PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A local anti-violence intervention nonprofit that has impacted hundreds of young lives has just opened up a second location in South Philadelphia, thanks to a million-dollar city grant meant to help curb the gun violence epidemic.
The new NOMO Foundation location near Federal and Broad Steets was filled with dozens of kids enjoying free food, a DJ, a dance competition, and just being kids.
"I feel blessed to be able to create another opportunity, another safe haven for young people in South Philadelphia," said Rickey Duncan, NOMO's executive director.
For Duncan, that's exactly what the NOMO Foundation is about. It stands for "New Options and More Opportunities." The organization's headquarters on North Broad Street has become a home for hundreds of youth. He promised the new location means even more lives will be changed.
"This location is our youth vocational training center. You get an opportunity to get your culinary art associate's degree, you can become a dental assistant, you can become a surgical tech to technical surgical solutions," he said.
"We're doing big things that are trying to create more opportunities for young people."
That includes more opportunities for teens like Rahkema Jones to find something they're passionate about. Through NOMO, she said she found an outlet for her creativity and an interest in designing.
"When I started making and designing things, that really helped me out to figure out I want to do fashion design. That's what I'm most interested in," she shared.
"I feel safe at NOMO. That's why I come here," Jones added. "I'm happy, I mean, it's a new location for more new people that feel the same way as I do, and figure out what they want to do in life. I think that's really good."
NOMO is one of many nonprofits confronting Philly's gun violence crisis: