April 29, 1999 |
In the predawn hours yesterday, they walked the railroad tracks, combed fields, and passed park benches looking for the area's homeless. In Norristown, volunteers spotted 16 people living on the streets. An additional 18 homeless people were identified in Pottstown. But volunteers who surveyed Abington, Cheltenham and Harleysville went home without counting one homeless person during the one-night count led by the Montgomery County Housing Coalition's Continuum of Care. Only one homeless person was accounted for in Lansdale.
April 22, 2008 |
The city of Philadelphia temporarily averted a surge in the number of homeless people sleeping on the streets by agreeing yesterday to keep open three "overnight cafes" - special all-night, drop-in centers that offer food and help. The cafes, started in 2006 as cold-weather havens for the street homeless, were scheduled to close for the season yesterday morning. But so many people are still using the cafes - more than 150 on most nights - that the city has agreed to keep funding the centers and working with service providers to place homeless people in housing or treatment.
January 20, 1999 |
Day Two of enforcement of Philadelphia's new sidewalk-behavior law passed yesterday with the city apparently arresting no homeless people, but picking up one new federal lawsuit that plaintiffs hope will result in the law being blocked for violating the civil rights of the homeless. The American Civil Liberties Union suit, proposed as a class action, was filed in U.S. District Court and contends that, even before enactment of the law, Philadelphia police had exhibited a "pattern, practice and policy of unlawfully arresting, detaining and maliciously prosecuting homeless individuals.
January 23, 1991 |
The sign said "No More Shelters!" It was a red sign. An angry sign. A sign that insisted enough is enough. Upon seeing it, a member of the Project HOME advisory board turned and asked, only half-jokingly, "I wonder which side she's on?" That was several weeks ago at a city Zoning Board hearing on a proposed 48- room facility for homeless people in the 1500 block of Fairmount Avenue. The hearing was on the validity of the building permits, which had been challenged by two community organizations.
January 19, 2005 |
One man is dead, more than 100 people sought refuge from the cold in homeless shelters, and a racetrack closed yesterday as the temperature dipped below 20 degrees and the balmy 60-degree temperatures of last week were a distant memory. Nineteen degrees was the high yesterday, 14 the low. The typical temperature for the date is a high of 38 and a low of 25. And snow is in the forecast. Rob Hess, a Philadelphia deputy managing director who is coordinating Code Blue efforts, said yesterday that about 100 homeless people had sought shelter in city facilities since officials declared a Code Blue emergency on Friday.
January 8, 1996 |
From a cardboard box on 17th Street in Center City, Anthony Jackson watched the sky and waited for the snow. There were eight layers of cardboard between him and the sidewalk. Then came two pairs of sweat socks, rubber boots, and faded black jeans. The 33-year-old homeless man reserved the main padding for his torso: a T-shirt, two sweatshirts, a cloth windbreaker, a flannel shirt and a blue parka. When a police officer woke him up around 4 a.m., snow had piled in a drift around the box. "Only my feet were cold," he said, pointing to his rubber boots.
December 12, 1995 |
An unusually harsh outbreak of early-season cold that has claimed at least two lives in Philadelphia is expected to ease today. Temperatures may even reach 30. While it won't feel like the High Plains in mid-January, it will feel like Philadelphia in mid-January. Thus the city's Code Blue alert, which triggers extra outreach efforts to persuade or even force people off the streets and into shelters, remains in effect. The city yesterday added 130 beds to its homeless shelter system, bringing the total to about 3,100.
April 25, 2008 |
For years, Victor Scurry led a double life. As a substance-abuse counselor for the Department of Human Services, he was secretly addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol. "I'd go into my office and smoke a pipe," Scurry, 51, said last night. "Then I would go before a group of people, telling them how to stay clean. And I'm high as a kite. The hypocrisy was unbelievable. " Eventually, his world collapsed. He lost his job, got caught stealing, and became homeless. He took to sleeping in abandoned buildings in Germantown, just a few blocks from his family home, worried that his mother would catch sight of him. Early last year, he entered the South Philadelphia shelter run by Ready, Willing and Able and enrolled in its program that aims to transform homeless men and women through a disciplined approach of work and sobriety.
October 7, 1988 |
When the Salvation Army opened the city's newest shelter for the homeless yesterday, the phones were not exactly ringing off the hook. "We don't have telephones yet," sighed Kevin W. Hooper, head of the Salvation Army's social services operations in eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. But what the Salvation Army did have, on the eve of a cold night, was a clean, colorful, comfortable, renovated, repainted and refurbished historic Center City building ready to shelter and feed homeless women, children and men with their families for short stays.
February 9, 1996 |
A North Jersey developer who prosecutors said used inexperienced, drug- and alcohol-dependent homeless people to remove hazardous asbestos from his North Philadelphia office tower was sentenced to 18 months in prison yesterday. Mohammed Mizani, 60, of Wayne, said nothing before being sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz. Mizani has already donated $40,000 to city environmental groups as part of his sentence, and has spent $150,000 decontaminating the 70-year-old Beury Building.