2916-18 North 6 th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19133
Pastor Juan Marrero, Executive Director,
Crossroads Community Center is located in two rowhouses on North 6 th Street in Fairhill, the poorest neighborhood in Philadelphia, which is the poorest city in America. It was founded in 1963 as a “Social Ministry” project of a Mennonite Congregation. Over nearly 60 years of trusted presence, it has offered to multiple generations Christ’s peace through education, sharing resources, and cultivating both leaders and committed allies. During the pandemic, food insecurity has become a crisis in the community, and Crossroads former program of food distribution has grown manyfold until now, in partnership with Philadbundance, 3,000 pounds of food are distributed each week. Its education program during the pandemic is focused on providing a learning pod for thirty students to assist them with virtual learning. Executive Director Juan Marrero grew up in the community and has led the organization for more than 20 years.
While continuing to foster relationships with Mennonite leaders and congregations in the region, Juan has developed a staff of gifted indigenous leaders who are dedicated to being in the community for the long haul. He founded Christ Centered Church which welcomes returning citizens and their families, and provides in-prison ministry as well. Crossroads is a safe place with “soul attraction,” so people who are troubled in spirit come to talk. Children learn Bible stories there, and religious values and commitments are woven into everything Crossroads does. But, neighbors come with a variety of needs. Staff and volunteers are quick to respond by helping with home repairs, negotiating with landlords, paying rent to prevent evictions, counseling pregnant teens, comforting in times of grief, accompanying victims of gun violence and their families, providing housing for women who have been victims of domestic violence, etc. etc. One by one they come to Crossroads knowing they will be respected, understood, and, if possible, relieved of their burdens. Crossroads is a community center that is truly the center of its community.