Options and opportunity for young people

Guests take a tour of the New Options More Opportunity hub in South Philly, which celebrated its opening on Feb. 26. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

A new early intervention facility at 1212 S. Broad St. aims to help teens and young adults build positive life skills while keeping them off the street.

Known as NoMo, or New Options More Opportunity, the hub follows the blueprint of its headquarters at 925 N. Broad St., which was founded in 2010. Founders and local elected officials were happy to see another location ready to help young members of the city.

“Our children are the most important things in our lives,” said Mayor Jim Kenney, who attended the grand opening of the facility on Feb. 26. “When we lose them, everyone’s heart is broken forever. If organizations like NoMo can save our kids, and make sure they grow up to be productive, important adults, that is the most important thing we can do.”

NoMo provides comprehensive early intervention anti-violence programs to residents ages 11-24, with the hopes of building increased confidence and improved social and emotional skills. It hopes to help residents establish healthier lifestyles with increased family stability, while decreasing substance abuse and criminal activities en route to a clear path to success.

“I’ll never forget the first time I visited NoMo up in North Philly,” said City Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents parts of South Philly. “I went to (NoMo CEO and Executive Director Rickey Duncan) and said, ‘Why can’t we have one of these in South Philly?’ And now we have one. This is so important. Everybody needs to work in the same direction to solve this major problem, which is crime in the City of Philadelphia and give opportunities to people who don’t think they have them.”

Teens and young adults will have a place to hang out at the New Options More Opportunity location at 1212 S. Broad Street in South Philly. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

NoMo’s new South Philadelphia hub will offer workforce development programs such as introduction to carpentry, fashion design, cosmetology, culinary arts and dental assistance. It will be open from 3-7 p.m.

The new space has plenty of training workspace, a library and a lounge with games and televisions. 

“NoMo is an absolutely fabulous organization,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “I’m so excited to hear about the opening of the south branch and we’re really looking forward to everything we can do to work together with NoMo moving forward. We’ve had some really memorable, important meetings that have taken place in the north space and we’re looking forward to doing it here.”

The plan is to open more hubs across the city. It is funded by the city’s Community Expansion Grant.

“Let them see the opportunities that are out there so they don’t choose the streets over these other opportunities,” Squilla said. “What you are doing is bringing our youth opportunities and chance. That’s all we can ask and we need to support that and I’m glad you’re here in South Philadelphia and what you are doing should be replicated throughout the city.”