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.
May 18, 2016 |
On any given day, about 700 people are living unsheltered in the streets, train stations, or covered alcoves of Philadelphia. Most stake out space in four Center City locations where the city now wants to focus a new outreach program to connect people with services they need. The city's Office of Supportive Housing on Monday announced details of a new homeless outreach strategy targeting Rittenhouse Square and the areas around the Avenue of the Arts, the Convention Center, and Independence Hall during the morning and evening commutes and lunchtime.
April 30, 2016 |
When Joseph Hill Coles was 17, he sold drugs for food, slept in LOVE Park, and withstood the indignities of adult homeless shelters. One of an unknown number of homeless youths in Philadelphia, he risked injury, emotional torment, and worse, living open and unprotected on the streets of the city. "Anger consumed me," said the young man, who aged out of foster care. "I was someone no one seemed to want. I was running wild, a complete mess. " Coles, now a 22-year-old youth advocate, shared his story at a hearing Thursday before the joint City Council Committees on Children and Youth, and Housing, Neighborhood Development and the Homeless.
January 30, 2016 |
In the pre-midnight cold, more than 300 people fanned out on Philadelphia streets to count the homeless. Around 3 a.m. Thursday, the job was over, the census of a complex, enigmatic population recorded for another year. The so-called January Point-In-Time Count is carried out annually in cities on the same night throughout America, a requirement of the federal government. By Thursday afternoon, the official results were not in, said Sister Mary Scullion, who runs Project HOME, which takes a lead role in the count.
January 29, 2016 |
The ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services on Wednesday announced the settlement of a federal lawsuit over treatment delays for defendants who courts had ordered be given mental-health care. In an October lawsuit, the ACLU and its co-counsel, Arnold & Porter, alleged that severely mentally ill defendants languished in Pennsylvania's county jails, sometimes for more than a year, while awaiting treatment to restore competence, so they could stand trial. Under the settlement, Pennsylvania agreed to add nearly 200 treatment slots, including at least 50 in supportive housing in Philadelphia.
January 19, 2016 |
Update: Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of John Brock, 32, a homeless man, in the fatal shooting of a worker at the Shelter House shelter in North Philadelphia. The victim was identified as Edward Barksdale. Earlier Story: A FORMER RESIDENT of a North Philadelphia homeless shelter who had been evicted Friday night because he was high on drugs and became violent with the staff returned to the shelter Sunday morning with a gun and shot two employees, killing one of them, according to police and a source close to the shelter.
December 18, 2015
FOLLOWING publication of my Tuesday column, it was learned that Samuel Foster, the man without a country, will be reunited with his son and family in England. At the request of Mayor Nutter, a "major airline" donated a ticket, said Marie Nahikian, city director of supportive housing. The airline requested anonymity, and a very happy Foster will depart on Saturday. Foster, 84, who was born in Jamaica, had traveled to England in 1959 on a British passport. Sometime later, after Jamaica obtained independence, and Foster had arrived in the United States, that passport was no longer valid, and he fell between the cracks of the bureaucracy.
November 6, 2015 |
ANDREW SCHULTZ spoke with his brother for the last time 13 years ago. Phil was in Philly, where he had wandered after leaving his home and job on Long Island. It was a brief conversation, a phone line connecting brothers 150 miles apart. In the intervening years, on trips down to Philadelphia, Andrew often thought about walking the streets, trying to reconnect with his brother. He never did. "Once he didn't want to go back with us, or do anything with us, I figured how am I going to force him to come home or to do anything for him?"
October 26, 2015
ISSUE | MIDDLE EAST Teach peace The recent string of terrorist attacks in Israel has shocked the world with images of senseless violence. Even more surprising has been the age of the attackers: Most have turned out to be Palestinians who are 16 to 25 years old. When Israel is subjected to terrorism, many of us try to understand the attackers' motivation based on our own moral codes, experiences, or mind-sets. However, the most important factor is overlooked: the persistent cycle of young Palestinians being educated about the glories of terrorism and dehumanization of Jews.