Three community-based organizations to receive nearly $2 million in funding to service youth
Philadelphia — The City of Philadelphia announced that the following community-based organizations were awarded contracts to operate Community Evening Resource Centers (Centers). The awardees are: Youth Advocate Programs, East; Community of Compassion CDC Inc., Southwest; and Diversified Community Services, South.
The Centers will open in December. Three sites will serve youth living in the following Philadelphia Police Divisions: East (24th, 25th, and 26th police districts), Southwest (12th, 16th, 18th, and 19th), and South (1st, 3rd, and 17th). DHS awarded these contracts through a competitive Request for Proposals process.
The sites will support Philadelphia youth who have come to the attention of the Philadelphia Police after a curfew violation. The Centers will be free of charge and located in neighborhoods to serve Philadelphia’s youth and families in most need of support.
The Centers will operate daily from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. Staff will provide youth with structured activities that promote positive youth development. This includes engaging in community service and preparing for the workforce with job-readiness training. The programs will emphasize conflict resolution, violence prevention, mentoring, and service linkages.
Caregivers and parents can receive supports, too. Programming will include a monthly “Parent Night” to provide adults with resources and information that help to raise children.
“We are committed to ensuring our children are set up for success, especially as COVID-19 creates new challenges for families and students,” said Department of Human Services (DHS) Commissioner Kimberly Ali. “We know that community-based, prevention-focused programs help to divert youth from the formal child welfare and juvenile justice systems. I am proud to partner with established, local partners to provide much-needed resources to our families.”
“I am thrilled to announce the selection of the Community Evening Resource Centers,” said Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson. “City Council allocated these funds so DHS could select trusted, community-based providers who will be able to best serve Philadelphia children and families and connect them to needed supports and resources. The selected centers will do just that, while also providing a wide range of programming to help our young people manage conflicts, address trauma, and receive mentorship and support in a safe environment. The Centers will also support working parents or any parent who is looking for and needs more support. As a working mom, I know how important it is to have a safe place for your child, and I am so glad we are going to have quality programming right in our neighborhoods. I am thankful to Council President Clarke, our leadership team, and my colleague Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson who guided me through this process. The new Centers are another step in the right direction towards a better Philadelphia.”
A reformed minor curfew law has been in effect since it was signed by Mayor Kenney on August 5, 2021. Introduced by Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, the new bill simplifies curfew times depending on the age group. It also removes punitive fines associated with the violation of the curfews.
For minors 16 and over, curfew is midnight year-round. Minors 14-16 have a 10 p.m. curfew. And youth under 13 must be inside by 9:30 p.m.
Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw
“It is our sincere hope that these new centers will provide juveniles with an alternative to being on the street after curfew hours go into effect,” said Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw. “These centers will provide valuable resources and programming designed to engage and teach our kids to make more positive choices about where to spend their time at night.”
Council President Clarke, 5th District
“We’re proud to support the funding and the idea to expand our use of community evening resource centers in Philadelphia,” said Council President Darrell L. Clarke. “We need to work creatively and on multiple fronts to reduce gun violence in our city and expanding the use of community evening resource centers – a proven tactic – is a good tool as part of a multi-pronged approach to engaging at-risk youth and steering them away from negative paths. Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson has done significant work on the community evening resource centers concept, and Council is grateful for her hard work and advocacy to help make Philadelphia safer.”
Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, 2nd District
“I am looking forward to the new Community Evening Resource Centers opening up before the end of this year,” said Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, Chair of City Council’s Special Committee on Gun Violence Prevention. I am happy that the Philadelphia Department of Human Services has selected the first three organizations to run the centers and that one of them is Diversified Community Services, Inc., which operates the Dixon House in South Philadelphia, which is located in the Second Council District. Everyone in City Government and Philadelphians must work together to provide safe places for our children and offer them alternatives to avoid choosing a life on the streets and negative behavior.”
Councilmember Jamie Gauthier, 3rd District
“We can combat gun violence by providing young people with structured activities, mentorship from caring adults, and safe places to go – and the new Community Evening Resource Centers check all these boxes,” said Councilmember Jamie Gauthier. “Communities served by the Southwest Police Divisions have a disproportionate need for these types of services, and so I’m looking forward to having this new asset to support our neighborhoods. Thank you to Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson for your partnership, and for your leadership on this issue.”