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Our Work- April 2019

51 Families and Individuals Fill Orinoka Apartments


In time for the holidays, NKCDC is excited to announce that all 51 units of affordable housing at Orinoka Civic House, the $17.8 million overhaul of the former Orinoka Mills factory at Ruth St and Somerset St, have been filled.

Orinoka residents have been quick to embrace their community. In the spirit of the holidays, residents have worked with NKCDC to throw Thanksgiving potlucks and will host a cookie-baking party in December. Back in October, several participated in a volunteer day with TD Bank to plant trees around the building's perimeter.

"The residents who have been here since July mostly know everyone's faces, and they're excited to get to know their neighbors," said Renee Horst, Resident Services Coordinator for NKCDC. Horst works closely with residents to support the growing community by helping plan social activities, spreading the word on neighborhood opportunities, and connecting individuals with social support services.

Many residents are choosing to participate in the broader neighborhood conversation by attending local events, such as Somerset Neighbors for Better Living civic association meetings at the nearby Rock Ministries.

In addition to affordable housing, Orinoka offers an indoor, shared meeting area, a small commercial space, and room for NKCDC's main offices. NKCDC hopes the mixed-use concept will serve as a hub for community-oriented programs and activities.

Applications are still being accepted for the waitlist. For more info, please visit orinokacivichouse.com.

Artist Michael Morgan Completes Brick Sculpture


In collaboration with NKCDC and the Somerset Neighbors for Better Living (SNBL) civic association, artist and Kensington resident Michael Morgan completed a brick sculpture earlier this month displayed at the corner of Frankford Ave and Silver St. Watch our video to learn more about the making of the sculpture and the community collaboration that went into it.

Improving the Lehigh Viaduct underpass has been a priority of the SNBL since its founding in 2012. Working with Community Design Collaborative at SNBL meetings, residents envisioned Frankford Avenue as a clean and safe neighborhood gateway that included attractive lighting, landscaping and public art. In the following years, with financial support from Conrail, Domus and Wells Fargo Regional Foundation, NKCDC stabilized vacant lots along the viaduct, planted small gardens and installed LED lights under the tracks.

Earlier this year, a full transformation of the vacant lots on Frankford was made possible by the inaugural Community Impact Project partnership with DVGBC. DVGBC and NKCDC raised over $13,000 and secured multiple in-kind gifts from the community, including a large capstone gift from Mr. Contractor Inc. Landscape architect Hans Hesselein of Apiary Studio drafted a series of designs to meet the needs of landowners, residents and local businesses.

Back in June, more than 30 volunteers built trellises, installed a drip irrigation system, and planted fruit trees, perennials, berry bushes and wildflowers. At the same time, the city's Community Life Improvement Programs (CLIP) cut weeds and removed trash on adjacent streets.

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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