Community Development Associate
Project Goal: 1. In connection with community engagement in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood and with the Registered Community Organization (RCO) – the Philly Fellow will attend monthly RCO meetings along with the VP of Real Estate and monthly staff meetings and will have substantive responsibilities to reporting progress at each meeting. The goal of this work will be to continue to strengthen the capacity of the leaders of the RCO and collaboration with Project HOME programs and events. 2. In connection with implementation of Project HOME’s 2016 housing needs assessment for the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood, the Philly Fellow will contribute to the planning and engagement related to small scale rehab and infill affordable housing development. The outcome will be to advance acquisition of property and the development and rehab of a new first phase project in the neighborhood. This project would consist of up to approximately 10 new units concentrated within a two block radius of Project HOME’s SECC, our FQHC, and Honickman Learning Center. 3. In connection with planning events that will bring together neighbors living in the community and Project HOME residents and staff, Philly Fellow will plan, organize and help to carry out at least one summer/fall event related to urban farming and growing of healthy foods. As the new urban farm startup expands in the neighborhood, the event(s) planned in 2017 will serve as a future model for collaboration with the community.
The mission of the Project HOME community is to empower persons to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, to address structural causes of poverty, and to enable all of us to attain our fullest potential as individuals and as members of the broader society. We achieve this through the provision of a continuum of care comprised of street outreach to homeless people; a range of affordable housing units; and comprehensive services including health care, education and employment. We also address the root causes of homelessness through neighborhood-based community revitalization programs, including affordable housing development; employment training and opportunities; adult and youth education; health care; and environmental enhancement. Project HOME’s Strategic Plan goals are as follows: Goal 1: End and Prevent Chronic Street Homelessness in Philadelphia. Goal 2: Eliminate health disparities for people experiencing homelessness, Project HOME residents and alumnae and children, and youth and adults who live in North Central Philadelphia. Goal 3: Improve educational and employment opportunities for Project HOME residents and alumnae and the children, youth and adults who live in North Central Philadelphia Goal 4: Develop, operate and manage properties to reflect shared values and be sustainable from an economic, social and environmental perspective. Goal 5: Build Project HOME’s capacity and provide timely, effective and high quality service to achieve our mission and strategic goals.
Address 1515 Fairmount Ave
Philadelphia PA 19123-3528
Total number of Agency Staff Members approx 400
Agency Budget approx $28,000,000 annual revenue
The fellow’s duties and responsibilities:
- Assist in community engagement related to affordable housing in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood and with the RCO.
- Assist in implementation of Project HOME’s 2016 housing needs assessment for the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood, including planning and predevelopment of small scale rehab and infill affordable housing development.
- Assist with planning event(s) that will bring together neighbors living in the community and Project HOME residents and staff, such as event related to new urban farm that is locating on Project HOME property.
Skills/qualifications a fellow should have to succeed in the position:
- Strong writing and verbal communication skills.
- Strong computer skills and ability to work in Microsoft office and Publisher or related program.
- Some familiarity with and experience in living or working in low income communities and with culturally, racially, and economically diverse populations.
Specific community need that the Philly Fellow will address:
Project HOME’s St. Elizabeth Community Center (SECC) is located in the 19121 zip code and is at the center of the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood. The neighborhood encompasses part of the Sharswood Blumberg Choice Neighborhood (south of Cecil B. Moore Ave between N 24th Street and N 18th Street) and also north of Cecil B. Moore to Diamond Street, and west of the Temple University main campus. The area is experiencing significant growth and is a neighborhood that has historically had a strong community presence with active block captains. Nearly 39% of families in the 19121 zip code area fall below the poverty level, the second highest rate in the City of Philadelphia. There is a continued need for affordable rental and ownership housing in this neighborhood (2016 Consolidated Plan). Project HOME current has located in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood: a federally qualified health center (FQHC), which is the Stephen Klein Wellness Center that opened in 2014; our Honickman Learning Center (HLC), which has been operating for 12 years; employment programs at SECC; and approximately 60 units of affordable housing (Project HOME total of 665 units of housing). Given the health care, education, and employment services we provide in the neighborhood, we continue to assess the need to link these services with housing and to look at housing as a social determinant of a healthy community. Our current Philly Fellow in FY 2017 is assisting with a survey of the neighborhood as part of a housing planning initiative Project HOME has undertaken with the assistance of Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT) consultants. Next year, the Philly Fellow would continue on with this work to implement housing recommendations to develop more rental and ownership housing in the neighborhood and to assist in community engagement activities related to the housing development and other physical or land use activities that may be planned for Project HOME owned properties in the neighborhood. For example, we are working with an urban farm that is starting in the neighborhood (on Project HOME owned land) and plan to collaborate on upcoming events to involve our existing residents and those who we serve in looking at wellbeing factors related to a healthy community.
