PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new project is expected to revitalize the Nicetown-Tioga section of the Philadelphia, while putting formerly incarcerated city residents to work.
The project is called “The Village” and will include a farmers market, vo-tech center and other buildings that include commercial, retail and residential spaces that will incorporate the leadership of the formerly incarcerated.
“Returning citizens are the last class of people who are discriminated against in housing, in employment and in general,” says J. Jondhi Harrel is executive director of the Center for Returning Citizens. His group is spearheading the project alongside the Nicetown CDC, local churches and other funders. The multi-million dollar construction project will close off the three blocks of McFerron Street near Germantown Avenue and create opportunity for new businesses.
“We will create jobs, we’ll create housing, it will transform the neighborhood. We will keep the streets clean, we will provide security,” says Harrell, hours before the project was unveiled Wednesday at Philadelphia University.
He says they’ve secured $5-million of the $35-40 million needed to complete the project. They hope to finish phase one in 18 months to two years.