By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the primary less than two weeks away, Project HOME hosted a mayoral forum Thursday night that focused on poverty and other issues.

Candidates and representatives from both parties came out to the Broad Street Ministry in Center City to outline their plans of ways to combat homelessness. According to the organization, more than 25-percent of people in Philadelphia face poverty.

Project HOME Director Sister Mary Scullion says the core issues Philadelphia’s next mayor needs to focus on are housing, education, health care and employment:

“The next Mayor has to be strategically focused, and has to be able to reach out and get other leaders, and organizations, and institutions in our community, working together to figure out the most important ways in addressing those issues.”

A coalition group called ‘Vote for Homes‘ encourages all to vote, and will offer free rides to those living in poverty on May 19th.

“Voting is just a fundamental right and it’s a sacred privilege,” says Scullion. “We are really doing our best to encourage as many poor and homeless people to come out and exercise their right to vote.”

KYW Newsradio community affairs reporter Cherri Gregg moderated Thursday’s event.