Message from our President and CEO:
Novel Coronavirus Action Plan for the Welcoming Center

Dear Welcoming Center Community, 

A year ago, we moved to the western edge of Chinatown, just north of the Convention Center. In the past several days, we have seen early signs of the economic and social impact of COVID-19 as restaurants and small businesses in our neighborhood are seeing a decline in foot traffic. As more information becomes available each day on COVID-19 and what precautions we can be taking to prevent it from spreading, we want to remind the Welcoming Center community that we will remain focused on promoting inclusive economic growth through immigrant integration and cultivating community. 

Our actions are guided by the advice of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and take in to account the health and wellbeing of our participants, staff, volunteers, and guests.  

Today, we have decided to suspend in-person gatherings at the Welcoming Center and we have prepared all staff to work remotely for the next two weeks. We are adjusting how we deliver our programs to limit in-person social interactions for the next two weeks and we are communicating directly with all of our participants to ensure ongoing support. We hope to reopen our doors on March 30, 2020 

Additionally, we are: 

  • Encouraging everyone to wash their hands thoroughly and frequently.  
  • Increasing the frequency and rigor of cleaning and sanitizing our shared spaces. 
  • Making alcohol-based hand sanitizer available throughout our offices and asking everyone to put their hand on their heart as an alternative greeting to shaking hands. 
  • Reminding everyone to use a tissue or their elbow when sneezing or coughing. 
  • Informing program participants and volunteers of these actions and reminding them via email not to attend programs or events if they have any symptoms that could indicate an illness, including a fever and/or a cough. 
  • Taking this time to actively learn and be innovative in how we build community and deliver on our mission. 

The health and safety of our community has always been our highest priority.  As we continue to take appropriate measures to keep our community safe, the Welcoming Center will always remain welcoming to immigrants and refugees.  


Peter Gonzales
President and CEO
Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians 

Date issued: March 12, 2020