Here’s how the city will take care of those displaced by the Conrail tracks cleanup - Generocity Philly


Jul. 25, 2017 12:58 pm

Here’s how the city will take care of those displaced by the Conrail tracks cleanup

Billy Penn has the details on how Philly will help the people who lived along Gurney Street, most of whom are dealing with homelessness and substance use disorders.

Prevention Point, a harm reduction nonprofit, is one of the orgs partnering with the city during the cleanup effort.

(Photo via

The long-awaited city cleanup of the Conrail site along Kensington’s Gurney Street, a place notorious for its homeless people and those dealing with heroin substance use disorders, is set to take place by the end of the month after hitting a slight delay.

But it begged the question: What would happen to the many people who would be displaced once Conrail starts fencing off and cleaning up the area.

Billy Penn came out with a report yesterday that detailed the sorts of housing and addiction treatment resources Philadelphia would provide, including services from organizations and nonprofits such as Kensington Hospital and Prevention Point.

City spokesperson Ajeenah Amir told Billy Penn that starting July 30, the city’s plan is to have an intake trailer positioned on Gurney Street to begin the assessment process for people who need housing and treatment.

Other things the city plans to do for the people being displaced include expanding budgeting and resources to increase the number of beds available in recovery houses and rapid rehousing units, extending hours of residential recovery programs and more.

Treatment was one of the four key strategies included in the final report of the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic in Philadelphia, which came out this past May.

That assessment process is something Fred Way, executive director of the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences (PARR), told Billy Penn is the most important part of the city’s whole outreach effort. PARR’s representatives will be on-hand during the outreach process to help the people get into recovery housing.

“You put someone who needs detox in a recovery house, then guess what? He or she ain’t gonna stay, because they’re going to start going through withdrawal and a recovery house can’t handle that because they’re not a medical facility,” Way said. “There’s a process here, and the process, if it’s not done correctly, they’ll make their way back to Gurney Street or they’ll find another street.”

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