In 2002, The Nicetown CDC was selected by the community and the City to be the administrator for the Nicetown Neighborhood Advisory Committee. (NTCDC/NAC) The NTCDC/NAC is a program of the NTCDC, governed by the Office of Housing & Community Development. (OHCD) NACs deliver vital supportive services in neighborhoods where there are at least 51% low-moderate income residents. This includes coordinating City services, conducting block surveys, promoting OHCD supported programs, helping prepare neighborhood plans, and commenting on proposed housing and community development projects. The primary goal of NACs is to ensure citizen/resident access and participation in these activities. This is carried out through a community-elected SubCommittee, (NTCDC/NAS) which acts in an Advisory capacity to the NTCDC. The members of the NTCDC/NAS must either live or serve within the service area. The NTCDC/NAC service area boundaries are defined by 15 census tracts: 203 to 205; 276 to 284; and 265-267.
Our main site is located at 4300 Germantown Avenue, where we deliver services directly and via referrals to the general community. Our Supportive Services office is located at Nicetown Court I, (4340 Germantown Ave) which provides on-site service and resource availability for our residents who live at Nicetown Courts I & II. NTCDC Supportive Services works together with NTCDC/NAC staff making shares services available to both targeted populations. This includes:
- Energy & Budget Counseling
- Housing Support & Assistance
- Arts & Culture Activities
- After School Programs
- Parent and Community Café’s
- Town Watch Trainings
- Health & Fitness Activities
- Field Trips
Since 2009, the NTCDC has been contracted by the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) to operate a Neighborhood Energy Center. (NEC) We partner with and are contracted by the Energy Coordinating Agency (ECA) and the Dept. of Public Welfare (DPW) to provide direct utility bill assistance through the LIHEAP, Crisis, and Weatherization programs. We are also contracted by the Utility Emergency Services Fund (UESF) to help those who may need additional financial assistance to pay their utility bills. Since initiating our Neighborhood Energy Center, the Nicetown CDC has provided thousands of households with free budget and energy counseling and utility bill grants.
Vacant Lots-The NTCDC has been contracted by the City of Philadelphia and the PA Horticultural Society to clean and maintain nearly 200 vacant lots throughout Northwest Philadelphia. T
The NTCDC Community Garden is a 2-acre open space located in the 4200/4300 blocks of Germantown Avenue to the rear of the NTCDC Community Center and Steel Elementary School. In 2009, the NTCDC partnered with the Philadelphia Orchard Project to initiate the garden, with fig and hazelnut trees, strawberry vines, and raised vegetable beds. The NTCDC plans to re-design the layout of this large open space, to maximize the potential for growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A greenhouse, sitting pavilion, dedicated water source, and farmer’s market are included in the plan. Fresh fruit and vegetables are in short supply in Nicetown and the surrounding neighborhoods, and in need as a nutritional resource. Entreprenuerial education and training for youth and seniors is encouraged, to provide the opportunity to establish a local farmers market. The Nicetown Community Garden is a destination point, serving as a space for community learning, sharing, and engagement.
The NTCDC prioritizes education and training, which has proven to be the best community mobilization tool. Known for organizing and educating Block Captains, the first point of contact for the Nicetown CDC is the Block Captain Committee of Nicetown. (BCCN) This organized core group of local Block Captains works directly with the Nicetown CDC to distribute information throughout the service area. The BCCN also independently develops and implements their own fundraisers, clean ups, special events, and collaborations to improve the community. The BCCN works in partnership with the Nicetown CDC to organize and promote these activities, as well as information dissemination, community meetings and trainings. This partnership is one that the NTCDC values as a resident-driven component of revitalizing Nicetown and surrounding communities.
In 2004, the NTCDC partnered with the Philadelphia Commercial Development Corporation (PCDC) to establish a computer lab at the NTCDC Community Center. The goal of the computer lab is to provide free neighborhood access to individuals seeking employment, for students that need to complete academic requirements, and also for communication and training opportunities.
One of the first ways the NTCDC began to fight poverty is to directly address food insecurity, which remains a challenge today. In partnership with SHARE and Feed the Children programs, the Nicetown CDC Food Cupboard has provided thousands of meals to needy families since 2002. The main food distribution day is on the 2nd Thursday of the month from 1pm until 3pm, at the NTCDC Community Center at 4300 Germantown Avenue. (date may be subject to change)
Outreach is critical to community engagement and service provision, and all Nicetown CDC programs, projects, and special events. Our goal is to reach as many constituents in our 15 census tract service area as possible. Our outreach approach is a six pronged strategy:
Canvassing- Door to door with flyers and/or face to face engagement with residents, businesses, schools, faith and community organizations. This includes NTCDC/NAC staff who also conduct foreclosure diversion outreach to homeowners who face losing their homes to sherrif sale. Surveys assess needs regarding health, finances, housing, etc. Block surveys allow monitoring and reporting of neighborhood conditions.
Social media- via internet, texting, our website, Facebook, etc.
Service Area Brieifngs- Conducted quarterly by our NTCDC/NAC program around pertinent community issues and topics, with service and resource information distributed.
Telephone- Following up with constituents to confirm receipt of information and/or attendance of a community meeting, special event or other activity.
Special Events- Festivals, workshops, seminars, trainings, forums, etc.
Quarterly Newsletter- Hard copies distributed from “drop sites” and or via website/social media.
We also utilize public service announcements (PSA’s) via television, radio, and newspaper publications.