Philadelphia’s Mantua neighborhood has been a recent target of revitalization, even getting federal attention. Here are five local organizations that have already been putting in the work to make a change in Mantua.
Recently highlighted for winning the 2015 Edward R. Murrow Award for the outstanding audio documentary “Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio,” Mighty Writers (pictured above) is a non-profit that focuses on literacy issues across the city. Volunteers help students after-school through a number of programs ranging from academic help to college prep courses to fight the issues of academic proficiency.
The Partnership Community Development Corporation
With more than 17 years under its belt, the Partnership Community Development Corporation has taken great strides to help revitalize much of Mantua and other communities in West Philadelphia. From its office at 40th and Market streets, the PCDC creates housing for low to middle-income Philadelphian families to purchase or rent. They also educate first-time buyers on how to effectively own and operate their own home.
Lancaster Avenue Autonomous Space
The Lancaster Avenue Autonomous Space is a center for radical media but their influence reaches far beyond that. LAVA is a shared space that houses many local organizations, including West Philadelphia’s chapter of Food Not Bombs and Decarcerate PA. Their first floor holds a large library of donated books and always welcomes more. On any given night, LAVA will house a film screening, book discussion, or benefit concert.
The Mantua Community Center
The Mantua Community Center is a nexus for community based events and organizations. Over the summer, they have run a number of programs for children out of school, including a robotics program. The Mantua Civic Association also offers Pre-K and Kindergarden classes as well as houses meeting for organizations such as the Mantua Civic Association.
People’s Emergency Center
The People’s Emergency Center provides a plethora of programs for those underserved and homeless in Philadelphia.
A finalist in the ArtPlace America Community Development Investments program, PEC provides support for homeless families and those in abusive situations. By providing job training, parenting, financial education and mental health support individuals can get help at every step on the road to recovery.
– Text and Images by Alex Udowenko and Melissa Steininger.