City decides not to demolish school – and builds apartments for homeless instead

The fact that there are still people out there who are homeless and live on the streets is deeply tragic and makes me feel deeply sorry.

Sure, to some extent, being homeless is sometimes based on the choices an individual makes—but there are also problems in society that we need to correct so that everyone has the support they need to live a dignified life.

Fortunately, many people are working hard to fix the system—and this is why I think that everyone needs to hear this story.

Last month, authorities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania recently decided to renovate an old school and build 12 apartments for homeless veterans.

The school, which was supposed to be demolished, will also contain 27 units earmarked for senior citizens.


Philadelphia’s Spring Garden School saw its last students walk the halls more than 40 years ago, and ever since then, it’s sat empty, even as the city’s homeless population has grown.

Back in the day, students played basketball up on the school roof—but that time is long past.

The school district moved the students to a nearby school, and in 1986, Spring Garden School was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Mike Saah / Flickr

Then in 2014, things started to change. A local investor decided to buy the abandoned school to turn it into housing.

And the city of Philadelphia collaborated with the volunteer organization HELP USA to raise $56million for the project.

The renovation on Spring Garden School is expected to be completed in 2017, when the building will contain 12 units for homeless veterans and 37 units for senior citizens.

“Some are for seniors 55 and up and others are for veterans, many of them formerly homeless and recovering from substance abuse, others with mental health conditions or disabilities,” David Cleghorn Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development of HELP US told PhillyVoice.

“We’ve built houses for people with HIV, victims of domestic violence and communities that live with mental health conditions. It’s a no-brainer for veterans. They’ve made sacrifices for us and they deserve to have a place to live. It’s the right thing to do.”

Doesn’t it just warm your heart to read this? A big thumbs up to everyone who stands up and fights for others who are struggling in the community! Please share this article to help give HELP US the recognition they deserve!

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