and human services for all Phoenixville area people.
Utilizing existing spaces to support our community
Our vision is to utilize existing spaces on the Sacred Heart campus to provide support and other services for persons most in need in our community. We will be intentional about identifying needs created by gaps in services already provided by the local community, and to fill those needs when possible.
We are committed to our
Ann’s Heart is committed to being an organization whose core values respect the community, our community partners, and the people we serve through our transparency and presence in the community.
Our core values guide and support our Board and leadership, enabling us to maintain the organization’s purpose and make that purpose real to our staff as the organization develops and grows.
In 2014, a group of individuals from St. Ann Parrish in Phoenixville sought for ways to re-purpose the vacant Sacred Heart School to support the Phoenixville community. The group decided to form a secular non-profit that would seek to listen to the community, identify needs, and utilize this and other spaces on the Sacred Heart Campus to fill gaps in services. The group formed Ann’s Heart, a public non-profit 501(c)(3) charity organization, with a mission to provide a place of welcome and human services for all Phoenixville area people.
Where we set our sights:
Create a 501(c)(3)
Listen to the community to identify gaps and potential programs
Learn how best to repurpose our spaces for use in the community
Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our founding Board Members, our organization became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in March of 2015.
Code Blue Center Pilot Program
In a response to the need for safe, warm shelter for homeless individuals and families in the Phoenixville area, a group of community partners from various organizations met and planned the pilot Code Blue Center program - initially knowns as the Code Blue Ministry of Phoenixville. Doors to the Center opened on Monday, January 18, 2016 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) in time for a large blizzard. Code Blue operated for 11 weeks, 7 days a week from 8PM to 8AM, and served 48 homeless men, women, and children.
Code Blue Program Adopted
After the 2016 Pilot Season of Code Blue, Ann's Heart determined the need to adopt the Center as the first full program of Ann's Heart. During the assessment of the program the Board of Directors decided that the Center needed to be updated to include fully accessible bathrooms and showers, as well as adding laundry facilities. Construction for these renovations began immediately.
Executive Director Hired
With the adoption of the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center as a program of Ann's Heart, the Board of Directors decided to hire the first staff person for the organization - an Executive Director. The new Executive Director was hired and began work on September 1, 2016, establishing an Ann's Heart office at 148 Church Street, Phoenixville, PA.
First Full Season of Code Blue
After a delayed start due to renovations and having to house the program in an alternate location, the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center began its first full season as an official Ann's Heart program. Over a period of 17 weeks, the Center served 52 individuals, providing a safe and warm place to spend the night. During the first season Ann's Heart engaged over 90 volunteers to support the Center, accumulating 1,275 hours of volunteer time.
Code Blue Center Receives Certificate of Occupancy
After a lengthy renovation process, construction was finalized and we were granted the final certificate of occupancy for the use of Sacred Heart Church Hall as the Code Blue Overnight Emergency Warming Center. In November of 2017 we launched our third season of Code Blue in our newly renovated space, providing showers and laundry to guests. Over the course of 23 weeks, the Center served 88 homeless individuals from Phoenixville and surrounding areas.
HEART JumpStart Successfully Completed
Challenged by an anonymous donor who believed in our vision for the Sacred Heart School's 're-imagination' into the HEART, Ann's Heart led and successfully completed a year-long capital campaign to raise $50,000 from area donors in order to receive a full $50,000 match. This was a great accomplishment for us, as this was the first Capital Campaign ever to be completed by Ann's Heart.
HEART Certificate of Occupancy Received
Thanks to funds raised during the HEART JumpStart and countless hours of volunteer support, Ann's Heart was able to complete the various projects and steps required to receive a certificate of occupancy for the community center. In May, the Borough of Phoenixville granted us with a Certificate of Occupancy to ensure the opening of the HEART to the comunity.
What's in a name?
People often ask us - "Who is Ann?"
While we are a secular organization, the name is a nod to St. Ann's Church and Sacred Heart Church; the two parishes which merged in 2012 and have graciously granted us the opportunity to utilize the spaces on the Sacred Heart Campus for the community.
Additionally, the Home of Education, Arts, Resources, and Technology (HEART) is a nod to the Sacred Heart Elementary school which has been re-imagined into a community education center.