Options and opportunities for young people

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Guests tour the New Options More Opportunity Center in South Philly, which celebrated its opening on February 26. Photo/Mark Zimmaro

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

Known as NoMo, or New Options More Opportunity, the hub follows the plan 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 the young members of the city.

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

NoMo offers comprehensive early violence intervention programs for residents ages 11 to 24, hoping to build their confidence and improve their social and emotional skills. He hopes to help residents establish healthier lifestyles with increased family stability, while reducing substance abuse and criminal activity on their way to a clear path to success.

“I will never forget the first time I visited NoMo in North Philly,” said Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents parts of South Philly. “I went up to (NoMo CEO and Executive Director Rickey Duncan) and said, ‘Why can’t we have one in South Philly? And now we have one. It’s so important. Everyone needs to work in the same direction to solve this major problem of 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 hub in South Philadelphia will offer workforce development programs such as introductory carpentry, fashion design, cosmetology, culinary arts and dental assisting. It will be open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The new space has many training areas, a library and a lounge with games and televisions.

“NoMo is an absolutely fabulous organization,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “I am so excited to learn of the opening of the South Branch and we look forward to all that we can do to work with NoMo in the future. We have had some truly memorable and important meetings that have taken place in the northern space and we look forward to doing that 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 those other opportunities,” Squilla said. “What you are doing is providing opportunities and chances for our young people. That’s all we can ask for and we have to support that and I’m glad you’re here in South Philadelphia and what you’re doing should be replicated all over the city.

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