Civic and Community Engagement

How a Mobile DMV Could Serve New Jersey’s Most Vulnerable Populations

The pandemic has disrupted every facet of our lives, in ways both benign (toilet paper shortages) and drastic (currently 8.7 million unemployed in the U.S.). Families across the nation have been devastated by loss and hardship. And the crisis has brought renewed urgency to conversations around expanding government support and the social safety net. | From: Next City (Read more.)

Civic and Community Engagement

Resident-focused grant program celebrated in Kensington

Community leaders gathered on a muggy Wednesday morning at Harrowgate Park to celebrate what city officials called a first-of-its-kind grant program meant to strengthen Kensington.

A panel composed entirely of residents chose 20 groups serving people in Kensington, Harrowgate and Fairhill to receive a total of $200,0000. The participatory process took nearly two years.

The neighborhoods have been ravaged by an epidemic of homelessness, crime and litter, all results of the opioid crisis, and long-term residents have for years urged the city to devote additional resources. | From Metro Philly (Read more.)

Housing

ACT UP Philadelphia calls for revamp of city’s housing services

To mark the end of Pride month and the ongoing fight for adequate housing, members of the Philadelphia chapter of the HIV/AIDS activism organization ACT UP held a protest outside of Mayor Jim Kenney’s condo in Old City. Around 40 ACT UP members and activists gathered to demand more plentiful permanent housing for Philadelphians facing homelessness, many of whom are Black and Brown and LGBTQ+. They also called for an overhaul of the leadership of Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services (OHS). | From Philadelphia Gay News (Read more.)

Health

N.J. hospitals can now build housing for those experiencing homelessness, connecting need to services

Saying the state has to “think creatively,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation Wednesday to let hospitals build housing for people experiencing homelessness, a measure that supporters say represents an important step toward better health care.

The idea is that permanent, stable housing is a key to good health. People who are homeless are more likely to be hospitalized more often, to stay in the hospital longer once they’re there, and to require more care during treatment. | The Inquirer (Read more.)

Housing

People experiencing homelessness receive original artwork

Artists from Da Vinci Art Alliance and ARTsisters donated nearly 200 original art pieces to SELF Inc., a human services agency that helps transition people experiencing homelessness into new homes. Current and former SELF participants will be able to attend an art exhibit at Ife Wellness Center Wednesday, June 16, and select pieces from the show for their new places. | From WHYY (Read more.)

Housing

‘We shouldn’t have to get less’: Kensington residents protest Somerset Station closure

Station users and SEPTA workers have become increasingly vocal about safety concerns at the station, citing drug use happening there and the growing community of people who are experiencing homelessness and using it as a sheltering place.

But those issues are not isolated to Somerset, and the station’s users shouldn’t have to bear the cost, Kensington residents protesting the closure said. | From: PlanPhilly (Read more.)