABC report.

Hub of Hope lies in a former SEPTA substation and can be accessed from Suburban Station, a stop along SEPTA’s regional rail lines. The center comes in partnership with SEPTA, the City of Philadelphia and Project HOME, and offers year-round services for those in need in the city.

Hub of Hope offers a safe environment where guests have the chance to take a shower, wash and dry their clothes, eat a hot meal or even just drink a cup of coffee. The center also has a fully-equipped medical center where guests can get prescriptions and dental checkups.

It is a low-barrier charity, meaning that no one is turned away, and it’s open every day of the week. Meals are served Friday to Monday evening in partnership with Muslims Serve and Philabundance.

The Center City charity is looking for volunteers, especially on weekdays where over three hundred people frequent the center. Help is needed in data entry, care coordination, meal serving and giving out coffee and snacks. Volunteers must attend an orientation session before they can sign up for shifts at the center.

According to ProjectHOME statistics, around 9,000 people accessed the shelter in Philadelphia in 2018, and many were turned away due to capacity issues.

“I found out about Hub Of Hope while doing the 2020 Philadelphia Point in Time Count, which surveyed homeless people in the Philadelphia area and helped connect them to services,” political science student and new volunteer Dylan Hemmings said. “It’s nice to feel like you’re giving back to the city and it’s eye-opening for people who are usually in the student bubble.”

Donations are always welcome as well. The center is in need of men’s clothing to help the 80 percent of guests who identify as male. The center also accepts new socks, bras, underwear and gently-used sweatpants, shoes, pants and backpacks/duffel bags.

Travel-sized personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, soap and conditioner, are needed for hygiene bags. Bath towels, disposable razors, laundry detergent pods and deodorant are also needed, as well as individually-wrapped soft snacks. Hub of Hope is also keen to accept gently-loved books of any length or genre to supply their small library.

Another goal of Hub of Hope is to not only help those in need in the short-term but also the long-term, assisting them in obtaining secure, more permanent housing.

“It’s amazing, what they’re doing,” political science student and soon-to-be Hub of Hope volunteer, Ruby Hastings said. “Even though these people are often in the darkest of places when at the Hub, they’re surrounded by people who want to help them.”

Hub of Hope also hosts regular events in both the center and around Philadelphia. On Feb. 13, ProjectHOME is hosting an art exhibition in partnership with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. This event will take place at the Connelly Foundation Community Education Center on Broad Street.

If you are interested in volunteering with Hub of Hope or would like more information about donations, call 215-309-5225 or email