Join the "Clean up Kenneyville" Campaign in Kensington, Philadelphia!

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While there is much that divides us when it comes to the heroin encampments along Lehigh Avenue in Kensington, there is one thing that most of us agree upon: they need to go.  Multiple residents and neighborhood groups have been working with the city on this issue, but to date there has been no comprehensive plan to immediately address the encampments.  Mayor James Kenney refuses to take leadership in this effort, instead continually relying upon the residents of the neighborhood, and the encampment dwellers themselves, to take responsibility.  This must end NOW.  In the same vein as the "Hooverville" shantytowns of the Great Depression, we hereby dub these tragic sites “Kenneyville,” and we ask that our city’s leadership develop a concrete plan with immediate steps to eliminate this blight and improve the lives of everyone who calls this area home, including those in the encampments.

It is time to Clean up Kenneyville.

While many of us would love to see an Amazon HQ in Philly, work must also be done to improve life for the Philadelphians who are already here.  Whether you believe this problem is solved by increased policing, safe injection facilities, respite centers, improved mental health care, or a combination of these things, it is clear that a comprehensive plan needs to be created.  That plan needs to involve multiple city agencies.  Those city agencies need to communicate.  And progress needs to be made. NOW. 

Since the closure of the Conrail yards, the population in these encampments has more than quadrupled.  This is not an issue of one group just relocating.  This is an issue of a constant flow of people with nowhere else to go.

It's time to Clean up Kenneyville.

No more promising to support safe injection facilities without any actual plans or funding for them.  No more telling us there will be a respite center in January and then postponing it to March.  No more showing up to community meetings and telling embattled neighbors that you will allow the encampments to stay, but that you will be handing out garbage bags in the hopes that they will clean up after themselves.  NO MORE.

We the undersigned are calling upon Mayor Kenney, and our other elected officials, to stand up, take leadership, and address the encampments along Lehigh.  TODAY.