Kevin has been working on community development initiatives in Philadelphia since 2006. In his previous role at New Kensington CDC he was involved in the development of a new civic association with neighbors in the vicinity of Kensington & Somerset, infamously known as one of the worst drug corners in the city. Working collaboratively with the 24th Police District and multiple other stakeholders, “Somerset Neighbors for Better Living” now works closely with NKCDC to promote positive changes in the community while addressing quality of life issues.
A steering committee of community leaders had also been established to help NKCDC transform vacant land into active community spaces, build a relationship with the city to tear down and rehab vacant housing, and partner with police to address quality of life issues. Kevin’s involvement in CPI helped to inform the creation of this new group, which continues to flourish to this day.
In 2012 Kevin began working at People’s Emergency Center Community Development Corporation (PECCDC), an organization whose recent neighborhood planning process has resulted in the “Make Your Mark” Lower Lancaster Revitalization Plan. Kevin works closely with CDC staff to ensure that PEC secures funding and meets project milestones related to the implementation of this new plan, which involved input from over 1,000 West Philadelphia neighbors and stakeholders.
Several resident-led committees have recently formed to help guide this process, with strategic focuses on Neighborhood Identity, Housing, Quality of Life, Healthy Environments, Balanced Streets, and Lancaster Avenue. Kevin has also have the privilege of engaging directly with dozens of homeowners receiving benefits from the PA Elm Street façade improvement program, administered through the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development (OHCD).
“I highly recommend any civic-minded Philadelphian consider applying to the Citizens Planning Institute,” says Kevin. “The breadth of knowledge gained through these informative seminars is compounded by the exciting ability to network with dozens of other community leaders throughout the city.”