20 grassroots organizations and community groups will receive $10,000 grants for general operations; applications were reviewed by residents of Kensington

PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia today announced the recipients of the first round of grants from the Kensington Community Resilience Fund (KCR Fund), a public-private-community partnership between community members, the City, and regional funders to explicitly address the community impacts of the opioid crisis in Kensington.

Core to the KCR Fund’s approach is a participatory grantmaking process that elevates resident and community provider experiences and priorities, placing the power to make funding decisions in the hands of those who know best – community members. This funding will target the following six issue areas that were identified as top priorities by community residents in partnership with Kensington nonprofit, faith, and civic leaders:

  •     Public Safety and Gun Violence
  •     Youth Development (birth to age 24)
  •     Workforce Development and Training
  •     Beautification and Blight Removal
  •     Connecting Residents to Resources
  •     Building Resilience Addressing Community Trauma

Community Advisory Committee Member Maria Gonzalez, President of HACE, noted the importance of this new fund to the greater Kensington community. “It was a privilege to work with like-minded stakeholders that are mission driven to develop a new mechanism that is targeted to support grassroots level activities in the Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill neighborhoods. The KCR Fund is a game changer for empowering civic groups and residents by providing them with much needed resources and support to address quality of life issues and to lift up individuals and families across these neighborhoods.”

The KCR Fund awarded its first round of grants, totaling $200,000, to 20 nonprofit organizations working to address impacts of the opioid crisis in Kensington. A complete list of grant recipients can be found below:

  • Community Center at Visitation
  • Good Host Plants, LLC
  • Harrowgate Civic Association
  • Hart Lane Neighborhood Farm
  • Kensington Soccer Club
  • Papermill Food Hub
  • Photography without Borders
  • Power Street Theatre
  • Providence Center
  • Ride Free
  • Rock Ministries of Philadelphia
  • Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center
  • Sisters Returning Home
  • Taller Puertorriqueño
  • Team NAS
  • The Block Gives Back
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Simple Way
  • Urban Extreme Youth Development
  • Youth United for Change

“The 20 nonprofit organizations that will receive these grants will advance community empowerment, neighborhood investment, and economic opportunity. Their work will improve the quality of life of Kensington area residents and provide the opportunities they deserve. The participatory grantmaking process was a key component of the strategy, allowing community members to make funding decisions for the benefit of all,” said Mayor Kenney.

KCR Fund grants provide general operating support in the amount of $10,000 per grant.  The funding can support a wide range of uses, including overhead costs (e.g., salaries and rent), program costs, training, events, supplies, stipends, and more. These grants are intended to give organizations and projects as much flexibility as possible to carry out their work supporting the Kensington community. The purpose is to give grantees of all sizes the ability to work sustainably over the one-year grant period.

“As part of this first grant cycle, the Community Community Grantmaking Panel reviewed and deliberated over 48 application proposals submissions. The projects chosen will support activities from youth soccer to community gardens in the Kensington, Fairhill, and Harrowgate areas. We are pleased to see that smaller and grassroots organizations applied to the fund and proposed innovative solutions to address the impacts of the opioid crisis in the area,” said Joanna Otero-Cruz, Deputy Managing Director of Community Services. “The KCR Fund represents the truly resilient spirit of the Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill communities and is the culmination of nearly two years of work to develop a new way of working in partnership with the community to direct resources to the programs and organizations that are most important to residents.”

The KCR Fund engaged community members at various levels throughout the process. First, a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) of nonprofit, civic, and faith leaders – many of whom are also residents – developed the funding strategy, including focus areas, grant sizes, and eligibility criteria. Then, grant applications were reviewed and evaluated by a Community Grantmaking Panel (CGP) composed entirely of residents from the Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill communities. These residents recommended the 20 grantees that are now being awarded through Round one.

Speaking about her experience on the CGP, resident Neyda Rios remarked, “as a long time resident who has been working in this community for over 20 years, I appreciated the opportunity to be a voice for our neighborhood through the KCR Fund. I have seen the struggles of our neighborhood, and it was great to be able to come together across the table and be a part of something that makes a difference in our community – to help build in an area where we are usually torn down and not cared about.”

More information about the fund is available online. A second round of funding is anticipated in fall 2021. The KCR Fund is possible because of generous support from the following funders: The Douty Foundation, Scattergood Foundation, K10 Kids Foundation, Patricia Kind Family Foundation, the City of Philadelphia, and the Nelson Foundation.

The KCR Fund welcomes contributions from foundations, corporations, and individual donors. You can make a gift to the Kensington Community Resilience Fund at https://breadrosesfund.org/kcrf/. Bread & Roses Community Fund serves as the fund administrator and facilitation partner.  The Fund continues to seek additional support to reach its funding target of $500,000 by the end of year one (2021).  Please contact Ashley Feuer-Edwards (ashley@afestrategies.com ) with any questions or to discuss a gift to the KCR Fund.