Chew Avenue Project: Community Blight Removal /Community Learning Center Construction
The Chew Avenue Project is a rehabilitation project to remove a blighted site from a fragile Northwestern Philadelphia corridor and turn it into a place of prosperity. The buildings once housed a neighborhood nuisance bar that acted as a drug haven and center for criminal activity. In early 2016, the building, located directly across the street from a city recreational center, was under new ownership and being renovated for a corner stop and go beer store. This potential critical blow to the corridor was met by a resistance effort by Trades for a Difference's Director Jordan Parisse-Ferrarini and other long-time community residents. The building is again under new ownership, this time in the good hands of the board of directors of Trades for a Difference. The would-be beer stop is being converted to Trades for a Difference Community Learning Center. The center will offer career path services, soft- skills training and mentorship programs for young men and women from the surrounding community. The exterior brick wall, visible as you travel the main avenue, will now be the canvas for TFAD's Mural Arts Project. A diverse collective of local artists of all colors, religions and creeds will create the mural. The completed mural will symbolize the re-establishment of community. "The good old days when villages raised children, and people actually knew their neighbors’ names, when the old ladies came outside to clean the streets and the kids actually had respect, when police were part of the community and not just policing the community. We need to lift each other up, all races and all people. That is how we get ahead," says Director Parisse. The Chew Avenue Project is underway and the TFAD Community Learning Center looks forward to opening its doors by Fall 2017.