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$200,000 in grants announced from the Kensington Community Resilience Fund

We are proud to announce the second round of Kensington Community Resilience Fund grants. The Kensington Community Resilience Fund was a public-private-community partnership between the Kensington community, regional funders, Bread & Roses Community Fund, and the city of Philadelphia. The fund supported organizations in the Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill neighborhoods that are working to build a community in which all residents can thrive.

Grantees, funders, Community Advisory Committee members, and the press—among others—gathered at Harrowgate Park on July 14th to commemorate the first round of Kensington Community Resilience Fund grants.

On March 3, the Community Advisory Committee for the fund announced that $10,000 grants were awarded to twenty grantees:

Beyond The Bars is a student-driven music and career skills program dedicated to interrupting cycles of violence and incarceration while helping students recognize their immense potential. This grant will help Beyond the Bars start weekly programming, skills development, and communal shows for youth and young adults in the Kensington area.

By Faith, Health and Healing focuses on rebuilding community and establishing a foundation for trauma informed care in Kensington. Participants take part in facilitated peer support groups, arts-based healing workshops, and specialized trainings and field trips. The grant will help them provide support programs in processing grief, loss, and trauma.

Centro Nueva Creación has served the community of Fairhill since 1993. Initially their programming focused on providing a safe space for neighborhood youth after school, but has expanded to include arts and culture, homework help, literacy, natural sciences, sports, and more. This grant will help provide educational opportunities and experiences, both in and out of school, to Fairhill’s young people.

Ed Snider Hockey Foundation utilizes ice hockey to help students succeed in the game of life. Snider Hockey programs support the overall development of students from crayons to college, and onto their careers. This grant will go towards their hockey program which immerses students in a wide array of educational, life skills, scholarship, and career development programming.

Fab Youth Philly supports organizations and individuals that work with children and youth, focusing on improving program quality, connecting youth workers to quality professional development opportunities. This grant will go towards Fab Youth Philly quality youth development, afterschool programming, and workforce development opportunities for residents at the McPherson Square Free Library.

Firm Hope Baptist Church’s vision is to meet the spiritual and social needs of their community. They have a community meal service as well as outdoor and indoor space for various neighborhood meetings. This grant will go towards their programming, including hosting a weekly gathering of teens and young adults to address community violence and build social skills.

The Greater Philadelphia Diaper Bank provides over two million diapers, including adult diapers, and period products to partner agencies. This grant will go towards their mission of making the community aware that diapers and period products are basic human needs and that meeting these needs helps individuals and families thrive.

Historic Fair Hill’s goals are to serve as a responsive partner in the revitalization of Fairhill through youth development and education programs, urban farming and fresh food initiatives, and community-building and wellness projects. This grant supports work in the Julia de Burgos Elementary School community.

The Kensington Community Meals group is an anti-hunger collaborative project to organize meal providers. Their activities focus on empowerment, education, training, resource mobilization, and relationship building. This grant will help them purchase and install five information boards at Heitzman, McPherson Square Park, Harrowgate Park, The Butterfly Garden, and McVeigh.

Kensington Voice publishes news stories, resource guides, and personal essays for and by Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill residents in English and Spanish. This grant will help them launch a Digital Media Mac Lab for community members in the spring of 2022.

Klean Kensington’s mission is to connect neighbors, young and old, in renewing their community. They do this through trash cleanup, beautification efforts, block events, kids programming, and by hiring youth/young adults. This grant will help them pay local youth, install more permanent trash-alleviation mechanisms, and build general capacity.

Mad Beatz Philly trains new drummers, ages 13 and older, to perform in the Mad Beatz Philly drumline. The program creates a bridge between the social, emotional, and rhythmic intelligence of Black and Latinx learners within a college preparation framework. This grant will go towards providing weekly programming and launching a second cohort of their workforce development program.

Mother of Mercy House’s  mission is to help everyone experience unconditional and empowering love. This grant will go towards their food bank, nursing care, after school programs, parenting programs, summer day camps, and space for the Philadelphia ID program.

Rebel Arts Movement Center empowers youth & adults through instruction in acrobatics, tumbling, and aerial arts. This grant will go towards developing a performing arts pipeline program that will allow students to engage in expressive arts without the existing financial barriers.

Somerset Neighbors for Better Living is a registered community organization that works as part of the neighborhood to make Somerset a better place to live, work, and play.  This grant will go towards installing trash cans and solar lights on ten target blocks that will be cared for by youth leaders identified through partnership with local high schools.

