Since My Alarm Center serves both Philadelphia, PA & Seattle, WA we wanted to have a post where residents in one city can learn something about the other city and vice versa so here you go, enjoy!
Social programs do far more than offer help when help is needed: they inspire hope, they extend a helping hand, they prevent violence, they offer refuge. Social outreach saves lives, but it also saves communities: assistance offered when it is most needed, can encourage children to take pride in their communities, can steer youths away from the path of violence, can encourage adults to contribute and better their neighborhoods.
And it’s not just the recipients who benefit: volunteers and other program participants learn about their communities, befriend their neighbors, and are gifted the incredible opportunity to change lives. It’s no surprise, then, that social programs help reduce crime. Here’s a few examples of two cities that are doing it right:
- LEAP Program: Philadelphia Public Libraries do their part by offering free, accessible after-school help to any school-age child who wants it.
- City Heroes Program: There’s nothing like a bit of community pride to instill faith in oneself. Philly’s City Heroes program matches high school students with various projects around the city, giving them the chance to effect change in their communities.
- Communities In Schools of Philadelphia: Children represent such monumental possibility, but their chances are often squashed before they even have a chance to try. Communities in Schools works to change that, by offering individualized educational help – tutoring, a mentor, or just a healthy meal to fuel a child’s studies – to the city’s youth.
- Healing Hurt People (HHP): A hospital-based program and the cornerstone of Drexel’s Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice, this community-focused program works to teach youth (ages 8-30) how to resolve conflict, reduce reinjury, and prevent retaliation.
- Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Community Programs: There are a lot of awesome cultural programs for Philly youth, but the Museum of Art has some of our favorites. Not only are they free, but these programs introduce kids to some of art’s greatest masters – an incredible opportunity for all young Philadelphians. (And oh yeah, the arts play a proven role in crime prevention.)
- Project HOME: Talk about a killer tagline: none of us is home until all of us are home. Philly’s Project HOME is all about offering assistance – something as simple as a warm meal, to something as life-changing as housing, medical care, work and education – to the city’s underprivileged.
There are dozens of other community programs in Philadelphia, dedicated to reducing violence, supporting the family, leveling the educational playing field, and more.
- Community Arts Create: The community that creates together, stays safe together. This Seattle arts program builds community through one creative experience at a time, hosting community projects and events to involve anyone interested in the arts.
- Refugee Women’s Alliance (ReWA): This multi-ethnic organization supports and protects Seattle’s immigrant and refugee women and their families, offering a selection of events, campaigns, volunteer opportunities and much-needed services.
- SafeYouthSeattle: Seattle may have a lower rate of youth violence than other cities, but SafeYouthSeattle knows that even one injured child is too many. This local organization works with at-risk youth to connect them with services – educational, extracurricular, family mediation, and more – they need.
- Seattle Social Development Project: The goal of this community organization: healthy, safe children who succeed in school. The services: health education, instructional support, parental education, and youth development – anything needed to get kids and families back on the right track.
- Seattle Community Justice Program: Designed as a vehicle for youth leadership and social change, this community outreach organization seeks to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system by encouraging community involvement, education on social and racial issues, and extending “healing justice” to the incarcerated.
Seattle’s social programs extend far beyond this list, offering a helping hand to any child or adult, at-risk youth or hungry mouth.