How the new capacity created by this fellow will help strengthen the community and alleviate the problem:
The new Philly fellow will help to build on the current work of assessing housing needs and will assist in implementing and involving the community in the planning of a small scale infill affordable housing development in the blocks immediately surrounding the SECC. Project HOME and the Philly Fellow will be working closely with the St. Elizabeth’s Registered Community Organization (RCO) to involve the neighborhood in the housing development process and other community building activities that will involve both Project HOME residents and staff and other members of the community. The community is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia. The newly formed RCO is struggling with existing abandoned structures that are problem properties and threaten community safety, and also with related gun violence and other crime in the area. The RCO is addressing issues by working closely with the local police district and other local organizations. Additional affordable housing in the neighborhood, which eliminates some of the existing abandoned structures by demolition, and more investment will help to strengthen safety and other outcomes in Project HOME’s existing programs related to health care, education, and employment.
Level of community involvement in the fellow’s project:
As described above, there is a high degree of community involvement in the work of the Philly Fellow and that is a main goal of the Fellow’s work. As we plan new small scale affordable housing development in the neighborhood and links to our other existing programs, we need a collaborative approach with the RCO and the broader neighborhood. The work of the Philly Fellow will be targeted at promoting that collaboration to promote equitable development and meet identified needs of residents in the neighborhood.
The organization’s experience operating anti-poverty programming of this nature:
Project HOME is one of the leading non-profits in the country addressing the needs of the homeless population and low income individuals at risk of homelessness. Project HOME has developed 640 units of housing in Philadelphia and operates 665 units. Its work continues to garner support from a variety of public and private funders. Project HOME was recognized as a national model by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and for almost 30 years Project HOME has been providing both housing and social services. Since 1991, Project HOME’s offices have been located at 1515 Fairmount Avenue and in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood. Project HOME now has a wide network of housing with supportive services and has been actively engaged with the community through the SECC and Honickman learning center for the last 20 years.
Fellow orientation plan:
Our HR department conducts orientation for new staff and the Philly Fellow is included in department meetings and staff meetings and encouraged to attend outside training opportunities.
Name and title of the fellow’s immediate supervisor: Janet Stearns; VP Real Estate Development
Plans for supervision of the fellow:
The VP of the real estate department is currently lead supervisor and delegates some supervision to the real estate program manager who will be working on housing development in the St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood in the coming year.
Will fellow be working at the same address listed above?
No (please list alternate work site below) St. Elizabeth’s Community Center (SECC) 1845 N. 23rd Street, Philadelphia 19121
Will the fellow have their own…
Office? Fellow will share
Desk? Fellow will have their own
Computer? Fellow will have their own
The approximate percentage of time the fellow will work…
As a team member in a group setting 50%
As a team leader in a group setting
Will the fellow be expected to travel as part of the position? Yes
If so, how often and where? Primarily within 19121 zip code, and in the north central Philadelphia and St. Elizabeth’s neighborhood (described below); and to other Project HOME properties within Philadelphia.
Will the fellow need the following to carry out the position…
A driver’s license? Yes
Their own car? No