Thursday, December 24, 2015

Genesis Reports Success of Pottstown Neighborhood Partnership's Third Year

Blogger's Note: The following was provided by Genesis Housing Corp.

Genesis Housing Corporation is pleased to report the success of the third year of our Pottstown Neighborhood Partnership Program to help with the revitalization of the Washington Street neighborhood in Pottstown.

The Pottstown Neighborhood Partnership projects completed this year include:
  • Created a new Community Garden at 301 Walnut Street (Walnut and Charlotte Streets). In partnership with the Mosaic Community Land Trust, a new sustainable and edible landscape garden was created on this long term vacant lot. Using permaculture techniques, layers of fresh soil and mulch were applied to the site along with biochar, a carbon product that helps rejuvenate the soil. Over 150 native and edible plants were planted. Designed by Feed the Burbs and Melissa Miles of the Permanent Future Institute, the garden emphasizes low-maintenance permaculture techniques. Over 70 volunteers joined with the professional landscapers to create the garden. Volunteers were from Pottstown High School, Owen J. Roberts High School, Pottstown Rehabilitation & Training Center, Creative Health, Mosaic garden families along with adults and children from the neighborhood. Throughout the summer, the plants provided a community green space along with edibles like blueberries and pumpkins. 
  • A new Security Camera Program was created in cooperation with the Pottstown Police Department. Grants were provided to residents and organizations in selected locations to cover all the costs of installing high quality camera systems. The systems were installed on the 400 and 500 blocks of King Street, the 300 and 400 blocks of Walnut Street and the 600 block of Chestnut Street. In the first few weeks after the cameras were installed, the photos provided critical information to the Police that assisted in the arrest of an individual suspected in a serious crime. 
  • Sponsored community events including National Night Out at the Chestnut Street Park (Chestnut & Washington Streets). This event provided an opportunity for neighbors to get together and to learn about local resources. Highlights from the National Night Out included Pottstown Police Officers playing Frisbee with the neighborhood children, great weather, music and dancing. Another community event was the free Movie Night. It provided a fun night for local children with a movie, music and a magician at no cost to their parents. 
  • Provided free Housing Counseling classes on credit and credit scores, money management and home buyer basics at the Victory Christian Life Center in Pottstown. Additional financial management classes were provided to the residents of the Salvation Army shelter. 
  • Funded Property Renovations including rehab for an owner occupied property and site work for a long term vacant property. The funds filled important gaps in the projects that were not available with other funding sources. 
  • Assisted with the funding for restroom renovations at the Salvation Army to provide safe and efficient restrooms for shelter families.
  • Completed planning studies including for the development of garden at 301 Walnut Street and partial funding for a new Strategic Business Plan for Genesis Housing Corporation. 

The Pottstown Neighborhood Program is funded by National Penn Bank through the PA Department of Community and Economic and Development (DCED) Neighborhood Assistance Tax Credit Program. 

An Advisory Board helps guide Genesis Housing Corporation in designing projects that meet the program requirements and would help the local community. 

The members the Advisory Board include from Genesis Housing Corporation – Judith Memberg, from Borough Council - Ryan Procsal, from National Penn Bank - Sharon McMichael, Thomas Spann and Daniel Sansary. Community Representatives include Rev. Reggie Brooks, Anna Johnson and Sue Repko. Also providing input for the Advisory Board were Laura Washington, Marie Traylor and Police Chief Drumheller.

Since 1994, Genesis Housing Corporation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has served Montgomery County as a community housing development organization (CHDO) and is dedicated to the development of affordable housing and to the education of consumers on housing and financial issues. Our activities include monthly classes and individual counseling to provide financial education, prevent foreclosures, and the rehabilitation and new construction of homes to improve and stabilize neighborhoods.

For more information about Genesis Housing Corporation and our programs, please visit our website at and on Facebook. Genesis Housing Corporation can also be contacted by email at, or call 610-275-4357.


  1. Evan- I appreciate the effort but I don't find the accomplishments for the entire year of 2015 to be anything special. Accomplishments would be 100 people attended the home buyer basic classes and 5 purchased home in 2015. 25 people in the salvation army shelter attended classes and 20 people now rent on their own without public assistance. Forget the fluff - Pottstown needs results. Local government is surely not showing results in housing values.

  2. To the point Anonymous. For as long as Montgomery County considers Pottstown their wasteland and for as long as council accommodates them there will be no measureable accomplishments. At times you have to wonder if this isn't all well planned out between the various entities.

  3. The only way changes will be made if the issues are called out in the public - In The Mercury. All council members and all borough leaders need to answer to the tough questions. First question - Why is there a federal civil right lawsuit against Pottstown which no one will acknowledge (Google it). Was there a payoff a few years ago to the same plaintiff so they continue to sue the borough? Why is no one talking about issues that affect taxpayers pockets?