WSFS and Be Ready Community Development Corporation Team Up To Help Revitalize Wilmington Neighborhood
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By WSFS Contributor | Published: August 2020
Pastor Lottie Lee-Davis of the Be Ready Community Development Corporation first began working alongside WSFS in about 2016 through serving on the Steering Committee for West Side Grows Together with WSFS Associate Jeff Graf, a Retail Office Manager.
In the four years since, the relationship between WSFS and Be Ready – a community service organization providing housing, youth services, employment services, food and clothing programs and economic development initiatives – has expanded to include work on Solomon’s Court, an affordable housing unit set to begin construction in September.
“WSFS’ contributions to this project extend beyond just a donation,” said Lee-Davis. “Jeff Graf and the other members of the West Side Grows Together Steering Committee met with the Mayor of Wilmington and other city leadership to get approval and support from the city as the project progresses. Solomon’s Court is just one portion of the project we’re working on with West Side Grows Together and will be instrumental in our efforts to revitalize the area.”
With a planned completion date of August 2021, Solomon’s Court will provide 6 affordable housing units, 4 of which will be reserved for those with disabilities, as well as 1,600 square feet of commercial space for small businesses along West 4th Street in Wilmington, Del.
“We’re proud to be partnering with Be Ready on such an important project,” said Vernita Dorsey, Senior Vice President, Director of Community Strategy at WSFS. “I’ve been very impressed and inspired with the level of support that the community has provided to make this project come to fruition and improve the Upper Westside of the city.”
“Without donations from partners like WSFS, this project wouldn’t be possible,” said Lee-Davis. “In order to keep the units affordable, it was key that we receive donations like the ones from WSFS in order to keep development costs down. With the help of all our gracious donors, we’re on track to complete a $3 million project having only taken out $250,000 in traditional loans to keep the residential and commercial units affordable.”
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