Philadelphia's NOMO Foundation opens third youth resource center in West Philly
WEST PHILADELPHIA - A new center in West Philadelphia is a hub for people of all ages, offering help with finding jobs and learning new skills, among a wide range of services.
"This is beautiful. This community event. This is nice," said Shakila Haines. She is grateful for the gathering Friday evening, offering resources and give-a-ways for residents. She came out with her niece Milan and 9-month-old granddaughter.
"She's in diapers and diapers are expensive. So, this is a help. They are letting us get what we want and I appreciate that," said Haines.
It's part of the grand opening of the NOMO West Community Resource Center on Lancaster Avenue in West Philly. Rickey Duncan is the founder.
"We want it to be a safe space in every community that we can provide one in," he said.
At this location, there is a computer lab for training, job searching and resume building.
There's also an on-site salon and barbershop for affordable styling and training. And another area where small start-up businesses can hold pop-up shops.
"I think us, along with a bunch of great other community organizations doing the work, we’re making a footprint," said Duncan.
That footprint is helping 19-year-old Deja Woodson step out on her own.
"They’re making sure we got jobs and we got money in our pockets," said Woodson. She’s one of 23 young adults ages 18-24 living in NOMO West's transitional housing located on the upper floors of the building. Some were homeless and some are young parents who are now working, learning to pay bills, budgeting money and with the goal of homeownership at the end of the two-year transitional program.
"We got security. They make sure we’re good, we have food and for the girls that have babies they make sure they got pampers and wipes," said Woodson.
Duncan says it's all part of the process of keeping youth busy and safe.
"It’s nothing that’s going to require a band-aid. It needs surgery. So as time goes on and we can expand more and other organizations can open up more doors, I think the violence will stop in the city of Philadelphia," he said.
This is NOMO’s third location in the city. There's also one in North Philly and South Philly. More information can be found at the NOMO Foundation website, here.