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28 January 2019

Kensington and Fairhill collaborative wins U.S. Department of Justice crime reduction funding

PHILADELPHIA-—A collaborative of Kensington and Fairhill service providers, including New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC), HACE, and IMPACT Services Corporation, has been awarded $1,000,000 total over three years through the Innovations in Community-Based Crime Reduction Program, part of  the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice.

"In Philadelphia we know that complicated problems require collaborative solutions," said Felix Torres-Colon, Executive Director of NKCDC. "For years, HACE, IMPACT and NKCDC have worked to support our Kensington and Fairhill neighbors and help bring their vision for improving their communities to life. With everything neighbors are enduring today, the last thing we want to do is duplicate efforts. The Department of Justice understands the connection between crime, social cohesion and the physical environment, and we are honored to receive this grant, which will advance our community development work together."

The Kensington and Fairhill Collaborative proposed a holistic, three-year project to reduce violent crime by implementing strategies to enhance social cohesion and collective efficacy in areas of the neighborhood facing the biggest challenges. This project was made possible with the support of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Philadelphia, the City of Philadelphia's Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the Managing Director's Office, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, the 24th and 25th Police Districts, Temple University, and Rutgers University. 

The project area-—bounded by Front Street to the west, Frankford Avenue to the east, Allegheny Avenue to the north, and Lehigh Avenue to the south-—is host to many violent and drug-related crime hotspots. The Collaborative aims to reduce crime through a multi-sector, strengths-based approach that improves social connections and community trust. At its core is a resilient and compassionate community and entrenched service providers whose involvement will be crucial to the success of this project. 

The Collaborative will undertake a 9 to 12-month planning phase in which it will collect baseline data, convene diverse groups of stakeholders and community anchors, and determine how to best step forward in advancing the project goals of increasing collective efficacy, strengthening collaboration between the police and community members, and reducing physical disorder. Key analysis will be conducted by a research partner, the Rutgers University Center for Urban Research and Education. Integral to these goals are increased youth involvement and a trauma-informed model of community engagement, both of which offer alternatives to the cycles of violence and poverty currently perpetuated in the neighborhood.

As its first step, the collaborative has posted a full-time employment opportunity for a Community Engagement Project Manager for this grant. Please see the job posting here. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 1. Residency and experience working in Kensington are strongly preferred.  

New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) strengthens the physical, social, and economic fabric of Kensington, Port Richmond and Fishtown by being a catalyst for sustainable development and community building. Over the last three decades, NKCDC has developed a multi-faceted approach to neighborhood revitalization rooted in community leadership, vacant land management, creativity and arts, and strategic real estate initiatives. NKCDC is part of the NeighborWorks America network, an affiliation of more than 240 nonprofit organizations located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. To learn more, visit www.nkcdc.org.

About HACE
HACE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) community development corporation founded in 1982 with a mission is to combat community deterioration through economic development initiatives that addresses commercial revitalization, employment opportunities, the creation of safe affordable housing, and the provision of support services to meet the needs of community residents towards rebuilding the neighborhood's economic base. We focus on the possible and work to restore our primary neighborhood so that residents will benefit from sound investments while improving their quality of life. For additional information on HACE, please visit www.hacecdc.org.

IMPACT Services Corporation (IMPACT) has been working in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia to help people reenter the workforce train for jobs, find housing, and build community since 1974. Over the last two decades our work has included building housing in an effort to end veteran homelessness, addressing unjust policies that perpetuate poverty at all levels of government and fostering strong connections among residents to increase resiliency and social cohesion. The foundation of our work lies in our ability to nurture partnerships with other mindful organizations. By aligning missions, resources, and creativity – we're able to muster the latent energy in our community. For more information, please visit www.impactservices.org.

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New Kensington Community Development Corporation
2515 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
P: (215) 427-0350  |  F: (215) 427-1302  |  info@nkcdc.org
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