by Sue Ann Rybak

East Mt. Airy Neighbors has created a new Community Fund to support nonprofits located in East Mt. Airy that are actively providing innovative and sustainable programs to improve the quality of life of residents in Northwest Philadelphia.

The Community Fund, a donor-advised fund of the Philadelphia Foundation, is the direct result of the sale of EMAN Community Living, originally called EMAN Group Homes. The organization was established as a subsidiary of EMAN roughly 30 years ago.

EMAN established the nonprofit, funded by the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, to enable displaced members of the community with mental-disabilities to live close to their family in group homes.

In June 2009, the community association sold EMAN Community Living for $1, 200,000 to Special People in the Northeast Inc. (SPIN), a service provider for adults and children with mental disabilities.

“East Mt. Airy Neighbors is the people of our neighborhood serving each other,” said Bill Ewing, former president of the EMAN Community Living board of directors. “We created the Community Living corporation in order to provide special services to our neighbors who need them.

“When, we concluded that EMAN itself was no longer able to serve those particular needs effectively, we turned to SPIN, who can do it better. We are very happy that the Philadelphia Foundation can help us continue to carry out our mission by devoting those resources to serve our neighbors in other ways.”

Dan Muroff, a former president of EMAN, said the grants, which will range from $2,000 to $50,000, will provide support for innovative and sustainable programs whose mission is to improve the health, welfare and quality of life for Northwest Philadelphia neighborhoods.

To qualify, nonprofit organizations must have an operating budget of under $5 million.

He added that priority will be given to organizations located in East Mt. Airy that provide services to support and improve the quality of life for the aging, children and youth, and people with special needs, particularly those with mental health issues.

The application deadline is January 16, 2015.

For more information or to download an application go to or email