The exact location of this support group is confidential. Contact the group monitor via email for the address and information.
Project HEAL only recently started their Philadelphia support group, “Communities of HEALing”, in place of their old West Chester group. This move to Center City has made the group very accessible for persons who rely on SEPTA, PATCO, NJ Transit, and possibly even AMTRAK. Those who have cars can choose their preferred method of parking in the area or just park & ride from the suburbs via public transportation. The group location is a short walk from most of the transit stations and bus routes in Center City. Even in the bitter cold, this walk will be manageable for most.
Communities of HEALing Philadelphia is open to any person with an Eating Disorder, regardless of gender or specific eating disorder type. It is a very small group right now, as it is only about a month old. It was a little unnerving, at first, trying to find the location. The instructions that were emailed to me offered zero landmarks and didn’t mention any neighboring businesses for me to be aware of. If you get the same response as I did, be sure to ask for these details as they will be helpful in locating the group. There is no phone number to call for information, so email is about all there is to use.
A group leader will pop down into the lobby (which is more like a small foyer) near the entrance a few times to check for waiting participants in order to bring them upstairs via elevator to the group room. The location is very modern, very comfortable, quiet, with the group itself taking place in a nice large conference room with gentle lighting. Before group started, I was asked to sign in and the group leader reviewed the group rules with those in attendance. Standard group etiquette was expected, with the typical ban of weights/calories/numbers/sizes, but it’s very low key and anyone can pipe up when they’re compelled to speak. The group leader (the night I attended) was very pleasant and sociable- I do plan to attend again soon.
Do not attempt to attend unless you have registered. Registration includes a standard contract for all Project HEAL Communities of HEALing support group participants, which outlines the confidentiality rules. As of this publication, registration and attendance are both free, no charge. After you have registered, you can request the group location from the group monitor using the same email with which you registered under, and let them know that you have digitally signed the necessary paperwork.
Every Thursday 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Location: Center City, Philadelphia
FREE – Registration is required
How to find the group: When you arrive at the location’s West entrance, stay on the first floor in the small lobby. Someone will be down to get you before group starts. There are no signs announcing the group and nobody who works in the building will know about Project HEAL meeting there. Even if you’re 5 minutes late, someone should be down to see if anyone still needs to be brought up to the group.
Handicap access: The building is handicap accessible with an elevator, however, there are no automatic doors. It’s a modern building with low thresholds and decent width doorways. I believe the hallways were free of carpeting, as well. There is a wheelchair accessible bathroom or two in the wing where group takes place.
Accessible commute: When traveling South along the exact street of the location’s entrance, you will want to utilize the sidewalk on the West side of the street. The East sidewalk has a missing curb cut at one point and is too tall for the average wheelchair to “pop” over.
Service dog access: I had no concerns.