Ramon Cruz, who has lived in Kensington ‘since the day I was born’ and has seen it ‘at its best, at its worst and now through its struggle’, said serving on the committee has been a rewarding experience.
“This grant has given hope and opportunity to the many people of Kensington forever,” he said. “The fund is an excellent start in the process of revitalizing Kensington. We must understand that recovery is a process, not an event, and we will recover one day at a time.
The grants target six priorities: public safety and gun violence, youth development, workforce development and training, beautification and burns removal, connecting residents to resources, and community trauma.
The latest set of grantees includes By Faith, Health and Healing, which helps community members heal from the trauma of losing loved ones “to gun violence, addiction and incarceration,” said said founder Brenda Mosley.
The funding will allow her program to continue to offer everything from music therapy workshops and nutrition classes to peer specialists focused on mental health and addiction, Mosley said. His group also plans to open a rehabilitation program for young people returning from prison this spring.
“I’m really overwhelmed with joy,” she said.
In July, the city awarded its first round of $10,000 grants to 20 local organizations, including the nonprofit Taller Puertorriqueño and Kensington Soccer Club, an after-school sports program focused on youth empowerment.
“These groups have provided essential after-school programs for neighborhood children, connected community members with their neighbors, turned vacant lots into community gardens, helped immigrants become citizens, helped families put food on their tables, enriched residents through the arts, and so much more,” said Damaris Feliciano, Director of Community Relations and Strategic Initiatives for the City of Philadelphia.