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It was twelve years ago when D.W. Wilkins first moved from New York City to Philadelphia.

Upon his arrival, he had been living without medical insurance or other safeguards until learning about the services being offered at St. Elizabeth, a healthcare and recovery initiative of the Philadelphia nonprofit Project HOME.

“I was taking a few computer classes in the community where I live and work,” Wilson said. “It was there that I met a young lady who told me about St. Elizabeth and that I could go there and get the care that I needed.”

According to Project HOME, roughly 70 percent of households have incomes of less than $35,000 per year in the St. Elizabeth community and nearly half of adults and children live at or below the federal poverty level.

The idea of having a wellness center placed in the heart of Philadelphia had first come to Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director of Project HOME, when civic leader Stephen Klein had approached her about building a community center.

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Photo by Harvey Finkle.

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Dominique “Peak” Johnson is a North Philadelphia journalists and blogger. He is one of the founding editors and writers of the North Philly Metropolis and blogger for The Huffington Post. Click here to learn more about Peak.