PHA and U.S. Attorney Vow to Strengthen SW Philly Community
    Philadelphia - The Philadelphia Housing Authority and the U.S. Attorney are teaming up to improve safety and the quality of life at Paschall Homes in Southwest Philadelphia. 

    Philadelphia Housing Authority Executive Director Carl Greene, U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan, and state Senator Anthony Williams, announced the Paschall Homes Initiative, a cooperative effort with community-based organizations aimed at deterring and preventing criminal activity. 

    The U.S. Attorney's office is donating $100,000 for community building activities aimed at cutting down the drug trade in and around the development. PHA is donating four bikes and four protective vests to the Eastwick Bike Patrol. Much of the grant is going to the Eastwick Project Area Committee (Eastwick PAC), which represents 11 civic associations in the Eastwick neighborhood of southwest Philadelphia. The PAC will staff the Resident Council Office at Paschall Homes. The office has been renovated and reopened. 

    Greene said that the grant would help the quality of life at Paschall Homes and is an omen of things to come, hinting at the possible demolition and rebuilding of the entire neighborhood. 

    "What you see is a commitment…to a long road of transformation of this neighborhood. This is only the beginning of a sustained commitment from the state, local and federal government to transform this neighborhood and give people here the opportunity to live free of crime and free of despair and free of the neglect that's gone on for a long time." 

    Meehan said that the grant is another important step in the revitalization of communities built around public housing. The grant comes from the Public Housing Safety Initiative ("PHSI"), funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, to improve safety in public housing throughout the nation. 

    Greene said the grant and the reinvestment in social services sends an important signal to residents of Paschall Homes and the surrounding neighborhood. 

    "We have the law enforcement community saying we care about the people, we care what happens to the people," he said. 

    The Paschall Homes Initiative will provide community activities aimed at lowering drug involvement and violent crime among community residents. It will foster a long-lasting and positive relationship with local law enforcement. 

    The program also includes development of a town watch and expansion of the Eastwick Bike Patrol in the Paschall Homes area. The initiative also provides after-school tutoring and cultural opportunities for youth, life skills training for adults, and nutrition, healthcare, and parenting training for families. 

    State Senator Williams, who represents the area, said he was a little overwhelmed by the announcement of the grant. He urged residents to take control of their neighborhood again and remembered when a nearby park was a jewel and it was a privilege to live at Paschall Homes. 

    "This place returns to what it is and what it was if we, not the government, decide that we dictate culture here," he said. 

    Paul "Earthquake" Moore, a former resident of the development, will direct the Youth Development Camps as part of the initiative. He urged adults in the neighborhood to teach youngsters about respect, rather than ignoring bad behavior. 

    "Be a thinker, not a stinker," Moore said. 

    The community-based activities funded by the grant rely on the participation of several key partners, including the Southwest CDC, Healthy Family/ Healthy Life Inc., African Cultural Alliance of North America, and St. John AME Church. These organizations will collaborate amongst themselves, as well as with law enforcement and residents to recruit additional partners and participants, as well as sustain the programs.
PHA Executive Director Carl Greene hands over the keys to the Resident Council Office at Paschall Homes to a representative of the Eastwick Project Area Committee. The PAC will staff the office as part of the Paschall Homes Initiative. Pictured in between Greene and the PAC representative are U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan, PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds, and state Senator Anthony Williams.

Eastwick Bike Patrol Captain Vincent Grant thanks PHA Executive Director Carl Greene for the agency's donation of bikes and protective vests.

U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan (2nd from left) formally presents a "check" for $100,000 to fund the Paschall Homes Initiative. Also shown are PHA Executive Director Carl Greene (left), Elvira Stewart of the Eastwick Project Area Committee, PHA Commissioner Nellie Reynolds, State Senator Anthony Williams and Eastwick Bike Patrol Captain Vincent Grant.