The Obama administration designated West Philadelphia as one of the first five Promise Zones in the country in January 2014. These ten-year designations were created to:
- Address challenges faced by people living in deep and persistent poverty.
- Ensure that the ZIP code a person is born in does not determine their future.
The West Philadelphia Promise Zone is now one of 22 Promise Zones that serve urban, rural, and tribal areas across the country. The area of the West Philadelphia Promise Zone is roughly two square miles bounded by:
- The Schuylkill River to the east.
- Girard Avenue to the north.
- 48th Street to the west.
- Sansom Street to the south.
The designation does not come with any direct funds but provides preference points that make West Philadelphia more competitive for a variety of grant opportunities from federal agencies.
The Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity is the lead agency.