Mayor Kenney unveils plan to address opioid crisis
Most immediately, the city plans to carry out a “large-scale clean-up” along Kensington Avenue on Nov. 2 and clear out the Frankford Avenue encampment by Nov. 15.
Two weeks after Mayor Jim Kenney signed an executive order creating an emergency response group to address Philadelphia’s opioid crisis, he unveiled the city’s plan to tackle the epidemic.
The mayor’s executive order is comprised of seven mission areas including clearing major encampments; reducing criminal activity, the unsheltered population, trash and overdoses; increasing treatment, and rallying community response to assist in these efforts.
“It’s an effort we’re calling the Philadelphia Resilience Project, because Philadelphians have proven, time and time again, that we’re resilient and there’s nothing we can’t overcome. We’re a city of neighborhoods that look out for one another,” he said.
The opioid crisis has caused homelessness in the city to increase, among other concerns such as rates of HIV and levels of trash around the city.
According to the mayor’s office, roughly 900 unsheltered people lived in Philadelphia in the summer of 2017. Just a year later, this number swelled to 1,400, half of whom are concentrated in Kensington and Fairhill.
“This is not easy work, and this is not an easy situation. This is a situation that’s been created by the pharmaceutical industries who told people these drugs were not addictive, by unscrupulous doctors who over-prescribed, and people have been in the clutch of this problem,” said Kenney.
“There’s nothing else I can do but address it,” he added.
Following two weeks of planning, representatives from nearly three dozen city agencies, departments and offices assembled a series of immediate, short-term and long-term milestones within each mission area to reach.
Most immediately, the city plans to carry out a “large-scale clean-up” of Kensington Avenue on Nov. 2 and expects to clear out the Frankford Avenue encampment by Nov. 15. By Jan. 15, officials will begin efforts to clear the Emerald Street encampment.
To learn more about the city's plan, click here.