Feb 2023 Member Spotlight: Women’s Community Revitalization Project

We spoke with Nora Lichtash at Women’s Community Revitalization Project (WCRP):

Tell us about how you got your start at the Women’s Community Revitalization Project:

I was working at the Women’s Program at Lutheran Settlement House and was part of a committee to explore how women in Kensington could benefit from resources from a successful CRA (community reinvestment act) challenge. The work of that committee led to the founding of WCRP. I started as a WCRP volunteer and then became co-director of the new organization. In 1991, I became the Executive Director and have kept that role since that time.  It was an exciting time and it was revolutionary for women to be driving real estate development for the benefit of women and our families.

What do you love most about the work you and your colleagues do?

I love that we have joined with people most affected by the affordable housing crisis to create real and lasting solutions. Together, we have a passion for building leadership and power leading to systemic change while we simultaneously build housing and provide concrete services that immediately improve the lives of our constituents.  

What would you like young people and others in the community to know about this program?

People most affected by an issue are most likely to identify creative, just and equitable solutions.  They must be part of any effort to win social and economic justice.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to enter into the type of work and programming you do?

The work WCRP does requires a broad range of talents and offers differing opportunities for professional growth (for instance, real estate development, community organizing, and case management) united by a common purpose. A first step might be to volunteer with organizations to see not only what kind of work you might like to do, but what kind of organizational culture is a match.

What’s on the horizon for your org? What are you excited about in the future?

WCRP continues to grow. We’re currently working on 90 new permanently affordable rental homes, organizing 74 citywide organizations to fight for affordable housing justice, and are supporting almost 350 low-income tenant families to increase their social and economic well-being. We’re excited to be expanding our housing, organizing, and services into South and West Philadelphia.

Our partners, constituents and community members know that WCRP does what we say we are going to do.

“At WCRP, I learned that I matter and that what I say matters.”

– WCRP Board Chair, Staci Moore who joined WCRP as a formerly homeless, single mother