By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a groundbreaking advance in Philadelphia’s response to homelessness Tuesday as officials cut the ribbon on the new Hub of Hope.

The sparkling new facility in Suburban Station is the culmination of years of work by homeless advocates, city officials and SEPTA.

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Project HOME opened an overnight winter respite in a shuttered storefront there years ago, but the number of homeless using the station for shelter continued to climb so they joined with SEPTA to find a permanent space to provide day services.

The agency provided 11,000 square feet for a facility that includes laundry, showers and, soon, medical care, and board chair Pat Dione was beaming.

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“This is the proudest moment SEPTA has ever had, putting together something that made such an impact on the community,” Dione said.

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Project HOME’s Sister Mary Scullion called it a true solution to homelessness, not just a cosmetic fix.

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“This kind of vision is what makes our city a truly great one,” she said.