In its spring 2022 grant cycle, the Operations Transformation Fund (OTF) has awarded 18 projects with funding. The OTF is a $10 million fund that’s supporting transformative projects within City government for fiscal years 2022 and 2023.  

The OTF committee looked for innovative ideas that could be brought to life within the next 12 months. Like the fall cycle, the City prioritized equity, efficiency, and sustainability when choosing projects. 

The projects recently awarded OTF funding are sponsored by 24 different departments, agencies, and offices. The majority had not previously received OTF funding. 

About the projects

These are the projects that have been funded in spring 2022: 

  • Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA): “Alert and Warning Enhancement Project” ($550,000) 
    • OEM will update its alert and warning system to make its emergency messages more accessible. OEM will create a pilot program to target messages to a specific neighborhood that is very vulnerable to flooding. The project will also put emergency alerts into Philadelphia’s top three most spoken languages. OEM looks to offer more translations in the future. 
  • Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR): “Digital Equity Bridges” ($500,000) 
    • PPR will connect 20 under-resourced recreation centers with reliable internet. Communities will have access to free internet through these centers. Residents can use these spaces to do homework, apply for jobs, connect with others. The centers will also have programming to help with the City’s anti-violence efforts. 
  • The Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement: “A Hope that Lights the Way: A Research Project to Strengthen Public Engagement” ($340,000) 
    • For years, gun violence has disproportionately impacted Black men and boys in Philadelphia. This project will track progress by focusing on people who help create and maintain hope. It will create a multimedia documentary with data to help the City engage with residents. 
  • The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD): “ADA Unit” ($300,000) 
    • Philadelphia has 16.9 percent of residents who identify as living with a disability. MOPD will use OTF funding to address corrective actions from the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan that are low or no cost. MOPD will propel accessibility for residents, employees and visitors.   
  • Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability: “Eliminating Barriers in the City’s Traffic-Calming Request Program” ($300,000) 
    • This project will redesign the City’s Traffic Calming Program. It will make the program more accessible, inclusive, and transparent. Traffic calming helps reduce speeds and improve traffic safety. By improving access to resources, OTIS will create safer streets and reduce the impact of traffic crashes. 
  • Philadelphia Department of Prisons: “Telehealth Service Expansion” ($300,000) 
    • This project will give incarcerated people better access to primary and specialist care via mobile telehealth units. Mobile telehealth units will provide healthcare to patients. The project also allows the Department of Prisons to create an electronic sick call request system. This will replace a paper request system. It will speed delivery of care and the decrease the time for staff to take patients offsite for specialist care. 
  • Philadelphia Parks and Recreation (PPR): “The Reforestation Hub” ($277,000) 
    • This project will change the City’s Organic Recycling Center into the Workforce Development and Reforestation Hub. It will turn fallen trees into lumber. It will focus on building people’s skills and consider community and environmental impact. The hub will reduce waste, cut costs, and create jobs for underserved communities. It will also support the City’s neighborhood canopy and forests. 
  • Office of Homeless Services, Department of Planning and Development, Division of Housing and Community Development, Health and Human Services, Department of Licenses and Inspections, and Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity: “Centralized Landlord Network” ($275,000) 
    • This project will create a one-stop shop for landlords. The system will offer resources about building compliance, housing programs, education, and more. The goal is to help landlords better navigate a complicated system. 
  • Law Department, Licenses and Inspections, Planning and Development: “Hybrid Hearings” ($264,000) 
    • This project will change three meeting and hearing rooms on the 18th Floor of the One Parkway Building into hybrid meeting spaces. The spaces will allow residents to join and appear virtually or in-person. The goal is to make it easier for the public to engage with the City’s decision-making processes. 
  • Office of the Director of Finance: “Citywide SAP Update Project” ($250,000) 
    • This project will update over 200 of the City’s Standard Accounting Procedures (SAPs). SAPs make sure that processes that impact financial reporting follow regulatory and other requirements, have accurate data, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. The updates will make processes automatic and use current practices. 
  • Free Library of Philadelphia: “Library Materials Transit Efficiency Project” ($200,000) 
    • Free Library users can request library materials be delivered to their local branch library. The Free Library will hire a consultant to help improve the delivery system. The Free Library will speed up the delivery process to two business days or less. After making changes, the Free Library will create a campaign to raise awareness about the improved services. 
  • Department of Labor: “Worker Rights Community Outreach and Education Fund” ($200,000) 
    • This project will build relationships with trusted community organizations. The City will work with local leaders to change outreach efforts to help residents better understand workers’ rights.    
  • Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS): “DBHIDS Clinical Fieldwork Pipeline” ($190,000) 
    • Staff shortages continue to impact behavioral health services. Additionally, the workforce providing behavioral health services also does not represent the diversity of the communities served. The goal of this project is to address both issues. This project will expand community-based behavioral health training and workforce development. It will also create opportunities for social work and counseling students from diverse backgrounds to engage in the public behavioral health system. 
  • Free Library of Philadelphia: “Homebound Delivery Service” ($181,000) 
    • The Free Library will enhance and expand services for residents that are homebound. It will deliver books, movies, instruments, medical tools, and more. Materials will be delivered more quickly, in a more personalized way, to more people. 
  • Office of Innovation and Technology: “Improving Digital Service Delivery” ($155,000) 
    • Philadelphians rely on the City’s website to access the services and information they need every day. To better meet those needs, the City must hear from our residents. With direct user feedback, this project will uncover areas of improvement for our digital services and improve the City’s process for service delivery. 
  • Office of Innovation and Technology, Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS), and Department of Fleet Services: “Electric Vehicle (EV) Level 3 Fast Chargers Pilot” ($150,000) 
    • This project will bring new and efficient electric vehicle (EV) technology for charging City-owned vehicles. The City will buy Level 3 Networked EV chargers. These chargers will have more charging capacity, charge vehicles faster, and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants. This project aligns with the Municipal Clean Fleet Plan. It will also inform the Citywide EV infrastructure development policy. 
  • Department of Streets: “Operation Inspiration” ($150,000) 
    • Block captains are the City’s partners and teammates who understand the reward of a clean and safe street. Funding will provide new handheld leaf blowers to block captains across Philadelphia. These new tools will support their cleaning efforts in the city. 
  • Office of Sustainability: “Neighborhood Energy Center Outreach Campaign” ($100,000) 
    • All residents should have access to safe, healthy, and secure housing. Neighborhood Energy Centers offer residents support with paying their utility bills and access to services that can help reduce their energy costs, such as weatherization. This project will support these centers so they can do better outreach. The goal is to reach more people and deliver more energy services to residents.