Stay True is a youth-centered, community building nonprofit, dedicated to fostering brave and safe spaces to unapologetically demand equity in Philadelphia. This grant will help Stay True support young folx in the Kensington neighborhood through its summer programming.

Visitation School has long prided itself on providing for Kensington families both in and outside of the classroom. This grant will go towards the construction of a natural barrier along their existing fence line at Kensington Avenue and Lehigh Avenue, to create a sheltered space with a sustainable raised bed and pallet garden to provide hands-on learning.

We Love Philly’s  mission is to empower students with positive community experiences and essential professional skills through mindfulness, volunteerism, and entrepreneurship. This grant will go towards making their property at 120 Wishart Street a site for a state certified pre-apprenticeship program in collaboration with One Bright Ray Community High School, Jevs Human Services, and Orleans Technical Institute.

Yoga 4 Philly believes that yoga, meditation, and other mindfulness tools should be accessible to everyone. The grant will help Yoga 4 Philly offer free yoga to the students, school administrators, and community members at Elkin Elementary School, which has a large portion of students with behavioral issues.

Zerbe Artz provides a space for the community to engage in conversations about social issues through art. This grant will go towards their current work of beautifying a blighted space at the McVeigh Rec center where residents have been working diligently to create a safe, beautiful, and clean space for their children.

Grantee Profile: Galaei

Kelly Burkhardt

Galaei, a Gender Justice Organizing Fund grantee, was founded in 1989 to provide education and advocacy to the Queer Latinx community during the HIV/AIDS crisis. Last year, Galaei expanded its mission to serve all queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, and people of color (QTBIPOC) communities.   

“Throughout our history, Galaei has evolved to meet the most pressing needs of the most marginalized in our community,” says executive director Ashley Coleman, who joined Galaei in February 2021 to lead its transformation. “We are evolving the organization to embrace all folks of color, staying rooted in our past while extending our arms into the future.”   

Galaei is dedicated to creating access, opportunities, sexual empowerment, and economic development for all QTBIPOC individuals. It continues to provide HIV testing, counseling and education, and linkages to queer- and trans-competent health care. TINGS (Trans, Intersex, Non-binary, and Gender non-conforming Services) provides peer coaching and life skills development and youth drop-in programs. Gender 101 through 301 trainings help participants navigate uncomfortable conversations at work, school, and home to combat patriarchal systems and implement change. Galaei partners with high schools to teach a comprehensive Gender and Sexuality Curriculum.  

New initiatives include a summer camp for QTBIPOC 8-12-year-olds and a winter swim camp for kids and adults. The CDC reports that Black children are 5.5 times more likely to drown in pools than white children. “This is about gate keeping. It’s not just about access to a pool but also access to swim lessons,” Coleman says. “We want to create a safe space for all different bodies.”  

City partners with Bread & Roses to move $825,000 to grassroots community groups through a participatory grantmaking process  

Photo: KITHS

In a groundbreaking partnership between the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) and Bread & Roses Community Fund, the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund distributed $825,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to 55 grassroots groups serving communities of color and poor communities, which have been hardest hit by the pandemic. What makes this partnership so unique is that for the first time ever CEO distributed grants through a participatory grantmaking process in which residents from affected communities determined funding priorities, evaluated applications, and decided where grants would go in their neighborhoods. 

“For CEO, the community grantmaking process was an intentional shift from our traditional approach to philanthropy to one that centers the lived experience of those most impacted,” says CEO executive director Mitchell Little. “We wanted to broaden the definition of ‘expertise’ and ensure that solutions come from the ground up.”   

Over two rounds of grantmaking, 30 community members, who were trained and supported by Bread & Roses, worked together to determine the best approaches to equitable recovery in their neighborhoods. “We had to be disciplined about taking the time and trusting the process,” Little says. “Part of the process was letting go of power and allowing the voices in the room and the organic maturation of the work get to a decision point.”  

LaTrista Webb, who served on the Community Grantmaking Committee, says: “It was an empowering process to come to a consensus with a group of people from totally different backgrounds about what equity looks like and what recovery looks like for your community. Usually, grants are read by people sitting behind desks who don’t actually do the work,” Webb says. “Many of us on the committee are community organizers so we can speak to the need in the community and the work that a particular organization is doing.”    

