About

SoWe Envision A Better Neighborhood

SoWe is a resident-led community organization supported by Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership and the SoWe Collaborative that works to implement the Southwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy. SoWe aims to stem the tide of disinvestment and create a neighborhood that is safe, clean, attractive to economic investment and welcoming to residents and visitors.

The SoWe Office is located at 417 Poplar St. Lancaster, PA 17603. The office has resources and meeting space available to the SoWe community. Please stop in M-F 8:30-5 to visit us! Call us at (717) 455-3626.

The SoWe Board of Directors meets on the 4th Monday of each month at 5:30 pm in the St. Francis Room @ St. Joseph Church. Meetings are open to the public and neighbors are encouraged to attend.

SoWe Remember: A Brief History

In 2012, the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP) began a focused effort to rehabilitate houses in the southwest, or Cabbage Hill, area of Lancaster City. With monies from the Lancaster County Community Foundation (LCCF), matched by LHOP funds, a program to purchase blighted and often condemned houses was begun with the intent to turn those homes into first-time homeownership opportunities.

After two years of operation, this initial LHOP housing rehab program was recognized by officials from the Wells Fargo Bank, who encouraged LHOP to apply for planning funds from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation (WFRF). That planning application was submitted in August 2014 and was funded for $100,000 by the WFRF in April 2015. The planning process was started in June of 2015 under the leadership of LHOP with a new group of neighborhood residents and stakeholders called the SouthWest Neighborhood Leadership Board (SWNLB).

After 14 months of meetings, focus groups, etc., the southwest neighborhood plan was completed in September 2016. At that time, the LHOP Board agreed to do two things: (1) place the SWNLB within the LHOP organization as one of its functioning committees; and (2) to submit an application to the WFRF for implementation funds for the completed plan.

The implementation application was submitted to the WFRF in October 2016; and the award of $1.15 million was announced by the WFRF in June 2017. At that point, the SWNLB had seven functioning committees, based on the elements of the plan; and the Board had changed its name to SoWe or the Southwest Community Board.

Subsequent to the WFRF award, several other community organizations have made financial commitments to SoWe, including the High Foundation, the Steinman Foundation, and an anonymous family foundation.

The SoWe Board meets monthly on the fourth Monday of each month, and the seven functioning committees meet each month between the monthly meetings of the Board. Several activities have been undertaken using the funds from the WFRF and the other donors; those activities are communicated to the Board and the community at the monthly meetings.

The Plan

SoWe Collaborative

Financial Investors

Community Partners

Project Sponsors