March 29, 2022 | Julia Fowler
Recently we spoke with local organization and Pvilion customer, Nos Quedamos. We wanted to share more about the amazing work that they do for the community and why we at Pvilion support their endeavors.
Nos Quedamos, or “We Stay,” is a Community Development Corporation (CDC) that was formed in 1993 by Yolanda García as an effort to combat planned shrinkage and the displacement of local residents in the South Bronx. With the help of the committee and urban planner/architect Petr Stand, Yolanda oversaw the creation of 18 affordable housing buildings in the South Bronx, known as Melrose Commons.
The most recent building added to Melrose Commons, the nineteenth building created by Nos Quedamos, is cited as being the first project to have 100% of units considered to be affordable, with senior units distributed throughout the building rather than grouped together in a designated area.
Nos Quedamos is also known for being an early adopter and implementer of green practices in its buildings. Founder Yolanda García wanted the flooring of these buildings to be made from bamboo, as it was a more sustainable and allergy friendly option.
Despite being more expensive and a challenge to implement in the Melrose Commons buildings, she advocated for funding and made it possible. This practice was continued in the newest building as well, to uphold that standard.
Lately, under the current CEO Jessica Clemente, Nos Quedamos has been working on the Melrose Resiliency Plan, or Melrose 2.0. These efforts involve enhancing the beautiful, green community gardens that were formerly abandoned lots, and creating spaces that can be both enjoyed by members of the community and utilized during times of emergency.
These efforts began before the pandemic struck and came in handy during recent times of crisis. While the beautiful gardens provide residents with a place to connect with fellow members of their community, these spaces also provide shelter, wifi, clean water, and solar power in times of emergency.
“The community has gone through a lot of obstacles and challenges. It’s a community that by its very nature has been a resilient community. It has always bounced back; from the South Bronx burning in the 70s, to natural disasters over the years, to COVID-19 through the last two years. The community always comes out the other side smiling and hopeful. And that’s where Nos Quedamos gets its inspiration.”– Edwin Pagán, Director of Communications
Pvilion’s solar canopies will be installed in 3 different locations and will help Nos Quedamos enhance their services. In addition to offering a backup supply of power in times of emergency, these solar canopies can also be used to power lights and heaters that will allow residents to come enjoy the parks at night after they get off work, provide outlets for chargers and equipment for community events, host class for nearby schools, so they may utilize the gardens for educational purposes, and support last minute events like emergency food distribution.