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Community Spotlight Series: People’s Emergency Center

Nurturing Families, Strengthening Neighborhoods, and Driving Change in West Philadelphia is the mission of People’s Emergency Center (PEC). Responding to community needs and helping stimulate economic growth, create wealth and improve quality of life for all West Philadelphia residents, makes PEC this week’s community spotlight!


People’s Emergency Center is determined to strengthen West Philadelphia. Founded in 1972, PEC is currently overseen by Kathleen Desmond, Interim CEO and Chief Program Officer. Every year PEC serves thousands of men, women and children who come to the organization seeking assistance to tackle hunger, homelessness, joblessness and more. The organization hosts several programs aimed at transforming the community including,  Community Development, Education and Empowerment, and Financial Literacy, to name a few resources they provide for West Philly residents.

PEC has also turned to arts and culture to showcase the beauty of the dynamic and vibrant community where it resides. PEC has its hand in many of the great cultural events happening in the area. They sponsors the wildly successful Lancaster Avenue Jazz Festival, as well as Second Fridays on Lancaster Ave and are currently in the process of renovating Hawthorne Hall to transform it into a performance space.

“There are five jazz clubs and five artistic facilities in the area. National and local artists come to showcase their art on the weekends; planned activities are geared to family and friends in the community. Lights are designed by computer programming and implemented by artists. I love it here!” Described one resident.

PEC has a great understanding of how art can redefine communities. Any organization that celebrates arts/culture and is making such a unique impact in the community deserves a spot light.

To find out more about the organization and their latest events, be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter!