Rev. Richard Harris is the pastor at Firm Hope Baptist Church and is active in various community groups in Port Richmond and Kensington. He has worked closely with the New Kensington Community Development Corporation (NKCDC) for several years, assisting with planning efforts and programming in the community. He has also helped NKCDC develop its North of Lehigh Neighborhood Plan and Community Design Collaborative project and has served on the Steering Committee of Somerset Neighbors for Better Living (SNBL).
Rev. Harris applied to CPI because he wanted to supplement his work with a better understanding of city planning and of researching data. His hope was that he could apply the lessons he learned in CPI to the community groups he works with. After CPI, Rev. Harris was elected to NKCDC’s Neighborhood Advisory Subcommittee, in February 2015. He also became a Zoning Committee member with SNBL and is helping the organization prepare to apply for RCO status.
Today, Rev. Harris continues his work connecting residents to resources and organizing them to help stabilize vacant lots surrounding his church. He organizes annual cleanups and is currently collaborating with the Women’s Community Revitalization Project to build 36 affordable townhomes on a vacant lot near Firm Hope Baptist Church.