The DHS Office of Equity and Engagement started Project Prom in 2003, recognizing that the prom is an expensive evening and that many young men and women might be denied the experience as a result.
The Project Prom Gown Giveaway offers a selection of free, new and gently used, currently styled gowns and accessories to qualifying young people. Since 2003, thousands of young adults have made their selections from innumerable donated items. The Project Prom Shop is equipped with dressing rooms and is staffed with volunteers serving as personal stylists for the Gown Giveaway held several days in early spring.
The success of Project Prom rests on the generosity of donors, both individuals and retail stores, who contribute clean, currently styled and undamaged formal wear and gift certificates for young women and men.
In 2017, DHS entered into a partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), combining their talents and efforts to serve even more young people in Allegheny County. That successful partnership continued until 2021, when NCJW’s focus shifted to advocacy and service programs and DHS assumed sole operating responsibility for Project Program. NCJW continues to support DHS in its role as a community partner.
Project Prom moved to a new location in Penn Hills in 2022, from which it will continue to create prom memories for young people in Allegheny County.