Morris Home opens new location in West Philly
The new location will be able to house more people who are recovering from drugs and alcohol.
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Morris Home, the nation’s only drug and alcohol home specifically designed for transgender and non-conforming people, has moved to a new spot in West Philadelphia.
The new drug and alcohol recovery home officially opened on April 11 and residents will be able to start moving in starting in May. The center was supposed to open last year, but the pandemic and supply chain issues delayed the building’s repair.
The new location is at 23 S. 44th Street.
The program was originally started in 2011 by the non-profit Resources for Human Development (RHD). The new location has space for 14 residents, whereas the older space only had room for nine.
Morris Home collaborated with Anthropologie who gave them furniture and helped style rooms. In addition to the furnishing, Anthropologie donated $10,000 to Morris Home last June for Pride Week. One of the rooms in the new house is a sensory motor regulation treatment (SMART) therapy room. According to the RHD’s website, the room features “different lighting options and sound/scent/motor/tactile stimulation tools to utilize during therapy sessions.”
The outside of the Cake Life Bake Shop in Fishtown is decorated with a mural that was done by artist Kah Yangni and the Morris Home residents. This is the first mural in Philadelphia to feature transgender and gender non-conforming people. The mural is called “We Are Universal.” Phrases from Yangni’s conversations with the residents are part of the mural. This includes, “We are joyful,” “We feel rage,” and “We’re trans, we’re survivors.”
The recovery home is named after Nizah Morris, a transgender woman who died after taking a courtesy ride from a police officer. She was found by a passing motorist with a head wound and later died at the hospital.
Controversy arose in her case when the police insisted it was an accidental death, even after the medical examiner and a brain specialist ruled it a homicide. Some details surrounding her death still remain a mystery.