Grantees included groups focused on health education, food distribution, family support, and community organizing to address barriers to support. The program was funded by a Community Service Block Grant through CEO.  

Webb adds that training and guidance from Bread & Roses staff was key to the community-driven process: “Bread & Roses is very intentional in making sure that spaces are safe and that you can be honest about how you feel, and that there is a mix of races, social status, and power structure—a mix of people being intentional about the lives our decisions affect.”  

Eva Gladstein, the City’s deputy managing director for health and human services, echoes this sentiment: “Bread & Roses understands the value of the process—making sure community members have the training they need and giving it the time needed to make sure everybody is participating to the best of their ability so that everybody is very comfortable with the decisions. Bread & Roses has a long history of doing this work that other philanthropies are in the learning stages around.” Gladstein says. “This is a very precious skill.”  

Donor Profile: Christine and Jackie Pappas

Why we give:

 “There’s so much brilliance here in Philly. People have great ideas about how to solve all kinds of interconnected, multi-faceted problems. Bread & Roses gives them the room and resources to do that.” 

Christine and Jackie Pappas
A photograph of Christine (right) and Jackie (left) Pappas.
Christine (right) and Jackie (left) Pappas

For Christine and Jackie Pappas, giving to Bread & Roses has opened a new chapter in their mother-daughter relationship. Christine grew up in Florida and came to Philadelphia in 2017 for a social work graduate program. When she joined the 2019 Gender Justice Giving Project, she wanted to reach a wider network, so she asked her mom to be her fundraising partner. 

“One of the groups we ended up funding was the Pennsylvania Domestic Workers Alliance,’ Christine says. “I’m a domestic worker, a nanny, and a house cleaner. My mom is also a care worker, with elders. It was so powerful knowing that the groups we were raising money for understood care work to be not separate from gender justice, racial justice, and economic justice. Having the opportunity to fund those kinds of projects was really exciting to us.” 

Christine and Jackie collaborated again for the 2020 and 2021 Future Funds: “It’s become part of our rhythm—moving and redistributing the resources we have to support this work.” 

“This has been a transformational experience for us. It’s one thing to have conversations with people who identify as being part of social justice movements. My mom didn’t think of herself that way, but through the work she’s been able to claim that identity and has pushed herself in amazing ways.”  

“There’s so much brilliance here in Philly. People have great ideas about how to solve all kinds of interconnected, multi-faceted problems. Bread & Roses gives them the room and resources to do that. I feel grateful to be part of it.” 

Douty Foundation sunsets and names Bread & Roses Community Fund as recipient of their remaining assets

A sunset over the Philadelphia skyline.
Image: Pixabay

We are pleased to announce that the Alfred and Mary Douty Foundation, which is sunsetting at the end of 2021, has named Bread & Roses Community Fund as the recipient of their remaining assets, which will be a gift of approximately $1 million.

For over 50 years, the Douty Foundation and Bread & Roses have been sibling organizations funding grassroots groups working for change in the Philadelphia region. When the Douty Foundation made the decision to sunset, they wanted to leave their remaining assets to an organization that was aligned with their mission. They wanted an organization that would use the money to advance racial, economic, and gender justice in the Philadelphia region, and they wanted an organization that held collective liberation as its end goal.

Bread & Roses is honored that the Douty Foundation is trusting our organization with the generous gift of their remaining assets, which will be one of the largest gifts our grassroots organization has ever received. We will use this gift to deepen our support for community organizing for racial, social, and economic justice in the Philadelphia region. We are grateful to be a part of their legacy going forward.

The Douty Foundation most recently supported the Kensington Community Resilience Fund and the Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing at Bread & Roses. The $1 million gift to Bread & Roses was announced at the same time as $1.2 million in legacy grants to nine local organizations, including Bread & Roses grantees National Domestic Workers Alliance — Pennsylvania Chapter, Coalition of African Communities (AFRICOM), and African Family Health Organization (AFAHO).

The announcement was covered in a November 11 Generocity article by Lynette Hazelton.

Grantee Profile: We.REIGN

A photo of We.REIGN ambassador Amaiyah Monet speaking at a local back to school event held in August.
We.REIGN ambassador Amaiyah Monet opens up about how community violence has impacted her life at a local back-to-school event held in August. 

“We’re building a coalition of girls who can say, ‘I know what the problems are in my community or school, and I can come up with solutions.’”

