September 14, 2012
THE CITY has $105,052 in unclaimed money belonging to people who spent time in homeless facilities, according to a City Controller report. According to Controller Alan Butkovitz, this money is from 869 accounts that belong to homeless people who were in the shelter system in years past. Those people never claimed their cash. Butkovitz said that the city Office of Supportive Housing has been holding the money for too long and must send it to the city's unclaimed-money fund, which ultimately will forward it to the state.
September 7, 2012 |
Things are looking up, ever so slightly, at the city's tourism epicenter, where litterers and displaced homeless people have made a steep challenge out of keeping LOVE Park lovely. "It's actually been a little cleaner," said Albert Figlestahler, the city employee who arrives at 7 most mornings to tidy up the park. He wasn't sure what explained the minor improvement. "It's always been up and down," he said shortly after he began work one day last week. Help from the park's homeless denizens themselves and new "no loitering" signs posted by the city appear to have reduced the trash a bit each morning, Figlestahler said.
August 25, 2012 |
The Corbett administration has cut funding for a Philadelphia program nationally lauded as the "gold standard" for helping disabled homeless people get federal benefits. On May 31, the state's Department of Public Welfare gave Philadelphia's Homeless Advocacy Project one month's notice that it was eliminating $722,000 used to help obtain Supplemental Security Income (SSI) money for homeless or near-homeless people who had exceeded their five-year limit for welfare benefits. Many of the people don't have the mental capacity to work.
August 21, 2012 |
It was a Sunday in the park for children in West Philadelphia, a day of free cotton candy, popcorn, hot dogs, and pony rides. Five barbers gave dozens of boys free haircuts, and the girls got complimentary manicures and jewelry-making lessons to craft their own bracelets. About 300 youngsters who came to Malcolm X Park at 51st and Pine Streets received complimentary school backpacks filled with notebooks, pencils, glue sticks, folders, and paints - everything they might need for the first day of classes.
August 12, 2012 |
A federal judge on Friday reaffirmed his July 12 order blocking enforcement of Mayor Nutter's rule banning groups from feeding homeless people along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Within hours of the release of the 56-page opinion and preliminary injunction by District Judge William H. Yohn Jr., the Nutter administration filed notice of appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. At a hearing last month and in writing Friday, Yohn encouraged representatives of the city and four religious groups that challenged the June 1 ban to try to resolve the dispute for the good of the city and the homeless.
August 11, 2012 |
LOVE Park could use a lot more love. Or at least a little common courtesy. Every morning at 7, Parks and Recreation Department employee Albert Figlestahler arrives at the picturesque John F. Kennedy Plaza to give it both, but he's fighting an army of visitors and inhabitants who strew trash across its granite surface, scribble profanity on its walls, and use it as an open-air bathroom. Keeping LOVE Park clean has never been easy, but the problem has grown worse since the city fenced off Dilworth Plaza late last year to begin a $50 million renovation.
August 7, 2012 |
THIS IS KNOWN: On the night of July 23, Don Davis' faithful friend and companion, his dog Bustaah, was shot and killed by a cop. Also known is that Davis, who is homeless, is not friendless. He is surrounded by a caring circle created by Bustaah. Davis uses the City Hall Coffee House, on South Penn Square, across from City Hall, as his office. Slim and flinty, the 53-year-old Montana native started taking his morning coffee and smokes there about a year ago, after arriving from Atlantic City.
July 14, 2012 |
Saying he found no evidence that feeding hungry and homeless people on the City Hall concourse was better than on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, a federal judge Thursday blocked enforcement of Mayor Nutter's ban on the distribution of free meals in city parks. "It seems to me that . . . the parks provide more dignity than the concrete apron outside City Hall," said U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. "It doesn't strike me that City Hall is an acceptable option. " Yohn said a more comprehensive, written version of his ruling would be filed later.