Nicetown Community Development Center President Zakariyya Abdur-Rahman first saw a strong need for a center that would provide a variety of social services to the people of Nicetown in 1999.
It was after owning a business and consistently receiving inquires about job openings that Abdur-Rahman said she felt it was time for a change.
The Community Development Center of Nicetown is located at 4300 Germantown Avenue, where residents are welcome to come in and ask for assistance in almost any situation. The center offers education classes for adults, resume help, a computer lab, a mural arts program and a food cupboard.
The center’s most recent accomplishment is its development project. With the new Nicetown Court apartments located a block from the center, the members of the Nicetown Community Development Center continue to search for new projects that benefit the neighborhood.
“We help people with affordable housing on the rental side as well as home ownership. We are always looking to develop another project and get another affordable housing project together. We always try to fit the needs of those in the surrounding areas,” Executive Vice President Majeedah A. Rashid said.
Vanessa Noble, a resident of the Nicetown Court apartments, thinks the center is doing a great job helping the surrounding community. “They pretty good. They really help the community, I can say that much,” Noble said.
Along with the provided services, the center invites residents of the neighborhood to learn how to garden their own vegetables in its community garden, which is located behind the community center, and is set to re-open in May.
“Right now we are going to have the volunteers get the garden going. So once it’s open, it is nice for the locals. We offer the community a plot, so they can come and garden anytime,” Program Coordinator Lucretia Crawford said.
For members of the Nicetown Community Development Center, every project and service is driven by the neighborhood residents.
“We have a resident driven mission, so it is important that we include the residents in the neighborhood planning and development. We want to address the needs of the neighborhood as well as try to stabilize the neighborhood so we can keep building from there,” Rashid said.