July 4, 2016 |
We want the homeless now encamped nightly outside the Convention Center to sleep somewhere else. That was the response by some readers to an Inquirer story last week by my colleagues Aubrey Whelan and Mensah Dean. The story reported that with the construction of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and LOVE Park, more homeless people are now sleeping in the underpass outside the Convention Center . What was hidden in the shadows is now in plain sight. Fine. It's uncomfortable to walk past.
July 1, 2016 |
The street sweeper arrived at 12th and Arch shortly after dawn. With a broom and a wheeled dumpster, he swept around the sleeping forms on the sidewalk under the arches of the Convention Center. As commuters walked past and dozens on the sidewalk stirred awake, the street sweeper collected bottles and plastic wrappers and half-eaten food - all the detritus of a night on the streets. "Clean this dump up," muttered Paul Bunn, folding up his cardboard sleeping mat. There were 55 souls like Bunn waking up on the sidewalk outside the Convention Center one recent morning.
June 2, 2016
ISSUE | THE HOMELESS The young suffer, too After reading Mike Newall's original column about Matt, a 28-year-old homeless man in Center City, I had my doubts about him being a veteran. No vet, having served our country, should be living on the streets anywhere in our country ("Heroin Hall," May 25). Why wouldn't he take advantage of every possible resource available to veterans as opposed to his daily objective of getting his next hit of heroin? There must be a deeper reason that his family would allow him to remain homeless.
October 10, 2015 |
Odd things happen when someone drops an old couch onto the lush green lawn of the National Constitution Center. "It's like Friends ," one man cried, piling onto the cushions with his buddies. Others traced an invisible curved line with their steps, staying far from the couch and its tenders, waving away offers of handout cards. Some tourists on Independence Mall accepted an invitation to sit. Others shot cellphone photos. A few, touched by the effort, shared intimate details of their lives that they might have withheld if not for the public prodding of a worn, gray-and-blue sofa.
January 9, 2015 |
BY NOW, the Hub of Hope, Project HOME's seasonal social-service center for the homeless in Suburban Station, should be buzzing with men and women wanting to see a case worker or a doctor or just get a short reprieve from the cold with a tepid cup of coffee or a pair of socks. But in a cruel irony, the Hub of Hope is homeless. In November, the landlord who had donated the space for the past three winters sent word that he would no longer be able to "due to complaints from tenants and brokers.
October 23, 2014 |
If art comes from pain, then James Webster is Michelangelo. He's suffered from depression, alcoholism, and stroke. He's been arrested for assault, divorced by two women, and beaten with bats by gangs, and he lived homeless in North Philadelphia for a year. Through it all, he's painted, taken photographs, and created collages, always understanding that making art was an answer to smoothing out an unruly life. Troubles "have been fuel for art," said Webster, 63, sounding like a blues musician who is alchemist enough to turn misery into music.
June 8, 2014 |
Five years ago, I moved abroad to begin my graduate studies in the international city of Brussels, Belgium. Though I had traveled before, I always did so surrounded by close friends, staying in hostels full of Americans, people familiar with the East Coast. But in 2009, I made my home in a foreign country and entered a world of expatriates. Along with the challenges presented by language barriers and cultural confusion came one unexpected quirk - having to explain my hometown. The business of choice in Brussels is politics - European Union politics.
March 6, 2014 |
Concerned about reports that a faith-based organization wants to create a 300-bed facility in the township to serve Burlington County's homeless population, about 120 residents turned out for Tuesday's Lumberton Township Committee meeting in hope of sharing their views and learning more. But after Mayor Lew Jackson advised the crowd that the township had received no formal application for the project, and Solicitor Michael Mouber cautioned committee members about voicing opinions on a project they might have to vote on, only a few residents stepped to the microphones.
March 5, 2014 |
Saying Burlington County needs to better serve the hundreds of homeless people within its borders, a faith-based group wants to create a 300-bed residence and training center for them in Lumberton - and some residents who live near the site have begun to organize in opposition. To be called Community of Hope, the facility would be on a former Nike missile base at Municipal Drive and Eayrestown Road. In recent years, the five-acre site was home to the Midway School, which has closed. "We started studying the question of what Burlington County needs five . . . years ago," Kent Pipes, president of the Affordable Homes Group in Westampton, said Monday.
February 20, 2014 |
ATLANTIC CITY They may not have a permanent roof over the heads, but as of Tuesday, Atlantic County's homeless at least have a portal. "This program will give a single point of entry - a doorway - for homeless individuals and families in Atlantic County to find the help and services they need," said Ann Thoresen, director of the Atlantic Homeless Alliance, which opened Tuesday inside the county office building on Atlantic Avenue. Thoresen said finding help - especially as more jobless people join the ranks of the homeless in a faltering regional economy - is a sometimes tangled and difficult process.