News

URDC Board member Betty Turner was recently awarded the Philadelphia American Institute of Architects (AIA) Paul Philippe Cret Award, which recognizes individuals who have made “an outstanding and lasting contribution to the design of buildings, structures, landscapes, and the public realm of Greater Philadelphia.”

Betty is most deserving of this award. Co-Founder and President of Germantown Community Connection, she currently serves as Co-Chair of the Philadelphia Historic Commission to which she was appointed in 2012. In 2010 she received her Citizen’s Planner Certificate from the Citizen’s Planning Institute and was a local representative of Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia. Betty has devoted her life to a career in education, community affairs, and has long been an advocate for Mayor Kenney’s Task Force on Historic Preservation.

Congratulations Betty on your award and long service to the Germantown community!

After suspending its Owner Occupied Home Repair assistance program during the COVID-19 quarantine, URDC hit the ground running this summer as soon as Philadelphia went yellow.

Since June, URDC has completed 25 separate repairs assisting 18 low-income or senior homeowners in Germantown and northwest Philadelphia. As these pictures show, these repairs include new roofs, handicap access, repaired doors and floors, window replacement, electrical wiring, plumbing, drywall, and tree limb removal.

URDC is on track to help one homeowner per week in 2020! Many thanks to our congregations, benefactors, foundations and other supporters that have helped URDC help others in these especially challenging times.

URDC recently received $17,000 from the City of Philadelphia’s PHL COVID-19 Fund, a collaboration between the City of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Foundation, and United Way to aid nonprofits working to respond to the impact the pandemic is having throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region.

URDC grant money will be used to fund emergency repairs for homeowners in northwest Philadelphia who are unable to pay for a repair due to loss of income from the coronavirus pandemic.

Thank you to the PHL COVID-19 Fund for helping families in northwest Philadelphia affected by the caronavirus pandemic. URDC repairs are currently on hold during the City’s stay-at-home order but eligible candidates for projects using the Fund’s grant are being accepted and prioritized based on level of severity. These repairs will begin contingent on the City’s lifting its stay-at-home order and permission of the homeowner.

URDC is honored to have received a grant of $15,000 through the State of Pennsylvania Keystone Communities Grant Program. This generous grant was made possible through the efforts of State Representative Stephen Kinsey and his staff. It will be used to fund additional URDC repair projects for senior and low-income homeowners in Germantown and support more URDC volunteer programs in the community.

URDC Executive Director Joe Waldo receives a $15,000 check from State Representative Stephen Kinsey as part of Keystone Communities Grant Program

URDC’s grant was part of over $125,000 in state grants awarded by Representative Kinsey to local non-profits in northwest Philadelphia. In the video below, Representative Kinsey talks about these grants and why they are critical in the success of his communities.

URDC is grateful to Rep. Kinsey for his efforts to support URDC and proud to be part of the non-profit community that works hard to build a better Germantown.

URDC was blessed this holiday season with a large donation of sheets, pillowcases, and towels from Thomaston Mills in Jenkintown, PA. The company makes bedding and towel products for hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and resorts with a focus on socially and ecologically responsible production.

A Thomomason employee volunteered at three URDC days and wanted to further help URDC’s families with a donation of Thomaston products. What an amazing gift when URDC received 38 boxes of over 700 sheets, 550 pillowcases, and 40 towels in various colors and sizes!

Besides providing linens to its client families, URDC distributed some of Thomaston’s donation to a number of Germantown community organizations that work with URDC congregations:

Face-To-Face

Project Home

Canaan Family Life Center

Dignity Housing Germantown

Interfaith Hospitality Network

Support Center for Child Advocates

Donated Thomaston Mill sheets and pillowcases being delivered by URDC to Face-To-Face Germantown.

Thank you Thomason Mills for your generosity to the Germantown community!

URDC Board member Dan Rhoton was recently interviewed by Forbes magazine as part of its series with entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations serving underprivileged communities. Dan is Executive Director of Hopeworks, a 501(c3) non-profit organization based in Camden NJ that specializes in helping young people overcome the obstacles and trauma in their life to find success.

     Dan Rhoton speaking at Camden Catalyst

In the interview, Dan spoke about how Hopeworks helps rising youths in underserved communities learn the technical skills they need to succeed. By providing the talents for big companies to hire these youths, it contributes to the revitalization of Camden and changes the narrative of the community to one that attracts people to work, live, and play there.

The entire interview with Dan can be found at Forbe’s on-line at:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/khaitran/2019/03/21/training-the-next-generation-of-entrepreneurs-in-camden-interview-with-dan-rhoton/#6c0041ec67d0

URDC President Charlie McGloughlin and URDC Executive Director Joseph Waldo met with City of Philadelphia Councilmen Al Taubenberger and Derek Green at East Mt. Airy Neighbors (EMAN) “Toast to Mt Airy” event on January 26 to discuss URDC’s home repair services for seniors.

URDC is working with ACES Museum in Germantown to assist veteran homeowners who need exterior repairs to their homes.

ACES, located at 5801 Germantown Avenue in Germantown, honors black and minority veterans. Working through URDC’s Owner Occupied Program, which assists low-income and senior homeowners with costly exterior home repairs, ACES identifies veterans that need assistance with these repairs. URDC’s Program meets with these veteran homeowners and develops a financing package for their repairs through a combination of low-interest loans, grants, and volunteer days. Some of the supplies and materials for these repairs are also provided courtesy of the Home Depot Foundation.

Currently URDC is working with three veterans located in Mt. Airy, Germantown, and Overbrook. Their work includes window and door replacement, painting, porch repair, and furnace installation.

URDC is proud to honor our veterans by working with ACES to assist those who served our country. If you know of a veteran that needs assistance with home repairs, contact URDC through our web site: www.buildgermantown.com.

URDC Board member Charles McGlaughlin has a unique fundraising tool: he makes sausage!

Charlie is a member of URDC member Germantown Mennonite Church and renowned for his sausage. For years he has been making his links from scratch for friends and family using his secret recipe and has a reputation for making some of the best sausage in Philadelphia.

This year, Charlie decided to put his sausage making talents to good use: he began selling his sausage and donating the proceeds to URDC. In a little over a month, Charlie raised $500 from sales of his sausages. His generosity will help two senior homeowners living on Lambert St. and Bloyd St. in Germantown. The attached picture shows Charlie presenting his check to URDC Board member Beverly Lucas (from First United Methodist Church of Germantown).

Interested is trying some of Charlie’s famous sausage? Send an email to URDC through our website and he will contact you.

URDC and St. Lukes Episcopal Church, 5421Germantown Ave., have teamed up to assist low-income/elderly homeowners with costly home repairs.

Thanks to its large dormitory and kitchen facilities, St. Luke’s is able to host a large number of out-of-town groups each year for volunteer projects in Philadelphia. One of these projects will be with URDC to work on home repairs for elderly and low-income homeowners in northwest Philadelphia who are unable to complete these repairs themselves. It allows elderly homeowners to “age in place” in their own homes and creates safer, healthier environments for their families.

The joint URDC/St. Luke’s project began in June and will continues in September and October.  Anyone can join in these volunteer efforts – contact URDC for more information.