Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF)

General Information
Program/Project Name: West Philadelphia Recovery Opportunities Coalition,
West Philadelphia Recovery Opportunities Coalition Kollege

Funding Category: Serving the Most Vulnerable

Program Description
Federal Grant Name: Strengthening Communities Fund

Programs Supported Through Funding: The primary focus of the grant is to link low-income residents of West Philadelphia with viable employment and business opportunities. The grant includes:

  • Conducting outreach and education aimed at increasing the involvement of West Philadelphia situated faith and community based nonprofit organizations in the economic recovery initiatives consistent with the City of Philadelphia priorities and ARRA initiatives.
  • Providing training and technical assistance aimed at building the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address the broad economic recovery issues present in the neighborhoods of West Philadelphia.

Why Apply for this Grant?
Community and faith based organizations can further contribute to local economic recover of low-income residents and the communities they service by enhancing their capacity and collaboratively leveraging resources. The Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives’ (MOFI) eight year track record of engaging and resourcing faith and community based organizations best positions it to benefit the anti-poverty and economic recovery priorities of the Nutter administration and the President.

Program Objectives
Use of Funds:
1.    Contract with up to seven established local nonprofits to provide leadership coaching (to all) and technical advisement to up to 20 developmentally promising community and faith based organizations serving low-income residents residing in Zip Code Areas 19104, 19139, 19131 and 19151.

2.    Provide over project duration of two years, 9 hours per quarter of class room instruction and seminars on nonprofit leadership, management and programming toward capacity building and sustainment of the 24 participating community and faith-based organizations.

3.    Provide initial leadership and administrative support of an economic recovery related coalition for local faith and community based organizations.

Grant Achievements for the Quarter: During the grant period, the Mayor’s Capacity Building Program (known as West Philly ROC/K) admitted 20 nonprofits to its program.  Nineteen completed the program’s training and all 20 accessed the technical assistance/leadership coaching.  In all, 94.5 hours of training were offered (24 during the extension quarter); and 417.5 hours of Technical Assistance and Coaching were utilized (82 during the extension quarter).  Nineteen nonprofits fulfilled all the attendance and homework requirements to receive a Certificate of Completion in Organizational Management, jointly offered by the Mayor’s Office of Faith Based Initiatives (MOFI) and Eastern University’s Center for Community Education.  In addition, 12 specific individuals from the nonprofits met class hour requirements and received an individual Certificate as well. MOFI also convened its third Economic Recovery Services & Job Fair in partnership with local elected officials that linked participants with 20 employers and 15 economic recovery service providers for 350 low income residents.  In partnership with the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships MOFI also hosted “Faith & Neighborhoods in Action: The Business of Community”, an Economic Recovery Symposium for Neighborhood and Faith based Leaders with 300 faith & neighborhood leaders, and local and federal government participants. The City has completed the draw-down,  due to administrative reasons it was delayed and executed on 01/05/12.  The following web links contain pictures, images and samples of the work of the nonprofits.  The nonprofits and an instructor created the WordPress site as a part of the training in Technology for Nonprofits.  The second Vimeo site contains a selection of our training session videos and the third, a video of selected participants talking about the impact of this project on their organizations and the community.

Actual # of FTE jobs created for the quarter*:

Q8: 1.22

Q9: 1.45

Q10: 1.52

*In the City of Philadelphia’s quarterly federal report, also know as Section 1512 reports, jobs are calculated based on hours worked, instead of the number of people at work. It also looks only at jobs funded directly by the Recovery Act, and does not include jobs created indirectly. Direct jobs are counted quarterly and are not cumulative.

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