Since 1974, Impact Services Corporation has worked in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia to rekindle hope in the hearts of Philadelphians who have seen factories close, jobs disappear, and life chances dim.

Hope and jobs have long been the core of Impact’s work.

Helping the chronically unemployed enter the workforce was a focal point of Impact’s early work with the Ford Foundation’s national demonstration project on supported work.

Impact’s commitment to helping people find and obtain employment has endured and grown. Typically serving over 3,000 persons annually, today’s Employment and Training programs target families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Ex-offenders reentering the community, and Veterans from across the city, as well as residents of the Heart of Kensington community where Impact headquarters. Free GED, ESL, and introductory computer classes provide community access to additional skill-improving opportunities.

Reclaiming abandoned industrial sites has been a complementary element of Impact’s work in a community that lost 90% of the jobs provided by a once vibrant textile economy. Economic Development efforts have reclaimed three former industrial sites and converted them to new uses including office and classroom space, a childcare center, computer labs, housing, and a range of successful job creation projects. A defunct YWCA has also been reclaimed to become 46 units of veterans’ rental housing. With a staff of 147, Impact itself is a focal point of local job creation.

Many accomplishments have become springboards for new work.

Early Veterans Services led to significant work in Supportive Housing for homeless veterans, and a new frontier, serving veterans challenged with a Dual Diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse.

Broader Community Development efforts have been bolstered in recent years by comprehensive community planning that addresses not only Housing, but a comprehensive set of strategies to reclaim the Heart of Kensington neighborhood.

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