“Living in Philly” interview series where realtor Cherise Wynne (“Agent Lady”) highlights interesting people & organizations in the civic, real estate, restaurant and lifestyle space that help first time home buyers navigate our great city of Philadelphia.
Meet Kevin, Board Chair of SOSNA (South of South Neighborhood Association)
Agent Lady: When people ask that famous question “what is SOSNA”, how do you typically answer?
Kevin: SOSNA serves the residents of our neighborhood, which is defined as the south side of South Street to the north side of Washington Avenue, the west side of Broad Street to the Schuylkill River. We aim to create and foster a sense of community throughout the neighborhood, as well as aspire to address neighbor concerns. SOSNA accomplishes these goals by focusing on a variety of initiatives: Zoning, Clean & Green, Economic Development, Safety, Community Outreach and Partnerships, and our Grays Ferry Triangles public space.
Agent Lady: What does SOSNA do, what neighborhood(s) does it provide products/services in, and what do you find special about those Philly areas?
Kevin: Our neighborhood boundaries are the south side of South Street to the north side of Washington Avenue, the west side of Broad Street to the Schuylkill River.
There various factors that make our neighborhood special. We have a rich history. We have an assortment of local businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of the neighborhood. We have two public schools, E.M. Stanton and Chester A. Arthur, which we proudly support and which provide a quality education to their students. We’re in close proximity to Center City and University City/West Philadelphia, two of the City’s employment hubs. We’re developing a new thread of technology and innovation through the presence of NextFab on Washington Ave., Pennovation on Grays Ferry, CHOP’s new facility next to the Schuylkill River, and the nonprofit Coded By Kids which operates out of Marian Anderson Recreation Center.
Agent Lady: How do you believe SOSNA is making Philadelphia better?
Kevin: SOSNA strives to improve the quality of life of our residents. One key service we provide is connecting our residents with city services and educating them about important programs such as the homestead exception, the LOOP program, or other tax programs.
Agent Lady: If you had to choose between a Philly cheesesteak or a Philly pretzel, what would you choose?
Kevin: Cheesesteak. While it’s not in our neighborhood, my favorite is John’s Roast Pork off Columbus Blvd.
Agent Lady: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your industry or type of organization?
Kevin: I think there is often a lack of knowledge about the work SOSNA does. For instance, all building projects must coming through our zoning committee. There is a general lack of knowledge about the amount of thought we put into our projects and the number of volunteers who give generously of their time. We truly rely on our numerous volunteers to serve our community.
Agent Lady: What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
Kevin: Apart from studying the zoning code? I like reading about the Spanish Civil War.
Agent Lady: What is your favorite word?
Kevin: Harmony, because I seek harmony in all aspects of my life.
Agent Lady: If you had to pick another career what would it be?
Kevin: An Indiana Jones-style archeologist.
Agent Lady: For anyone looking to buy their first home in Philly or move to the Philly area, what do you have to say to them?
Kevin: Do it! Philadelphia is a wonderful city that offers many advantages, and we’re only getting better. Once you do buy a home, find a way to get involved in your neighborhood and your own way to make a difference in our city. While there is inertia building to make improvements within our city, we need more people to join us in making Philadelphia the best it can be for all residents.
Agent Lady: If someone wanted to learn more about you or SOSNA, where could they go?
Thanks so much Kevin for dropping by and sharing some info about SOSNA. The neighborhoods that you cover are great, and the work you’re doing is pretty awesome!
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About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, call 215-518-5193 or click here.