Tawanna Jones, executive director of We.REIGN

“Black girl voices and Black women voices are often excluded from political agendas, decision-making tables, policy making in schools,” says Tawanna Jones, executive director of We.REIGN,Gender Justice Organizing Fund and Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing grantee. “We introduce Black girls to the idea of politics and policy and how to advocate for yourself. We’re building a coalition of girls who can say, ‘I know what the problems are in my community or school, and I can come up with solutions.’” 

Jones founded We.REIGN (Rooting, Empowering, Inspiring a Girls Nation) in 2016 to create a safe, nurturing space where Black girls can “unapologetically become,” she says. “We use political and civic education to help Black girls figure out who they are and where they want to fit into the world. We create a space where Black girls can figure out that identity development piece in a supportive network of other Black girls, older Black women, and high school girls.” We.REIGN’s signature We Speak workshops help girls develop skills to be change agents in their own lives and in their communities.  

This year, through a Gender Justice Organizing Fund grant, We.REIGN offered a six-month Gender Justice Internship for 12 high school girls. The internship kicked off with workshops about how gender injustice and systemic racism play out in school, work, families, and communities. Working in community pods, girls chose three gender justice issues—education funding, black maternal and infant mortality, and sexual violence. They interviewed peers and wrote policy papers outlining their demands to address the issues and shared their findings in Zoom town halls.  

“The grant allowed us to pay girls a stipend, so they didn’t have to choose between working a low-wage job or participating in the program,” Jones says. 

For We.REIGN, advocacy, activism, and organizing are key to girls’ futures. Jones says: “Understanding issues and being able to organize around them is critical and central to the life of Black Americans.” 

Welcoming Patrice Green, Andrea Pien, and Sarah McKinstry-Wu

New Board Members: Patrice Green and Andrea Pien

A headshot of Patrice Green.

Patrice Green is a dedicated advocate, public servant, grantmaker, and philanthropist for change. For 15 years, in both the nonprofit and government sectors, she has worked passionately to transform economically distressed but culturally rich communities by building innovative cross-sector partnerships. As Program Officer for Inclusive Economies at the Surdna Foundation, she seeks to actualize racial equity through wealth creation, systems accountability, and democratic participation for communities of color across the nation. Patrice knows first-hand that we rebuild neighborhoods with neighbors, hand in hand with the people who know these places best and call them home. In her free time, she can be found carrying out her passion for people, dance, and food.  

A headshot of Andrea Pien.

Andrea Pien lives in (and loves) South Jersey and can’t go ten days without eating something with tomato sauce in it. She organizes young people with wealth and/or class privilege for the equitable distribution of land, wealth, and power with Resource Generation. As a college counselor at Friends’ Central School, she sees the ways that capitalism creates stress and anxiety in the U.S. college process. She feels seen by the term “Type B personality” and likes Euro-style board games, dumplings, and big dogs.

New Staff Member: Sarah McKinstry-Wu

A headshot of Sarah McKinstry-Wu.
Photo: Nigel Charles

Sarah McKinstry-Wu joins the staff as director of grantmaking. She first got involved at Bread & Roses by participating in the 2019 Racial & Economic Justice Giving Project. As director of grantmaking, Sarah will shift power and money to communities mobilizing for change by facilitating community-driven grantmaking processes, overseeing grants administration, and building relationships with and among local movement organizations. 

Sarah’s organizing experience in Philadelphia includes supporting the Working Family Party’s efforts to win city council seats in the November 2019 elections. She served for many years on the leadership team of the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council, which connects Philadelphians and their local government to create a more just food system. 

Prior to joining Bread & Roses, Sarah served as director of equity and climate planning programs at the Urban Sustainability Directors Network. From 2010 to 2018, she worked for the City of Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, where she managed the City’s inaugural climate adaptation planning process. She earned an undergraduate degree from Williams College and a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University. 

$450,000 in grants announced in round one of Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund

We are proud to announce 30 new grants to grassroots organizations made through the first round of the Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund, a partnership between the City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) and Bread & Roses Community Fund to support community-based nonprofit organizations that serve communities of color and those with low incomes, which have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

We are accepting applications for the second round of funding through October 1.

Neighborhood Equitable Recovery Fund Round One Grantees

African Cultural Alliance of North America supports newly-arrived Caribbean and African immigrants in their resettlement process by connecting families with social, health, and economic services. This grant will support the expansion of ACANA’s food assistance nutritional education program to provide their communities with culturally sensitive nutrition information and greater food security. 

