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Richard Harris

I connect neighbors with resources.


February 16, 2016




Spring 2014

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.

A vacant lot has been cleaned and greened at Amber and Auburn Streets.

Somerset Neighbors for Better Living, Clean & Green Committee beautification project

A group of kids and adults wave in front of a vacant lot that has been beautified.

Sterner Street site stabilization and beautification project with NKCDC and SNBL

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.
New homes in the middle of the construction phase.

Grace Townhomes under construction, which will be permanently affordable as part of a community land trust. Photo Credit: Richard Harris

Pastor Richard Harris at NKCDC's Orinoka Civic House groundbreaking, another affordable housing project he contributed to in the Somerset neighborhood. Photo Credit: NKCDC