Our Expansion in Kensington Has Begun!  

We are excited to announce that the expansion of Esperanza Health Center in Kensington is underway! Renovations to the former Kensington Trust Bank building on the corner of Kensington & Allegheny Avenues (photo, L), which we purchased on November 18, 2016, will begin soon. When complete—projected for early 2019—we will increase our medical and dental care capacity in Kensington by one-third, serving an additional 3,000 patients per year. Substance abuse services will be integrated into our existing comprehensive behavioral health program. A second Esperanza Café will be open to patients and the public on the beautiful first floor lobby area. We have served in Kensington since 2007 and are grateful that God has called us to deepen our commitment there by firmly establishing Esperanza on one of the busiest intersections in the city.

On July 13, 2017, we acquired an empty lot behind the bank building bordered by H, Shelbourne, and Westmoreland Streets (photo, R). It was the location of a factory that made horse blankets that burned to the ground ten years ago and destroyed many homes in the area (Philly.com article, 6/28/17). Neighbors have worked hard to redeem the lot and have embraced Esperanza’s vision of creating a community center for health and wellness programs, a fitness center, classrooms, program space, possibly a day care, and parking. A year-long environmental study of the ground has been initiated while plans are being developed for new construction.

The needs of the Kensington community are well known: it is designated as a medically-underserved community, poverty is high, the opioid epidemic is rampant. Yet God reminds us again and again that He is there and already at work! Hector Torres, Esperanza’s Environmental Supervisor, and his team were at the H Street lot within days of our acquisition. As they started to clear trash, debris, and needles, neighbors came out and one by one started helping them. One woman—through tears—told Hector that she had been praying that this lot would be cleaned up, and feels Esperanza is the answer to her prayers. A police officer shook Hector’s hand and thanked him for being there. In the words of Susan Post, Esperanza’s Executive Director, “Often we think about what we are going to add to our community through what we do, but I think this was a glimpse of God already at work through the community and the power of each of us helping the other.”

The ministry of Esperanza Health Center is expanding through God’s grace and love for Kensington. We are humbled and deeply grateful that He has chosen us to be a part of His work there.

 Summer Medical Institute Philadelphia 2017

This year’s Summer Medical Institute (SMI), held from June 24th through July 15th, was the eighth consecutive SMI held jointly by Esperanza and the Medical Campus Outreach ministry of Tenth Presbyterian Church.  A group of 23 medical and other health professions students participated. This year’s SMI host church and “home base” was Bethel Temple Community Bible Church in Kensington, where students lived, shared meals and prepared for door-to-door medical outreach each day, accompanied by interpreters from the community, faculty and Esperanza staff. 
As SMI Director Holly Favino reflected: “The students who participated worked hard and learned much as they grew to know the community in their three weeks participating in the program. As we worked frequently in specific neighborhoods where the opioid epidemic is taking a toll, this year was notable for the many difficult realities they witnessed…. however, they also came away with much love and respect for the people and families of the community and a new passion for urban health care.” Here are some statistics from this year’s SMI over their three weeks of outreach in Kensington:
  • 3,182 doors were knocked on
  • 764 individual people received health screens
  • 764 blood pressure screens were performed
  • 693 blood sugar screens were performed
  • 88 diabetic foot screens were performed 
  • 747 people were prayed with, and one person prayed to receive Christ.
Many of this year’s SMI students blogged about their experiences on the SMI Philly website. One of the most common themes was the openness and hospitality shown by community residents to the SMI teams during their visits, and opportunities that arose for the sharing of joys and burdens in prayer and conversation. As one student reflected: “… the people who did welcome us and even the people who flagged us down to talk to us on the street gradually revealed to me God’s presence in the communities of North Philly, and the desire that the people had to experience Him.”

Join Our Team!

We’re seeking qualified, professional individuals to join us in advancing our mission, in a variety of positions. To learn more and to apply, please visit our website’s Opportunities page.

Give to Esperanza Today!

Your gift of any amount is deeply appreciated, and will enable us to serve those in need in our North Philadelphia community. Please click “Donate Now” below to make a secure, online donation — all gifts are tax-deductible. Thank you!

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“Compelled by the love of God in Christ Jesus, in cooperation with the Church and others, Esperanza Health Center is a multi-cultural ministry providing holistic healthcare to the Latino and underserved communities of Philadelphia.”