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16th and West Courtland

Located in the Logan neighborhood of North Philadelphia, Courtland Street is an area of Philadelphia that rates in the top 5 in most categories of crime. It is also a place of extremes, and the duality of Courtland Street is not something that has escaped the notice of the families and children who live, work, and play there, nor that of Front Step. The community center being built at 16th and Courtland will go a long way in providing education, training, and safe recreation for the people of this community, with the expectation that some of them will elevate their socioeconomic situation, if desired.

Stenton Park

Across the street from our up-and-coming community center at 16th and Courtland is Stenton Park. Associated with violence and the drug culture, Stenton Park has been all but ignored. It is an area of great, but mostly unrealized, potential. It boasts a baseball field, a football field, a tennis court, playground equipment, many basketball courts, performance space, tree-lined walkways, and an administrative building complete with table tennis and space for arts and crafts.

Front Step's efforts have been focused on the renovation and recreational use of Stenton Park, and volunteer teams have come for the past two summers to try and physically restore the park, as well as repair some of the hope and morale of the community surrounding it.

Northeast Philadelphia

Home to Front Step's administrative offices, northeast Philadelphia has a slightly different demographic than other areas of the organization's focus, but comes with challenges of its own. Northeast High School, located across the street from Front Step's offices, was recently named the most diverse high school in the nation, and with 3,600 students, is one of the largest schools in Philadelphia. The area supports a wide range of nationalities, languages, and socioeconomic levels, and there is no cookie-cutter approach to reaching and helping the residents of such an area.

Cambria

Not far north of the downtown area, near the campus of Temple University, the Lehigh community is one of many unique challenges. Front Step has purchased several contiguous lots here, with the intention of building a community center not unlike that located at Courtland Street, though with programs and offerings tailored to the specific needs and challenges of the community. It will take, and has already taken, significant resources to get a program running in this area.

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