With blighted and abandoned housing becoming more and more of an issue in the city of Philadelphia, a local non-profit has decided to make change their mission, while simultaneously impacting the lives of those struggling to find employment after being incarcerated.
Greg Trainor, founder and director of the Philadelphia Community Corps, was inspired to organize the non-profit after spending a year in the Gulf Coast post Hurricane Katrina, and after volunteer work as a disaster response worker in Peru.
In 2011, he established the non-profit to reverse the seemingly similar effects of abandoned housing in urban Philadelphia neighborhoods, while making good use of reusable materials pulled from them through a process known as deconstruction.
Deconstruction, in comparison to demolition, salvages recyclable materials from buildings than be reused in lieu of demolition which creates substantial amounts of waste. Deconstruction also creates six to eight times as many job opportunities for workers versus demolition, as the process requires manual disassembly by hand.
Through a partnership with the Philadelphia Salvage Company and in-kind donations of tools and gear, the Community Corps successfully started work on seven abandoned homes in the Logan neighborhood of Philadelphia this past October. Workers were found through the local Mural Arts Program, which aims to help ex-convicts and at-risk youth through community engagement and employment opportunities.
Trainor and the Philadelphia Community Corps have been in the midst of fundraising to further the program and all it has to offer. Currently, he has a goal of $29,000 in mind to help supply workers with more safety gear, tools, and a truck to help transport salvaged materials.
For more information or to make donations to help the cause, visit philadelphiacommunitycorps.org, or contact Greg Trainor directly at firstname.lastname@example.org