Forty unhoused Philadelphia families are squatting in vacant buildings that belong to the Philadelphia Housing Authority. As those individuals transform the blighted spaces into living ones, Occupy PHA and PHA spar about housing needs.
The City announced this morning it will disband the autonomous tent city by next Friday. But Brandon Dorfman takes us inside, to meet organizers and the people experiencing homelessness who called it home.
Protesting residents of the mostly white, working-class neighborhoods of Holmesburg and Mayfair in Northeast Philadelphia accepted back in 2013 that methadone clinics were needed to help people with opioid use disorders. The caveat, according to them, was that they didn’t belong near churches, daycares or schools—or anywhere near the residential zones and revitalizing business centers where people in Northeast Philly live and work.
Ronald Crawford has a deep understanding of Meek Mill’s trauma, having chronicled the North Philly hip hop artist’s lost decade to a punitive cycle of probation and incarceration in a recent book What’s Free? It Ain’t Being Booked or On Paper.
For millions of families, debt forgiveness isn’t enough. Without a sustainable income or other necessities such as adequate health care, a bankruptcy discharge can perpetuate the cycle of debt, opening the door to unique yet systemic forms of predatory lending.