Andy and Richard, 1968
“Plans to rehabilitate a building at 39th and Olive Sts. as a community center are discussed by Richard Hart, Director of Relocation for Mantua Community Planners, and Andrew Jenkins, head of MCP,” 1968; Courtesy of Temple University Special Collections Research Center.

One of Funeral for a Home’s earliest and most essential partners has been the Rev. Dr. Andrew Jenkins. Rev. Jenkins, or “Andy” to friends, has lived in Mantua since 1959. His was one of the first families to move into the then recently completed Mantua Hall, and from there he launched a lifetime of civic engagement, community development, and steadfast commitment to the preservation and improvement of his adopted neighborhood.

Rev. Jenkins’ resume is far too extensive to reel off here. Suffice to say, as the co-founder of the Young Great Society and Mantua Community Planners, former President of Mount Vernon Manor, Inc., appointments throughout City Hall and Philadelphia’s municipal planning, and his role today as Vice President of the Mantua Civic Association, his continued presence has been marked as a committed activist, proud resident, and caring neighbor. Funeral for a Home could not have been possible without Rev. Jenkins’ continued support and intimate knowledge of Mantua’s late twentieth century history. Saturday, May 31, will be a day to recognize 3711 Melon St and the stories it holds, but we hope, in whatever small way, the project as a whole also pays tribute to one of Mantua’s most prolific and important leaders.

In the clip below, Rev. Jenkins discusses the impetus for the Young Great Society and how he and Herman Wrice opted to target 13-15 year old’s in the orbit of Mantua’s then notorious collection of six rival gangs: