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The purpose of Project WHY is “to facilitate genuine empathy through understanding homeless people’s individual stories”. Nobody is inherently homeless. Everybody has a story & everybody has a WHY. These individuals were once two-year-olds playing with dolls, and then 2nd graders learning about rocks, just like you! However, something along the way caused them to end up where they are. Project WHY allows individuals experiencing homelessness to tell their stories about WHY they are where they are whilst simultaneously restoring humanity’s empathy toward homelessness in America.


Why "Project WHY"?

The “WHY” stands for “We Hear You,” directed at people experiencing homelessness and their new ability to use their voices and tell their stories to the world. In addition, the “WHY” is directed at society to understand & empathize with the causes of homelessness. This creative homonym combines the two most important factors of Project WHY: allowing people experiencing homelessness to tell their stories & educating society about homelessness in America.

Our Founder

I, Arielle Zappia, founded Project WHY as a 14-year-old junior in high school. I have lived in Orange County for the entirety of my life and I have seen the rise of homelessness over the years. I created Project WHY to make a difference in the lives of our unhoused neighbors as well as to change society’s perceptions of homelessness in America. I feel as though society has lacked empathy towards homelessness for a very long time and that it is time for a genuine change. I believe that once people understand that no one is inherently homeless and that each one of these individuals has a story, society will be more inclined to put effort into this movement. 

I have not only founded Project WHY, but I have written & designed this entire website, interviewed individuals experiencing homelessness & written their stories, undergone the legalities of making a nonprofit, and so much more in order to ensure that Project WHY gets on its feet. Therefore, I am so thankful that you have come onto this website to learn about my cause & I promise that I am truly determined to change the world of homelessness, one step at a time.

Click here to learn more about me on my personal website!

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