Women of Excellence, Inc. is seeking to launch its first Family & Seniors Wellness Center in one of the most high need communities within the city of Philadelphia. Amid the advent of recent events, including: the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as, its impact on senior citizens and communities of color, the need for the center is even more urgent, as our nation continues to grapple with pervasive racial disparities and civil unrest. - - Our target audience includes nearly 30,000 residents who reside within zip code 19133, a population that is predominantly (98%) African American and Hispanic. The median household income for this area is $18,119 and the median family income is $19,839. For decades, this area has also been plagued with health, education, economic and employment disparities. The area is also notoriously referred to as the "Philadelphia Badlands," due to an abundance of open-air recreational drug markets and drug-related violence.
--- Our Family and Seniors Wellness Center will be located in the Fairhill section of the city within a state-of-the-arts 9,600 square foot corporate suite within a public housing residential development serving families and seniors. This resource hub will bring together partners from various health, mental health, education, social services, and cultural institutions from throughout the community to establish satellite programs and services in one central location.
The service offerings of the Center will include primary health care, behavioral health & life skills counseling, afterschool tutoring, youth enrichment programs, arts & culture activities; parent & family education workshops; senior citizen recreation & wellness programs; as well as, GED, education & career development programs. The Fairhill neighborhood, where the center will be located, was home to many of Philadelphia’s prominent abolitionists of the late 1700s through 1800s, whose final resting place is located directly across the street from the center in the Fair Hill Burial Ground. In recognition of the heroic efforts of many of these leaders, Women of Excellence, as well as, its partners and visitors will remain committed to providing content and commentary that continues to address deconstructing systemic racial disparities, including the digital divide, within our city and nation, as well as, reducing and preventing civil unrest by addressing the specific needs of communities of color.
Because COVID-19 caused a seismic shift in how nonprofits and other small businesses deliver their programs and services, the Wellness Center will also feature a full-service “Voice & Video Studio” in which Women of Excellence will be able to deliver several of its programs and services through podcasting and video streaming. In addition, these services will also be available to for-profit corporations, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, entrepreneurs, artists, community leaders, as well as, any individual interested in creating unique, entertaining and thought-provoking content. Studio services will include affordable and premium packages for: Podcast Recording & Production; Music Recording & Production; Video Streaming & Recording; Audiobook & Voiceover Recording; Sound Production & Arrangement; Mixing and Mastering. --- Women of Excellence will also seek to curate a diverse, unique, influential, entertaining, empowering and riveting slate of content for its own podcast and TV/Video streaming channel(s). These shows will focus on topics to engage children and youth to enhance at-home learning, creative hands-on activities and family entertainment, as well as, providing additional content for diverse audiences that include: arts & culture, technology & new media, fashion and beauty, health and fitness, law and justice, sports and entertainment, music and hip-hop culture, finance, news and public affairs. The sudden shift to a technology-based delivery system, has also highlighted and exacerbated the digital divide for communities of color from lower socio-economic levels such as the neighboring communities of the Wellness Center. Thus, Women of Excellence will also seek to provide youth and adults from these local communities with employment opportunities with the studio, in addition to paid apprenticeships, internships, as well as, other training programs. The Wellness Center will also provide free Wifi for local children, families and adults within the community room of the center that will be equipped with computer stations whose layouts supports social distancing.
The center will also provide emergency services such as food and clothing for local neighbors and will also feature a full service (on-site) barbershop and hair salon providing discounted services to children, adults, seniors and families by appointment, including an annual Free School Cuts & Curls program for school-age students.
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of life of at-risk populations within impoverished regions of the city, including children, youth, families and senior citizens, focusing our efforts on the (8) Dimensions of Wellness identified by SAMHSA (the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration). The Wellness Center will follow all CDC Guidelines regarding operations and services in preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes providing community advisories regarding COVID-19, frequently sanitizing all program surfaces, facilitating contact tracing with regards to clients, employees and visitors, as well as, providing onsite distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks and hand sanitizer.
--- We are seeking to raise $750,000 to launch the Wellness Center by February 2021. Our mission is that the Center will serve as a successful demonstration site which can be replicated throughout the city and beyond. Small and large donations are welcomed!
Co-founded in 1994, by former Philadelphia Mayor, the Honorable W. Wilson Goode, Sr.. --- Women of Excellence, provides women and families in need with programs and services to improve and enhance their quality of life. www.womenexcel.net