Our History

40 Years & Counting

Xiente (formerly Norris Square Community Alliance (NSCA) is a grassroots, community-based development corporation founded in 1982 by a group of neighborhood women who desired to make Norris Square safer for their children and families. Unable to find outside help, they launched their own organization dedicated to the revitalization of the neighborhood and the empowerment of its residents.

Xiente represents the natural progression of NSCA

From the very beginning, we have responded to the needs of the community by providing comprehensive solutions such as affordable housing, community organizing, employment training, early childhood education, youth after-school and summer enrichment programs, homeownership counseling and comprehensive case management services.

Since our founding, we have…

  • Built and rehabilitated over 147 units of affordable housing for lease and for sale
  • Educated hundreds of low income infants and toddlers in our Head Start and Early Head Start programs
  • Organized 70 neighborhood blocks
  • Developed a worker owned housing contractor cooperative
  • Built a food-based business incubator and farmer’s market called El Mercado
  • Developed a senior housing apartment complex
  • Provided summer and after-school time programming to hundreds of neighborhood elementary and middle school youth
  • …and much much more

What Drives Us

The work of Xiente is driven and directed by the families and residents of our community who are active at every level of the organization, serving on our staff, board of directors, and advisory committees. Seventy percent of our board is comprised of neighborhood residents.

Some Notable Milestones


Norris Square Civic Association is founded by a group of residents from the neighborhood.


Rehabilitated 137 W. Susquehanna Avenue and 188 Diamond Street into apartments.


Norris Square Community Alliance opened the Norris Square Family Center at McKinley Elementary School, which grows to include after school programming for children in elementary through junior high school.


In partnership with Catholic Social Services, NSCA developed 30 senior citizen housing units called La Casa De Carmen Aponte.


The Children’s Center expands to serve almost 300 preschool children ages 3 to 5, and began running a new city program for at-risk youth, the Intensive Prevention Services.


NSCA was awarded the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant servicing 88 infants and toddlers.


A new Era- Michelle Carrera is hired as the new Executive Director after the retirement of lifetime Executive Director Patricia DeCarlo.


Launch of Xiente – our mission brought to life in an inspiring new way.