Intake shelters give 1-way ticket

Posted: October 10, 2012

THE RIDGE Avenue Center

was not only the city's largest men's shelter, but also the primary intake site for men seeking city services and placement in other shelters.

Intake is now done at the Roosevelt Darby Center on Broad Street near Brown between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. After that, intake is done at the Station House shelter on Broad Street near Cumberland.

Some of the men who used to use Ridge said that when men go to the new intake center, many are being sent to one of two sites: Woodland Avenue near 69th Street in Southwest Philadelphia, seven miles from the old shelter; or RHD Fernwood, on State Road near Rhawn Street in Holmesburg, more than 10 miles away.

Andre Jourden, who is homeless, said men get enough bus fare for a ride to those facilities, but not back.

"They give you one token to get to Fernwood or 6901 Woodland, and then you're on your own. It's almost a two-hour walk back," he said. "Nine out of 10 times if you're homeless and not working, you don't have money for bus fare back."

Dainette Mintz, director of the city's Office of Supportive Housing, said each shelter has an allotment of bus tokens to give residents, but they're not handed out indiscriminately.

"They are not provided tokens to traverse the city during the day," she said. "But if they have an appointment they can document, then they are provided with round-trip fare."

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