Agape African Senior Center helps at-risk elderly African and Caribbean refugees and immigrants linguistically, socially, culturally, and economically. This grant will support the opening of their new in-person Office of Health Advocate that was created to address the impact of COVID-19 and its aftermath by helping victims’ families who lost breadwinners and sponsors. 

ArtWell supports young people and their communities through multidisciplinary arts expression, education, and creative reflection to celebrate their strengths and help them thrive while facing complex challenges. This grant will help pay their staff and provide students with art supplies. 

Big Picture Alliance’s mission is to engage, educate, and empower Philadelphia’s youth whose stories have traditionally been under-represented through filmmaking & digital media arts. This grant will support their digital media programs that provide youth with access to digital media tools, 21st-century skill development, professional mentorship, creative community, paid work experience, and career pathways. 

The Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia strives to improve the quality of life of Cambodian-Americans in the Philadelphia area through direct service, advocacy, and cultural education. This grant will expand their capacity to provide social services, including health education and elder engagement, to address needs as their community makes steps into the post-pandemic phase. 

Center in the Park is a nationally accredited nonprofit senior community center located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. This grant will support their operating expenses including social services and housing programs serving low-income older adults. 

Cradles to Crayons collects gently used and new, donated children’s items and re-distributes them to families unable to afford them. This grant will help them purchase school supplies, diapers, and hygiene products in bulk quantities for distribution to families.  

Esteem Girls empowers girls underrepresented in STEM by building their self-esteem and confidence to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math fields. This grant will go towards rent, stipends for their Esteem Leaders, four summer camp interns, and will also help offset the costs of their programming. 

Free Migration Project works at the intersection of law and community organizing to promote freedom of movement as a basic human right. They call for the abolition of detention and deportation as well as unjust immigration restrictions. This grant will support payroll and overhead to meet the increased need for reliable and affordable legal representation of low-income immigrant residents of Philadelphia. 

Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music is a safe, creative space for youth to experience cognitive, social, and cultural development through music and the performing arts. This grant will help them provide tuition-free music, dance, and drama classes for youth K-12 to address the mental challenges of COVID-19, expand after-school meals, and to continue to support “art-risk” families with education and artistic programming.  

Grands As Parents supports grandparent caregivers and their grandchildren through workshops on financial literacy, legal training related to custody and DHS, and education about nutrition, mental health, and voting. This grant will provide food, clothing, and housing incentives for additional families and individuals within their community. 

The Hunting Park Community Revitalization Corporation promotes the development, welfare, and well-being of all people in the Hunting Park community. Informed by input from residents, HPCRC is prioritizing programs that support energy affordability, housing, and hot-weather resiliency. This grant will support a heat-relief resource giveaway, energy efficiency education at community events, and workshops on weatherization and utility assistance programs, heat health, and heat resiliency. 

The Islamic Cultural Preservation and Information Council – New Africa Center CDC is a nonprofit coalition of university scholars, educators, multi-disciplinary artists, parents, and individuals striving to preserve and elevate the cultural heritage of Islam in America. This grant will go to the costs of their New Freedom District Community Day program, a weekly truck rental to pick up supplies from food distribution centers, and part-time staff to distribute food to the community. 

Kensington Soccer Club is dedicated to providing the Kensington community with high-quality soccer and youth development programs for everybody, regardless of their ability to pay. This grant will help them establish continuity of programming and care and keep both participants and residents drug-free, violence-free, and healthy. 

KITHS is a community-based organization that provides serve Cambodian refugees and other Southeast Asian immigrants with social services using a social justice framework. This grant will support KITHS’ Kitchen, a culturally-affirming food pantry that provides education on nutrition and information about food access.  

Mighty Writers positively impacts the educational crisis in the US by offering free literacy and resource distribution programs to youth. This grant will be used for personnel costs, program expenses, contracted educator fees, facilities and equipment, administrative expenses, and travel. 

Mt. Vernon Manor CDC works to create accessible and safe communities by advancing affordable housing, building green spaces, and encouraging economic mobility and public health. This grant will be allocated toward the salary costs of MVM’s Director of Community Development, which is a position that will allow their staff to dedicate more time to managing long-term recovery projects. 

