who we are
In 2013, Germantown High School, a major education institution in the Germantown community, closed after 99 years of service. In 2017, the property was sold and rumors broke out about a new use for the building that went against the nature and culture of our Germantown neighborhood.
With Philadelphia facing a gentrification crisis and local residents being tired of development going up without community involvement, dozens of Germantown residents, business owners, and stakeholders came together to organize a strategy that would both encourage development and preserve our beloved community.
In 2019, that group of Germantowners created the idea for an organization comprised of Germantown organizations, residents, and advocates who would preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities, advance economic opportunities for low-income communities, and facilitate the community engagement process in planning and development projects in the Germantown community.
Then, in January of the year 2020 that idea officially became the
Germantown Community Alliance.
Haines Street Community Development Corporation
created in 2015; Haines Street CDC is focused on bringing awareness to the misused and underused regulations on inclusiveness in the construction field, specifically when it comes to minority contractors. Haines Street CDC also aspires to train and educate African-American contractors in the construction field and utilize key municipal and state stakeholders to increase the employment rate of African-American construction workers in the building trade industry. To bring awareness to this cause, Haines Street CDC hosts an annual community BBQ sponsored by elected officials and local business owners.
Faith Community Development Corporation
incorporated in 1981; “Faith CDC” operates out of the Faith Chapel Church of Germantown and is one of many social service programs the church has focused on benefiting low-income families. Although the CDC is the most active Registered Community Organization (RCO) in East Germantown, its service area encompasses the entire neighborhood. Faith CDC’s role as an RCO involves coordinating and facilitating community meetings where property owners and property developers utilize to present a proposed change in a property’s use. Faith CDC has served Germantown in this capacity since 2012.
Northwest Community Empowerment Coalition
created in 2019; “NCEC” is a coalition of community-based organizations from Germantown, Nicetown, East Mt. Airy, Logan, and Upper North Philadelphia that support youth empowerment, anti-violence initiatives, anti-poverty strategies, and economic development. It was created to pool together the resources of many small organizations consisting of similar visions into one larger organization to attract additional resources for social service programs benefiting low-income families across Northwest Philadelphia.
Every Murder Is Real Healing Center (emirphilly.org)
incorporated in 2003; “EMIR” was established after the founder’s relative was murdered at 20 years old. According to statistics, the Germantown neighborhood has a recorded overall crime rate of 111% higher than the national average. EMIR’s mission is focused on putting a “human face on homicide” through workshops, social services, and victim services.
The Johnson House Historic Site, Inc. (johnsonhouse.org)
Incorporated in 1996, the Johnson House is a historic house museum that serves the community by creating interactive educational opportunities and fostering community initiatives. One of those initiatives is the annual Juneteenth festival - the largest celebration of African slave liberation in the region.
Germantown Life Enrichment Center (glifecenter.org)
incorporated in 1871 and formerly part of the YMCA of the USA; “GLEC” provides a wide range of physical, intellectual, and social programs which improve the quality of life for individuals and families who desire to reach their full potential in a wholesome, friendly environment.
First Presbyterian Church of Germantown (fpcgermantown.org)
created sometime in the 1800s; a centuries-old religious institution consisting of an integrated congregation that’s inclusive and supportive of people both rich and poor, from all walks of life and racial backgrounds; “First Presby” is a strong stakeholder in the Germantown community serving families and organizations in various ways not limited to providing meeting space for community meetings, partnering with community events, and sponsoring social service programs benefiting low-income families.
59th Democratic Ward
“The 59th Ward” is one of sixty-six (66) political sections (called “Wards) in the City of Philadelphia; Each is led by a “Ward Leader” who supervises smaller sections called “divisions”. There are 25 divisions in the 59th Ward, each controlled by two (2) elected volunteers called “Committee people”. Committee people work together alongside the Ward Leader to keep residents living within their division informed of issues that affect them politically and socially. Committee people are usually seen as community leaders and frequently serve as problem-solvers for many families. The 59th Ward also serves East Germantown as a Registered Community Organization with boundaries from Washington Lane to Chelten Avenue and Stenton Avenue to Wissahickon Avenue. In its RCO capacity, the 59th Ward utilizes its political relationships to ensure that elected officials support the vision of the community including but not limited to property development.
registered January 1972; a community-based organization established by former members of various gang organizations of Northwest Philadelphia; their mission focuses on mentoring at-risk youth and facilitating programs for low-income families living in Germantown; “The 7G’s” currently run a monthly food donation program sponsored by Philabundance and holiday-themed events providing resources centered around the corresponding holiday (Ex. Toy giveaway for Christmas and food baskets for families for Thanksgiving).
Germantown High School Alumni Association, Inc.
incorporated in 2006; “GHSAA, Inc.” fosters and strengthens the relationship among the alumni of the former Germantown High School and represents the one hundred and forty-six (146) graduation classes from 1917 to 2013. They preserve and promote the traditions, purposes, and spirit of their Alma Mater for the thousands of former graduates currently living in the vicinity of the Project and abroad. Although doors officially closed on June 19, 2013, GHSAA, Inc. focuses on mentoring programs, educational trips for 8th graders and special events focused on career opportunities.
Northwest Action Committee
“NWAC”, as it is called, is composed of municipal, state, and federal political members of Northwest Philadelphia. The group focuses on supporting public interests through political processes and initiatives. NWAC was created in the 1970s and membership includes elected officials and political advocates.