Promise Zone Blog
Think Tank 2016 was an event hosted by the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity in which students worked in teams to create a presentation about one problem they wish to solve in West Philadelphia—and how. MORE
Reed’s Coffee & Tea House opened four years ago at the corner of Lancaster and 38th. Trolleys roll by every ten minutes, but people come in on foot throughout the day. From what we’ve seen, customers come looking for anything, taste something delicious, and then look to try more. MORE
Over the last 6 months the Promise Zone Small & Emerging Business Working Group has piloted a lending and technical assistance (TA) program targeting business and property owners on Lancaster Avenue and 52nd Street. This has involved close collaboration with many partners, including Community Development Financial Institutions (which provides loans to small businesses), Commercial Corridor Managers, and the Philadelphia Department of Commerce.
AmeriCorps: Promise Corps College and Career Ambassadors
Promise Corps College and Career Ambassadors (CCAs) will be placed in one of four high schools in Philadelphia’s Promise Zone. The high schools are West Philadelphia, Overbrook, High School of the Future, and Parkway West.CCAs will work with high school students and families to ensure that they graduate from high school with strong skill sets, and develop awareness of paths and challenges related to postsecondary opportunities, while working with students to help them develop long-term plans leading to postsecondary entry. CCAs will work with school teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors to identify and recruit students who need additional support. MORE
Lucia Esther and Chuck Bode began their RCO with just two or three people attending. Now, one hundred and twenty five people are members of the RCO and up to forty people regularly attend the monthly meetings. Lucia is involved in her community in other ways; she currently sits on the advisory committee for the police station, the 30th Street Planning group, and the University City high school site, to name a few.
According to a recent study published by the Journal of Community Health, 70% of children in urban areas reported experiencing crimes: repeated exposure to violence in a community can disrupt residents’ lives, and pose major challenges to community well-being. MORE
Spring begins in just a few weeks, and several projects in the Promise Zone are already sprouting. The new programs advance important public safety and education priorities for high school aged residents of the Promise Zone. MORE
On February 9th 2016, People’s Emergency Center (PEC) had a ground-breaking event for its newest affordable housing development at 4050 Haverford Avenue. The 4050 Apartments on Haverford will be an affordable live-work space for lower income artists in the community. The new apartment complex will be three stories tall, 24,350 square feet, and fill a vacant lot. The twenty units are a mix of one, two, and three bedrooms units. The target income is 20%, 50% and 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), and the units will have amenities that encourage artmaking: access to natural light, high ceilings and open layouts. 4050 Apartments will also have a community room with space that can be used for workshops and exhibitions. The apartments are near retail shops, restaurants, public transportation, and bike share, and located within an engaged, historic community. MORE
January 2016 was a busy month for neighborhoods in the Promise Zone, with a variety of community events being hosted. The events, centered on housing and health & wellness issues, were well attended and enthusiastically received by community members. MORE
Patrick Bayer is the Workforce Development and Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for the West Philadelphia Promise Zone. He has served a year in the position through the AmeriCorps VISTA service program. Since his term of service will be completed at the end of February, Patrick shared some information about his experiences working with the Philadelphia Promise Zone. Read more