Who We Are

History

With the intent of taking vital services into the Rhawnhurst area of northeast Philadelphia, Front Step, Inc. began as a Compassionate Ministry Center of the Church of the Nazarene, including an emergency food pantry, clearinghouse of information, and a thrift shop. When a church in the Logan neighborhood of north Philadelphia could no longer afford their building, they signed it over to Front Step. This new location, across the street from Stenton Park, became Front Step's Courtland site.

Plans were drawn to turn half of the building into a community center, while the other half is used by Front Step partners Word in Action International Ministries and Maranatha Haitian Church of the Nazarene. Across the street is Stenton Park, once described as having been "given up on" by the city. Its potential is often clouded by the degree to which it is associated with violence and the drug culture, but as work teams began renovations and projects in the area, Stenton Park became a part of the labor of love.

Front Step has been able to expand from a small community center into a multi-faceted organization with new programs and operations focusing on relief, recovery, development, and leadership. Intent on becoming an undeniable force in the communities in which Front Step is located, former executive director Chuck Russ approached the Board of Directors to hire a new Front Step Director, paid interns for the summer, and additional staff to run programs in various areas of operation. Additional communities have been identified as being in need of Front Step's services, land has been purchased for new facilities, and plans have been drawn to expand the organization.

Front Step's history is that of an organization that has been on a journey, and this is only the beginning!

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