From Roman Catholic High School, a follow-up to the July 23 community meeting held at Roman Catholic:
We appreciate everyone who was able to attend our community meeting on July 23rd. As evidenced by the large turnout and discussions, everyone is interested in improving the quality of life in our neighborhood. The plans initiated by the Asian Arts Initiative promise to address the blighted conditions on a portion of Pearl Street and will add new life and vitality to the area.
The most immediate concern raised at the meeting dealt with the increase in the number of homeless men and women who have taken up residence on the streets in our neighborhood. With this, issues of sanitation, illegal drug sales and usage, as well as a growing litter problem, were viewed as major worries. These activities have many residents feeling increasingly unsafe. There was a general understanding that poverty is a complex problem, and as a result, there is no simple solution for this issue in our neighborhood. Recognizing this, we are committed to facilitating an environment where we all work together to better our neighborhood.
We are very grateful to Councilman Mark Squilla for attending the meeting and sharing the resources that the city has available to assist in our efforts. In addition, while the legal landscape has changed, the police will do what is in their power and continue to monitor the conditions in the area, by having a greater presence and working to remove homeless encampments. Project Home representatives also pledged to be more present in the area and to be available to assist with outreach initiatives.
All neighbors were encouraged to get involved. Local residents and business owners will do their part to clean the sidewalks around their properties. And, most importantly, everyone was encouraged to report unsafe conditions or illegal activity to the local authorities. The contact numbers are listed below.
Also, if anyone would like to volunteer at the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, feel free to contact Dick McMillen.
While there is much work to be done, this initial meeting was a good step in the right direction.
There are various groups that can provide resources to our community. The following is their contact information:
Philadelphia Police Department
Contact: Sergeant John Harper
Phone: (215) 686 – 3095
Philadelphia City Council
Councilman Mark Squilla
Phone: (215) 686 – 3458 or (215) 686 – 3459
Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission
Contact: Dick McMillen – CEO
Phone: (215) 922 – 6400 ext 101
Contacts: Carol Thomas – Outreach Director
Pauline Vorn – Outreach Coordinator
Phone: (215) 222 – 1984
In addition, please do not hesitate to contact Patrick Plunkett at our school at (215) 627-5487 ext. 312 if we can be a resource for you. We will hope to see everyone at our next meeting in the fall.