The Monkey & The Elephant is a nonprofit café on West Girard Avenue that supports young people in the transition from foster care to independence through a holistic employment and life skills program. This grant will provide the funds needed to continue to employ and support the most vulnerable youth during this fragile time and help expand their impact through 2022. 

Native American House Alliance promotes racial, economic, and political justice for Native Americans through media representation, organizing, and advocacy campaigns. They are working to establish the state’s first Native American Commissions. This grant will help build their capacity as Philadelphia’s only Native American community-based organization to take a lead role in the proposed Native American Commission campaign. 

One Art Community Center promotes racial and economic liberation by working towards sustainability, land sovereignty, and against food apartheid in their communities. This grant will go towards the establishment of a Black-owned farm food distribution and recycling program operated through One Art’s Sustainability Training & Education Program (STEP).  

PAR-Recycle Works hopes to support their transitional employees who were formerly incarcerated through payroll and other benefits, encouraging their economic self-sufficiency. Funds will support payroll for these transitional employees. 

Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) supports equitable recovery for Philadelphia’s low-income, limited-English-proficient immigrant community members in the areas of financial, housing, educational, and mental/emotional issues. PCDC will use this grant to help sustain their expanded Housing and Family Services Program to meet the increased needs in the low-income Chinese immigrant community. 

Purple House Project PA works with women who have experienced intimate partner violence and builds a community of women who uplift and support other women. This grant will be used to purchase program supplies, provide incentives for women, pay contractors and staff, and purchase personal care items for women. 

Safe Haven Family Life Center provides a safe environment for the Strawberry Manson Community to obtain healthy meals, youth programs, senior aid, family counseling, and other services as needed. This grant will help to pay staff—which sometimes they are unable to do due to lack of funding—provide outdoor community youth activities, and repair their air conditioner. 

​​The Reawakening Agency assists incarcerated people with a successful transition back into their communities after they are released from prison. This grant will go towards payroll, rent, and other operating expenses incurred from developing their remote/virtual services. 

Tree House Books is a community-based organization that seeks to be part of the North Central Philadelphia neighborhood’s continued renewal and uplift. This grant will help them implement new pre-teen and teen leadership programs, expand their new bookmobile, and assist in the reopening of their Giving Library. 

Unemployment Information Center/Philadelphia Unemployment Project organizes and serves the unemployed and low-income communities of Philadelphia. The grant will go to organizing staff working with unemployed Philadelphians, mostly people of color. 

Unique Dreams empowers and strengthens youth and families in the Frankford community, which consists of 70,000 residents. The grant will allow them to purchase a van and hire staff to facilitate food distribution, transport seniors in the area to fulfill their medical needs, and provide safe travel for summer camp and aftercare students. 

Why Not Prosper is a grassroots organization located in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia that provides women in the reentry process a continuum of programs and services that include pre-release mentoring, residential services, employment help, family reunification, etc. Funds will be used to help support the community’s food security through their Share the Bounty program. 

Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) is a women-led, multi-racial community development organization committed to social and economic equity for low-income women and their families. This grant will be used to support the organization and their constituents in recovering from the pandemic.

Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing final report shares impact of rapid-response community grantmaking

We are proud to share our final report on the Solidarity Fund for COVID-19 Organizing, which moved $810,000 to 83 grassroots community organizing groups in one year using a rapid-response community grantmaking process.

View the report below or download it as a pdf.


$200,000 in grants announced from the Kensington Community Resilience Fund

We are proud to announce the first round of Kensington Community Resilience Fund grants. The Kensington Community Resilience Fund is a public-private-community partnership between the Kensington community, regional funders, Bread & Roses Community Fund, and the city of Philadelphia. The fund supports organizations in the Kensington, Harrowgate, and Fairhill neighborhoods that are working to build a community in which all residents can thrive.

Grantees, funders, Community Advisory Committee members, and the press—among others—gathered at Harrowgate Park on July 14th to commemorate the first round of Kensington Community Resilience Fund grants.

On July 14, the Community Advisory Committee for the fund announced that $10,000 grants were awarded to twenty grantees:

Community Center at Visitation provides a safe place to connect residents to resources and a central location for recreation, educational programs, and health services. A grant from this fund will support one year of hosting family-friendly monthly dinners and resource fairs. 

Good Host Plants is a native plant nursery promoting biodiversity in the region by growing open-pollinated, local-ecotype plants. A grant from this fund will help them convert five to ten empty lots into community pollinator gardens. 

