Kensington Avenue remains clear as officials work to help those moved to side streets

More than a week after the city moved on a homeless encampment along the 3100 block of Kensington Avenue, and it remains clear of the tents, shelters and open-air drug use once common.

But, just a few blocks away on Cambria Street, those struggling with addiction crowd the sidewalk. The challenges once plaguing Kensington and Allegheny appear to have simply moved as the city argues it’s pulling people into treatment.

Jim Harrity is an At-Large member of Philadelphia City Council. He said, "We’re working at it, getting people every day, a couple here, a couple there. That’s how recovery works."

Council member Harrity lives in Kensington. He said he’s seeing improvements in the community Mayor Cherelle Parker has pledged to clean up.


Kensington Avenue cleared as encampments move to other blocks

One day after the Kensington clear-out, the homeless encampment, known for its heavy drug use across the nation, is no longer where it once was and plenty of police are out.

Her administration said it has taken 59 people off the streets and put them in treatment, care, or housing half of them on the day the encampment was cleared.

FOX 29 asked Harrity if people dispersed onto other streets is what he expected? He said, "Well, not exactly what we expected, pushing them on the side streets. In reality, they’re not really on the side streets. There on the main streets still."


But some of Kensington’s backstreets were filled with the addicted Thursday.

Tuesday night, in Fairmount, the city’s managing director faced a related controversy. Residents living near a large city nursing home demand answers to the administration’s plan to use the facility to combat the dual challenges of homelessness and addiction. City Council member Jeffrey Young Jr. said, "I’m very concerned about the lack of communication. It was an effort to go around me and I’ve been voiceful about that."