There are a number of places that people in many communities might say matter. In the Tioga and Nicetown sections, there are five places that really give back to these communities in their own ways. These organizations strive to help decrease poverty-related issues by providing books, legal advice and economic assistance to the community, to name a few.
Nicetown Boys and Girls Club
Program Director Shakir Johnson believes that Nicetown Boys and Girls Club (above) “enables young people to reach their full potential, as productive, caring and responsible young citizens.”
“Basketball saved my life,” he continued. “So I’m happy to have a gym and center for these kids and teens to go to, to stay off the streets.”
The club also offers sports and recreational programs that allow the students to become very active. The Boys and Girls club hosts their own sports leagues that range in a variety of sports from soccer to basketball. These activities are continuing to allow students to be productive and work together to succeed.
Community Legal Services
Social worker and Community Coordinator, Patty McGlone said that the Community Legal Services serves Philadelphia citizens who are at or below 125 percent of the poverty line, in civil legal matters such as employment law, welfare law, consumer law and utilities, aging and disabilities. They provide knowledgeable attorneys to represent the people of Philadelphia in addition to allowing the community of Philadelphia to become aware of the rights that they have.
Black and Nobel
“Has been in the community for over 12 years and is more than a book store,” said employee Brother Levi. “It’s an institution where people come to learn, trade and cultivate. It’s a place for the community, for the black community but for the world community overall…in a nutshell Black and Nobel is a catalyst for social change and economic uplift.”
Founder of Black and Nobel Hakim Hopkins got his start selling books as a street vendor on the corner of Broad and Erie, way before Black and Nobel became so popular today. The book store consists of urban literature that supports culture within the city. He was able to help create a positive movement and enforce a community of people in a neighborhood that is known for its impoverished areas.
The Wedge Medical Center
The Wedge Medical Center is a place that locals would say impacts the community for the better. It is a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center that provides outpatient care to the people in Philadelphia.
Lamont, a client who would only share his first name said, “It gives individuals like myself that have suffered from some type of addiction, a chance to get their life back in order. They give you support, help you find housing. They help get your clear state of mind and put you on a good path, a positive path, so you can be a productive member of society.”
The Wedge has substance abuse services, which are programs that consist of individual sessions with the patient. They also have mental health outpatient services, which provide treatment for mental health issues. The Recovery Center’s mission is to change the lives of people in Philadelphia who have drug-related issues, and provide recovery that meets their needs.
The United Steelworkers
Chairman David Lamberson said, “we’re the neighborhood union and we try to offer people opportunities to get jobs that give you fair benefits and make sure there’s equal pay. We try to give people who may not have a lot of skills and opportunities coming to the door, to move up on the job and that costs them nothing. We also give out food around the holidays, coat drives…we keep them informed about the local issues that may come up that a lot of politicians don’t want you to know about.”
They are very active in civil and human rights, health and safety environment, and education and membership development including wealth and inequality campaigns. Equal rights are very important to the people in Philadelphia and United Steel Workers gives the people a voice to acquire change and fairness in the community.
– Text and photos by Jennifer Joselin and Sieara McLeod.