PAST INITIATIVES

FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT

From 1992 to 2013, WCRP planned and developed facilities for organizations that serve low-income families to allow them an increased capacity to better serve their communities. Through the years, we’ve provided training to hundreds of non-profit organizations to help them fully understand the facilities development process.  Some of these organizations have also received technical assistance or project management support.  

Head Start programs, child care facilities, health care centers, community centers, charter schools, and other human and social service agencies have all benefitted, including:

  • Adolfina Villaneuva Child Development Center: WCRP’s first facility development project. Built to serve a housing development, it is leased to a Head Start program and serves 72 children today.

  • The Preschool Project: $1.3 million renovation of an historic church in Philadelphia’s Fishtown to serve as a Head Start/child care and career development center for preschool teachers.  WCRP helped obtain more than $1 million for the two phases of this project.

  • Lincoln Day Educational Center: $1.2 million renovation of a century-old building used as a child care center, designed by the firm of architect Frank Furness. WCRP was instrumental in obtaining a state grant of more than $1 million for the project.
     

Congreso de Latinos Unidos Headquarters
Adolfina Villanueva Child Development Center

Adolfina Villanueva Child Development Center

Congreso de Latinos Unidos headquarters

 
COMMUNITY GREENING

Thanks to funding from the William Penn Foundation, WCRP worked with North Philadelphia residents throughout the 1990s to reclaim vacant land and repurpose it for community green space. WCRP identified and recruited neighborhood leaders to help transform these vacant lots, and created and implemented a plan to clean and green them as part of an effort to combat quality of life issues negatively impacting the community.

Through this program, residents assessed parcels of land and WCRP worked to support their visions of side yards, gardens and play areas for children instead of blight. Over a six-year period, the community converted over 125 vacant parcels into 12 open-space parks, created over 40 side yards and backyards, organized to improve the delivery of city services to their neighborhoods and participated in classes on urban gardening and vacant land stewardship.

 

FOOD FOR ALL

To help residents in eastern North Philadelphia increase options to purchase fresh, affordable, locally grown food within a 10-minute walk of their homes, WCRP partnered with University of Pennsylvania graduate students and St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children for the Food for All program. WCRP relocated its Farm to Families CSA site to Maria de los Santos Health Center, a busy health care provider which primarily serves the area’s Latino community and sees thousands of patients per year.

Over the course of one year, 111 customers purchased simple, healthy recipe boxes from the Farm to Families modified CSA program. In addition to the CSA, WCRP partnered with the Food Trust to bring fresh produce to corner grocery stores. Additionally, WCRP provided support to the Fairhill Square Farmer’s Market by incorporating musical performances, Zumba classes, local library staff readings and health/fitness outreach programs into the sale of produce.

 

MODEL BLOCKS PROGRAM

WCRP worked with homeowners on eight blocks around the Adolfina Villanueva Townhomes to provide grants and low-interest loans for home repair and rehabilitation by administering Model Block contracts to 80 neighborhood residents, resulting in major façade and other improvements.

Renovation projects included energy-efficient upgrades such as central air-conditioning installations and new appliances, fixing construction flaws with new roofing system and replaced rear walls, and the remodeling of bathrooms and kitchens with new cabinetry, flooring and counter tops. As part of the program, tenants were relocated for an average of ten weeks while their homes underwent repairs.