Building a comprehensive plan to address the social determinants of health in Kensington
Shared commitment to social determinants of health
Together, NKCDC and Impact Services are building a comprehensive plan to address the social determinants of health in Kensington, Philadelphia.
The social determinants of health are economic and social conditions that have a profound effect on the health of individuals and communities. By addressing factors like employment, education, child care, medical access, or physical environment, Kensington can overcome the worst health factors and outcomes in Philadelphia.
This strategic investment in neighborhood corridors draws from existing neighborhood plans.
Services and resources in Kensington are overwhelmingly directed at people suffering from homelessness and substance abuse disorder. We aim to expand services and opportunities so that long-term residents in the neighborhood also have what they need to thrive and be successful.
Combining our strengths and relying on partners to bring theirs, Impact and NKCDC will:
- Address neighborhood trauma
- Create safe, clean neighborhood green spaces
- Develop significant real estate as corridor anchors
- Address violence with data-driven strategies
- Provide housing and housing support
- Create jobs and workforce development opportunities, and
- Support the overall health and wellbeing of Kensington’s residents.
Kensington Empowerment Hub
Orinoka Civic House, 2771 Ruth Street
A tall, sunlit commercial space in Orinoka Civic House, at the corner of Somerset and Ruth Streets, will provide work stations and meeting space for critical service partners such as Community Legal Services, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, and the Campaign for Working Families. Coupled with NKCDC’s community health workers and housing counselors, the Empowerment Hub will be a one-stop shop for resources and social supports for some of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable families.
601 East Indiana Avenue
McPherson Square Park and Library are among the most visible institutions in the neighborhood and serve as a key anchors. Improvements to the park include: the complete redevelopment of the library and park through the city’s Rebuild initiative, 10 scattered-site affordable housing units facing the park, organizing and strengthening the Friends of McPherson civic group, and after school and summer programs that create safe spaces for children and help activate the library and park year-round.
A and Indiana
124 East Indiana Avenue
Redeveloping the historic mill at A Street & Indiana Avenue provides an opportunity to address several social determinants of health in one project by eliminating blight, increasing the supply of affordable housing, and reversing a decades-old cycle of disinvestment. The first phase of the project will deliver 48 units of affordable housing for families at the end of 2022. Once completed, the campus will include 68,000 square feet of commercial space reserved for a mission-aligned partner, a community center, a gym, and communal outdoor spaces. The project is already having a disruptive effect on the drug trade around Hope Park and generating opportunities for additional investments in the area.
Center for Engagement
3000 Kensington Avenue
Identified in Impact’s Heart of Kensington plan as a key corridor property, NKCDC has purchased and will renovate the building as a center for community engagement and youth programming. Space for interactive planning events, input/feedback sessions, exhibits, maps and drawings will occupy the first floor. Office and meeting space for NKCDC and Impact programs as well as community partners will occupy the second and third floors through the planning process.
- Identify pockets of engagement in Kensington, to include civics, friends groups, parks and recreation centers, schools, motivated resident groups, organizations, and institutions.
- Use existing activities to engage people around their interests. Create open invitations for groups to engage.
- Identify and hire a master planning consultant.
- Begin community conversations with all groups to identify initial goals for their micro-communities.
- Hold four mayoral forums that bring together engagement pockets to share common concerns for candidates to address.
- Review learnings and start bringing together affinity working groups around identified topics of interest.