By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The new US secretary of Housing and Urban Development visited West Philadelphia this morning to get a firsthand look at the federally designated “promise zone” there.READ MORE: 'Somebody Better Give Me My Food': Woman Pulls Gun On Philadelphia Chipotle Cashier Demanding Food, Police Say
Julian Castro greeted children at the Montgomery Early Learning Center. Improving early childhood education is one of the strategies to end poverty in Philadelphia’s “promise zone” plan and, as part of that effort, the center will act as mentor to other preschools in the neighborhood.
Castro says he was impressed.READ MORE: Philadelphia Health Department Revises COVID Guidance For Schools, Adds Weekly Testing For Unvaccinated Students 12 And Under
“I can’t think of a city that is getting all of this together better than Philadelphia. You all have a lot to be proud of,” he said.
Federal officials chose West Philadelphia as one of five “promise zones” in January. Commercial and nonprofit partners get tax and grant application incentives for creating anti-poverty programs in those areas.
Drexel University and the William Penn Foundation teamed up for the early childhood effort. Mayor Nutter predicts more will follow.MORE NEWS: Upper Darby High School Dismissed Early After Student Sets Paper Towel Roll On Fire In Bathroom
“You’re going to see more affordable housing, people are going to get jobs,” he predicted, though he concedes it will take a long-term commitment.