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Neighborhood Guide and Family Resources

Off Campus Living

Drexel University Off Campus Housing website hosts an interactive housing search feature that maps, highlights apartment/house amenities and provides landlord contact information for off campus housing in the Philadelphia area.
The website also allows Drexel students to post sublets for FREE!
In addition to finding housing, the website provides students the opportunity to find roommates through the Roommate Finder – a virtual “eHarmony” for roommates.
Resources around tenant rights, questions to ask when searching for housing, budgetting worksheets and roommate agreements can also be found on the website.
Furthermore the Drexel Off Campus Housing staff also meet with students to:
  • Read over leases to make sure students have an understanding of the items within 
  • Educate students about what it means to live off campus
  • Educate students about the housing search process
  • Provide Landlord/Tenant and Roommate mediation

You can contact the Off Campus Housing Office through email: offcampushousing@drexel.edu or by phone: 215-895-1328.

Your DU Neighborhood

The Drexel University University City campus is located in the Powelton Village Neighborhood, in West Philadelphia from 32nd Steet to 39th Street going west and Race Street to Spring Garden Street going north. Powelton Village has a long history where you can view the Victorian homes built in 18th century by the Powel and Bingham-Baring families. This culturally diverse neighborhood also serves as home to many Drexel students.

The Powelton Village Civic Association (PVCA) serves the residents of Powelton Village and advocates for their concerns with the City and Drexel University. The Association consists of volunteers who contribute their time for the betterment of the community.

Mantua is another neighborhood Drexel students live within and with which Drexel is closely connected. Mantua is located in West Philadelphia near the Schuylkill River. The neighborhood boundaries are Spring Garden Street (south) to Mantua Avenue (north) and from 31st Street (east) to 40th Street (west). Mantua is affectionately known as “The Bottom” by many of its residents. This nickname was derived due to its eastern most proximity (bottom) in West Philadelphia just above Center City (Parkway Section).

Mantua is most notably the home of the 42 acre Philadelphia Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in the United States. Mantua also hosts many murals, which were designed and created by the Philadelphia Mural Arts program.

Holding Grandmother’s Quilt, Mantua

Another option for students is to live in the Center City Neighborhood, especially convenient for students taking classes on the Center City Hahnemann Campus. Center City boasts a vibrant neighborhood, as well as, a well-known restaurant and shopping district. Students who are under 21 may have a harder time finding housing as many properties rent to only graduate students or students 21 and over.

Being a Member of the Local Community (Resources)

Whether you are commuting to campus or living just off campus in the West Philadelphia area, you are a participating member of the Drexel and local community. How you conduct yourself while you are at Drexel has a large impact on the local community. To help you to better navigate West Philadelphia as a contributing community member, below are resources that we recommend you review:

University City District

University City District is a partnership of world-renowned anchor institutions, small businesses and residents that creates opportunity, improves economic vitality and quality of life in the University City area of West Philadelphia. Our primary mission is community revitalization. We work within a place-based, data-driven framework to invest in world-class public spaces, address crime and public safety, bring life to commercial corridors, connect low-income residents to careers, and promote job growth and innovation.

The UCD hosts events throughout West Philadelphia, creates and updates local parks, hosts farmers markets at the 30th Street Porch and leads the community to improve and revitalize West Philadelphia neighborhoods.

Powelton Village Civic Association (PVCA)

The PVCA is a Civic Organization, which serves the residents of Powelton Village and their concerns. The Association consists of volunteers who contribute their time for the betterment of the community.

Exploring Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philadelphia has 166 distinct neighborhoods and knowing where to begin your exploration of these neighborhoods can be daunting. The Philadelphia Neighborhoods publication, produced by Temple University, focuses on telling the story of the undercovered and underserved neighborhoods of Philadelphia. Students tell the stories that represent the diverse voices of the multicultural and multinational Philadelphia neighborhoods. Philadelphia Neighborhoods provides a form of hyper-local coverage missing from our urban communities: journalism street by street.

Tenants Union Representative Network (TURN)

Turn is a Community Organization which supports tenants in advocating for a better rental experience. TURN also offers educational workshops to help tenants understand their rights and ask questions about the rental experience.

Recycling

For you - It feels good to be part of a city-wide effort...and it’s contagious! When you recycle regularly, you inspire other people to do the same.

For your city - Recycling creates jobs, earns money for neighborhood programs, and brings a greater sense of pride to our city.

For your environment - Recycling conserves natural resources, so our whole planet can stay healthier for generations to come.

Check out Philadelphia’s Street Department’s information on how you can Recycle in your neighborhood and the benefits to doing so.

Trash Disposal

We are share a responsibility for keeping our Philadelphia neighborhoods clean. Find out when your trash is collected and what requirements you have for disposing of your waste. If you are renting, talk with your landlord to see what their trash disposal and recycling plan is for your apartment/house.

Conserving Energy

Reduce your carbon footprint by making your apartment/home energy efficient. PECO offers an online home audit program the reviews the characteristics of your home and offers tips on how to reduce your use of gas/electricity and lower your monthly bills.

Safety in the Neighborhoods

Commuting and Living in an urban environment is exciting and full of opportunity, however, your environment can change quickly. You need to be prepared to proactively react to a variety of situations that may present themselves to you. Below are a few resources and safety tips to help make your time at Drexel an even better and safer experience:

1. Be aware of your environment. Do not walk around the city or your neighborhood with your head phones in, your phone up to your ear or even texting. Doing so distracts you from the moment and your ability to assess situations around you is diminished.

2. If you are looking to live in or around Philadelphia, be sure to walk around the area you are looking to live during the day and at night with a friend. Speak to the people that live in the area as well.

3. What has been happening in the neighborhood that you should be aware of; both positive and more challenging events? Only you can decide what is safe and what is not safe, and where you feel comfortable living.

Drexel Public Safety offers a variety of resources and services to help keep you safe

Walking Escort Program

Upon request, Drexel Public Safety security officers provide walking escorts for Drexel students, faculty, and staff within our patrol boundaries: 30th to 36th Streets and Chestnut to Spring Garden Streets. Public Safety will also contact the University City District Safety Patrol to continue to escort Drexel community members beyond the Drexel Patrol area.
This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 215-895-2822.

Drexel Guardian

Turn your cell phone into a personalized blue light emergency phone. In the event of an emergency, Drexel Guardian allows the Drexel Public Safety Communications Center to immediately access important information about you, such as your name, photograph, important medical information, and location, when you call 267-298-1442 from your cell phone — dramatically increasing the odds that they can find you and help you. The service is free and voluntary, and the information you provide is kept completely confidential. 

Crime Reporting – Cleary Report

Drexel University, in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) publishes an annual report for current and prospective students and employees. This report contains important safety information and crime statistics for the previous three years. These statistics pertain to reported crimes that have occurred on campus, in certain non-campus buildings or properties that are owned or controlled by Drexel University, and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus.

Drexel Patrol Area

Drexel patrols and reports crime statistics based on various geographical areas around each Drexel University campus. Please review the below maps for more specific information on the patrol borders.

University City Campus

Center City Hahnemann Campus

Rape Agression Defense (RAD) Training

The Rape Aggression Defense System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. The RAD System is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training.

RAD System Training happen throughout the year. Please visit the Public Safety website for more information on the program and a schedule of trainings.

Overview Public Safety Resources

You can also watch an overview of Public Safety Resources by going to the Graduate Studies web page.