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The mission of the Greater Brewerytown Community Development Corporation (GBCDC), a 501(c)3 organization is to combat deterioration of the Brewerytown community and to lessen the burdens of government by advocating for and facilitating public and private sponsored housing and commercial development that is compatible with the interests of Brewerytown residents. The Corporation will also facilitate access to such community services as housing and financial counseling, loans, grants, home repair, and other educational and neighborhood improvement programs.
The GBCDC was incorporated in 2007 in response to redevelopment efforts of private developers and the City of Philadelphia, which lacked community participation and input. In 2010, the GBCDC underwent a strategic planning process that included developing a Neighborhood Plan. The process of developing the plan began in 2009 and included surveys of the neighborhood, community meetings, a review of Census information, as well as an assessment of the organizational strengths of both the GBCDC and the Fairmount Community Development Corporation.
Since the completion of the Brewerytown Neighborhood Plan, the GBCDC has been able to focus on creating programs that align with the Brewerytown Neighborhood Plan. The GBCDC has invested a lot of time and energy gathering input from residents and laying a strong foundation upon which the organization can grow in a manageable and sustainable way, in order to best serve the community. We have been able to continuously update our resource library so that residents are able to come into our offices and receive information on services including LI-HEAP and the Weatherization Assistance Program. The GBCDC also participates in the Targeted Housing Preservation Program through the Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation.
We are currently holding monthly community meetings to address some of the needs of our community members. We also have been able to sign several residents up to become block captains through the Philadelphia More Beautiful Program. The GBCDC has enlisted the help of the community to make recommendations to the Philadelphia Police Department regarding illegal activity in vacant properties in the neighborhood.
The GBCDC has been holding afterschool sports activities, including baseball and basketball, and would like to expand work in this area by introducing young people to non-traditional sports and academic programming. We also are planning to create a Youth Advisory Board, which will serve to assist in program planning and community service activities.
The GBCDC has been able to acquire computers for the Technology Lab through NPower and will be re-opening the lab for open hours in November. This will expand into a full Technology program, which will include workshops for adults and youth.
- Naomi Roberson
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