Harrowgate Civic Association strives to help the Harrowgate community become a safe and beautiful community. This grant will go toward their plan to help residents with neighborhood cleaning by distributing trash cans and other cleaning supplies. 

Hart Lane Neighborhood Farm is a  group of neighbors and stakeholders dedicated to creating and tending to a healing, safe urban farm in the Kensington community. This grant will help them replace broken sidewalks in their garden and reconnect the space safely to the neighborhood with an ADA- compliant access point. 

Kensington Soccer Club provides high-quality soccer and youth development programming for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. This grant will support their core programming, which includes connecting families to legal assistance, health care, college financial aid, and leadership development.

Papermill Food Hub is an all-volunteer operation that provides weekly deliveries of food, diapers, and other supplies to Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond families in need. This grant will support them in renting permanent space to store and prepare food for their weekly deliveries, launch a garden to grow produce for families, and hire a staff member to lead garden classes with neighborhood children. 

Photography Without Borders teaches young artists to tell their stories through photography to a wider audience. This grant will be used to expand their youth photography program to Kensington Health Sciences Academy in an after-school setting. 

Power Street Theatre is dedicated to connecting multicultural and intergenerational communities through the performing arts by sharing original stories that innovate and inspire. This grant will support their programs, including free bilingual performance and playwriting classes.

Providence Center provides children, teens, and adults a safe space to overcome trauma and grow to their full potential. This grant will be used to hire former Trauma Ambassadors in the recruitment and training of a new cohort. 

Ride Free provides Kensington- area youth with opportunities for creative self-expression, skill-building, and mentorship that help them envision a positive future and avoid or build pathways out of cycles of trauma, violence, and incarceration. This grant will complete their new studio’s fit-out with professional-grade instruments and equipment. 

Rock Ministries directly addresses many of the needs of the Kensington neighborhood: youth activities, addictions treatment assistance, homelessness, GED education, street cleaning, beautification, and more. This grant will fund a subscription to medical record software that tracks patient treatment and a mini-split heating/cooling system to operate their Wellness Center year-round. 

Sisters Returning Home help women returning from prison to re-establish connections to family and community and build and develop self-esteem, self-respect, self-confidence, and self-sufficiency. This grant will support ongoing programming and beds and bedding for clients transitioning into long-term housing. 

The Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center offers immigrants and others opportunities to access education, support and free legal services, and programs leading to self-sufficiency. This grant will improve their ESOL and Citizenship Test Preparation Classes and expand their Outreach program that provides food and gift cards to students.

Taller Puertorriqueño is a community-based cultural organization whose primary purpose is to preserve, develop, and promote Puerto Rican arts and culture. This grant will support investments in staff, upgrading data entry technology capacity, general operations, and educational arts programming. 

Team NAS is a volunteer group of resident leaders that elevates neighborhood voices, connects residents to resources that promote wellness, and addresses inequities through advocacy and local action. This grant will support them in creating a cooperative neighborhood-wide block initiative through ongoing outreach, providing needed equipment, and cultivating platforms for neighborhood exchange and celebration. 

The Block Gives Back targets issues within the Philadelphia community and devises plans to recruit local volunteers, businesses, organizations, and community leaders to help in working toward a solution. This grant will be used to support ongoing programming such as affordable events and services to youth aged 5-24 in the Kensington neighborhood. 

The Salvation Army operates the New Day Drop-In Center, a safe, trauma-informed, welcoming, and non-judgmental space for sex workers and survivors of human trafficking. These funds will be used to maintain staff, cover transportation costs to appointments, purchase supplies for clients, secure increased security measures, and other operational costs. 

The Simple Way supports neighbors in building a neighborhood where everyone can belong and thrive and collaborates locally to increase neighborhood food security. This grant will be used to pay one of their current volunteers, digitize systems, and purchase inventory software. 

Urban Extreme Youth Development helps to rebuild communities by influencing the lives of youth and their families in addressing education, health, economic, and social needs. This grant will help them implement programming for mentoring, youth community engagement, and family engagement and support a third Bold and Beautiful Girls Conference to build power among female Kensington High School students. 

Youth United for Change develops young leaders in Philadelphia with a critical political, historical, and economic understanding of society and empowers them to improve the quality of their lives and communities. This grant will provide stipends for members to participate in community outreach efforts for their upcoming community campaign dealing with trash and litter.