Philadelphia officials consider resolution designating Kensington a FEMA site

Reported as the worst possible section of the United States, in terms of homelessness and drug abuse, city officials are looking for a federal and state government intervention in Kensington. 

"When I was a teenager, this neighborhood was fine," David Adcox stated. He says it’s different for his two teenage children he’s raising in Kensington, where he has lived about 45 years.

"You could hang on the corner and play football. You used to be able to block Somerset off and have block parties," Adcox added.

He says since the late nineties, things have steadily changed for the worse.

"Drugs happened and it’s been downhill since," Adcox commented.

Some Philadelphia city officials announced last week they are taking drastic steps to address the open drug use and addiction on the streets of Kensington.

"What we’ve been doing has not worked. This has been going on for 10, 20, even 30 years," Philadelphia Councilmember At-Large Allan Domb said and went to say it’s a humanitarian crisis.

"It’s the worst neighborhood in the United States, as far as homelessness and drug abuse," Domb added.

Domb, Councilmember Maria Quinones-Sanchez and Councilmember Mark Squilla have announced a resolution requesting that Kensington be declared a FEMA and PEMA site, like areas hit with tornadoes, floods and hurricanes.

It would mean federal and state involvement with resources and financial assistance.

"40 percent might be Philadelphians, but at least 60 percent or more are not. They may have obtained ID’s for Philadelphia, but it’s not right that the city has to take care of this humanitarian crisis when the majority of the people are not from Philadelphia," Domb explained. "We need to bring people back to the homes where they came from, take care of the population that’s Philadelphia and get them into the right services and help them."

The goal, in the next few years, is to clean up the neighborhood so that businesses can thrive, families can feel safe and kids can play without the fear of stepping on needles.

"I feel that what we have been doing is containing the problem in Kensington. Letting 800 people come and go, sleep on the streets, do drugs there. It’s unacceptable," Domb remarked.




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