By Arlene Edmonds

Special to The CS&T

PHILADELPHIA – Many in the Northeast Philadelphia area rely on the community services of Inn Dwelling. Located on the campus of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Germantown and operated by the Vincentians, Inn Dwelling’s services to the homeless, young people in the surrounding neighborhoods and the unemployed provide a strong community anchor during these hard economic times.

Therefore, when the nonprofit organization holds their “Spring Celebration” fundraiser, they are hoping that all in the Catholic community will lend their support. The gala will be held Saturday, April 18, from 5:30 to 11 p.m. at La Salle College High School, 8605 Cheltenham Ave., Wyndmoor.

Festivities will include dinner and a silent auction. This year’s honorees include humanitarians Michael Cole and Kathy Allen-Cole, La Salle College High School president Brother Richard Kestler, F.S.C., and volunteer Edward McGinty.

Also among those receiving accolades will be the Magarity family who owns Magarity Chevrolet. The late Bill Magarity and his children, Lizanne Magarity-Pando and Joseph Margarity, will be recognized for their philanthropy. The keynote speaker will be Vincentian Father Aiden Rooney. WPHL community relations director Steve Highsmith will emcee the program.

“This fundraiser is important because during this economic downturn some of the foundations who used to support us did not come through,” said Vincentian Brother Alfred J. Smith, who founded Inn Dwelling 28 years ago. “This fundraiser comes at a time when we are making up for the deficit in our next budget. We want to make sure that we continue to help children stay in good schools with scholarships and provide for our other programs.”

Among the programs that the fundraiser will ensure continues is a housing initiative. Inn Dwelling’s transition housing takes a non-traditional approach. It offers housing for those who live in overcrowded residences, become homeless due to the sale of rental property or live with a major life obstruction. Rather than simply provide housing, it helps those in the program purchase a home. Thus, those in the program must be employed and willing to save toward home ownership.

“We really want to bring people to self-sufficiency, so that they don’t have to rely on others or rent for the rest of their lives,” Brother Smith said. “Since 1997 we have helped 54 families reach the goal of home ownership.”

In addition, Inn Dwelling has a comprehensive youth program. They give full-tuition scholarships to Holy Ghost Preparatory School, Merion Mercy Academy and others. They also provide SAT preparation to local youngsters as well as panel discussions on contemporary issues. Many of the students who came through the program have gone on to get degrees from Villanova University, LaSalle University and Chestnut Hill College.

Inn Dwelling further provides local families in need with emergency services of all kinds. During a typical year, sometimes as many as 1,000 families are served through this program. In addition, for those who are among the growing number of the unemployed or underemployed, Inn Dwelling provides resume preparation services, job searching strategies and employment referrals.

For tickets, to make a contribution or for more information on Inn Dwelling, visit or call 215-438-2195.

Arlene Edmonds is a freelance writer and St. Raymond of Penafort parishioner. She may be reached at