WHAT DOES THE NTCDC/NAC DO?
The purpose of the NTCDC/NAC is to reduce and prevent homelessness by:
Serving neighborhoods/census tracts with at least 51% low and moderate income residents.
The primary activities of the NTCDC/NAC includes:
(Conducted throughout service area distributing resource information and providing referrals.
- Mortgage and tax foreclosure diversion;
(Canvassing and contacting owners of homes in danger of foreclosure to help save their homes)
- Quarterly service area briefings;
(community meetings with pertinent topics chosen by the community)
- Publishing a quarterly newsletter;
(Summary of NTDC/NAC activities, current events, important phone numbers, resources)
- Nicetown CDC/Neighborhood Advisory Subcommittee(NTCDC/NAS) Election
(Nomination and community election of group to act in an advisory role to Nicetown CDC)
- Monthly Report - Quantifies NTCDC/NAC activities and reported to DHCD.
Data reports of neighborhood conditions and quantifying resource distribution. NTCDC/NAC staff engages and assists the NTCDC/Neighborhood Advisory Subcommittee. (NTCDC/NAS) To be nominated to run in the NTCDC/NAS Election, you must have lived/served and attended community meetings in the service area for at least 3 years.
The NTCDC/NAC service area boundaries are defined by 15 census tracts: 203 to 205; 276 to 284; and 265-267.
The Nicetown Neighborhood Advisory Committee (NTCDC/NAC) is a program of the Nicetown CDC, governed by the Division of Housing & Community Development. (DHCD)
The Nicetown CDC Supportive Services office is located at Nicetown Court I, 4340 Germantown Avenue. Direct on-site services and resources are provided for residents who live in the Nicetown Court I & II developments. This includes:
- Energy & Budget Counseling
- Housing Support & Assistance
- Arts & Culture Activities
- Workshops & Trainings
- Youth Leadership Activities
- Special Events
- Resident Support & Assistance
- 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.
The Nicetown CDC is contracted by the City of Philadelphia and PA Horticultural Society to maintain vacant lots in North/Northwest Philadelphia for nearly 10 years. Beginning with a small initial contract with minimal parcels of land to maintain, the Nicetown CDC learned how to manage and maintain vacant land. We built and expanded our capacity to manage land care operations. Today, we own a private Landscaping Company that maintains scattered sites. We hire and train local individuals to be a part of our Land Maintenance Crews.
The goals of the Community Land Care/Land Maintenance programs is to maintain and prepare vacant parcels for future development. The program also engages community residents as stewards in the care and maintenance of vacant land. Our crews work directly with community residents, businesses and other stakeholders to clean, maintain and beautify the neighborhoods we serve.
The NTCDC Community Garden is a 1.5-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 2007, the NTCDC partnered with the Philadelphia Orchard Project to initiate the garden, with fig, cherry and hazelnut trees, strawberry vines and raised vegetable beds. The NTCDC plans to restore and redesign 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 are encouraged, to provide the opportunity to establish a local farmers market. The goal is to establish this destination as a space for community engagement and sharing, nutrition and greening education, and food production.
The Nicetown CDC prioritizes education and training, which has proven to be the best community mobilization tool. We have become known for organizing and providing support and technical assistance to Block Captains as well as local businesses. This includes the Block Captain Committee of Nicetown (BCCN) and the Nicetown Business Association. (NBA) These community partners independently develop and implement their own fundraisers, cleanups, special events, and collaborations to improve the quality of life in the community. These valued relationships help the Nicetown CDC fulfill its resident-driven and inclusive neighborhood revitalization plan.
The Nicetown CDC has provided a computer lab free to the community since 2004. The Nicetown CDC partnered with the City Office of Innovation & Technology “KeySpot”, to expand the capacity of the computer lab. This allows us to join a City-wide network of KeySpot sites to share best practices, provide classes and resource opportunities. We also are a member of PhillyCam, which further enhances our communication and outreach capacity via social media, blogs, television, internet radio and other media.
The Nicetown CDC’s newly upgraded Keyspot computer lab space is where residents can be comfortable using computers and enhance their skills. It is utilized by individuals seeking employment, students that need to complete academic requirements, and also for communication and training opportunities. This allows us to expand our outreach efforts to parts of the community in and beyond our primary service area.
One of the most notable programs that this KEYSPOT has hosted involved with Philly311 for neighborhood liaison training. Through this training, 35 residents — block captains as well as committee and community members — learned to properly record resident concerns and enter them into the Philly 311 system for action.
The Nicetown CDC Community Center is a hub for information sharing, neighborhood resources, and community building. Becoming a KEYSPOT has made us more capable and “user-friendly”.
Nicetown CDC/NAC Staff with KeySpot Users
Since 2002, the Nicetown CDC made fighting poverty and food insecurity a priority and both remain challenges today. In partnership with the SHARE and Feed the Children programs, the Nicetown CDC Food Cupboard has provided thousands of meals to needy families. Food distribution days are at the NTCDC Community Center at 4300 Germantown Avenue on the first Friday (Senior Boxes) and 2nd Thursday (Food Cupboard) of the month from 1pm until 3pm, (date may be subject to change)
Outreach is critical to community engagement and resource referral to 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 has a multi-pronged strategy:
We conduct targeted canvassing, engaging residents, businesses, schools, faith and community organizations. NTCDC/NAC staff conduct direct mortgage and tax foreclosure outreach to inform homeowners that their home can be saved from sheriff sale. Surveying is also conducted to assess needs regarding health, finances, housing, etc. Block surveys allow monitoring and reporting of neighborhood conditions.
2. Social media-
Via the internet, texting, our website, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, blogs, etc.
3. Service Area Briefings-
Conducted quarterly by NTCDC/NAC program around pertinent community topics.
Following up with constituents to confirm receipt of information, resources and/or attendance of a community meeting, special event or other activities. Surveying is also conducted via telephone.
5. Special Events-
Year-round activities that are the precursor to our signature event- the Give Back Festival, as well as Movie Nights, regularly scheduled workshops, seminars, trainings, forums, etc.
6. Quarterly Newsletter-
Hard copies distributed to “drop sites” and or via email, website, social media.
7. Public Service Announcements-
We also utilize public service announcements (PSA’s) via television, radio, and newspaper publications.