The original mission of Beech was that of a grant-making foundation to support community services.
Today, we continue to expand our original mission with the Alston-Beech Foundation, Beech Community Services, and the Beech Business Bank. Just like the Beech tree our name is derived from, our goal is to grow strong and vibrant communities that stand the test of time.
A Special Message
A Note of Reflection from Dr. Kenneth Scott
Over 25 years ago, when North Central Philadelphia lay wounded from the ravages of the crack epidemic and the dissolution of viable economic opportunities, corporate or entrepreneurial, many wrote off this community.
They saw the obvious symptoms of the ensuing neglect – tracts of decrepit rowhomes, weed-strewn lots, soaring unemployment, and creeping crime – and deemed it all a lost cause.
Thankfully, a small band of men and women saw differently. They were the visionaries. They launched the “Beech Experiment.”
After surveying the neighborhoods and the people who populated them, this group decided that this area was not only a sound investment, but it would be a smart one. Success would require patience, persistence, and expertise, but the yield stood to be life-affirming.
With more than 1,200 residential units built, countless people educated and employed, and significant capital steadily pouring in, it is clear who was right.
The difference between a dream and a vision lies in the number of people who see it. And the right people at the right time glimpsed the vision of our founders. I count myself among them.
Today, Beech is more than an experiment. We are proof.
We are a set of companies with an ongoing mission to provide economic uplift and concerted advocacy for the people who call and have called North Central Philadelphia home. And every day, more people are catching sight of what we saw all those years ago. They are old-timers and newcomers, shop owners and civic organizations, students and seniors, houses of worship and those of scholarship, policymakers and investors.
Together we have come to pen this play, and like August Wilson, reflect the story of a people that continues to unfold, affirm, and amaze.
Thanks for playing your role for over 25 years. We’re looking forward to the next set – and many more years beyond that