Can our community reduce crime?
Yes, we can.
We CAN (Change & Action Now) is three nonprofits—HACE, Impact Services and NKCDC—coming together to support Kensington and Fairhill residents, community organizations and the police. We are supported by a crime reduction grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Our vision is a safe and unified neighborhood where residents work together to build trust, eliminate crime, and advocate for their community.
We’re focused on an area in the Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods of Philadelphia, in the 24th Police District.
- Increasing collective efficacy—bringing neighbors together, building trust, and empowering local residents and organizations to make change.
- Strengthening relationships and collaboration between the police and the community.
- Reducing physical disorder—cleaning, greening and designing safer blocks.
Partners in crime reduction
In 2018, HACE, Impact Services and NKCDC were awarded a three-year $1 million grant for innovations in community-based crime reduction from the United States Department of Justice. We CAN partners include the 24th Police District, city agencies and over 28 local civic and religious organizations, and schools.
Since May 2019 we have engaged thousands of residents through Chat & Chews, National Night Out, Safe Clinics, community clean-ups, trauma-informed art workshops, holiday events, block parties, resource fairs, art exhibits, and Police Buddy Outings to destinations like the Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Zoo.
Monthly stakeholder meetings, which continued by Zoom through the Covid pandemic, included presentations on CURE Violence, Trauma and Safety Plan creation, and a “How Can Art Activate Community?” artists panel, which was featured on WHYY public radio.
In collaboration with Mural Arts and supported by the Philadelphia Office of Violence Prevention, a series of intergenerational art workshops led by three local artists resulted in a traveling exhibition, From Kensington With Love: Behind The Veil. Our “Reach Out and Touch” initiative includes back-to-school outreach, Thanksgiving basket distribution, and a holiday toy give away.
My Voice Matters
From February to May, 2021, We CAN organized My Voice Matters, a policing and community safety study conducted through innovative dialogue sessions with Kensington and Fairhill youth. The conversations were facilitated by Creative Praxis and supported by researchers at Rutgers-Camden. Twenty young people aged 14-24 attended six workshops on Zoom, then presented their recommendations to Kensington residents and the police.
Later that year, 24th District Captain Pedro Rosario dedicated 10 police officers and the Community Relations Officer to take part in a five-session Trauma Training, focused on understanding trauma from clinical, community, and youth perspectives. The goal is to offer this comprehensive trauma training module across the district.