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Philadelphia will clear homeless camp at ‘open-air drug market’

Philadelphia will clear homeless camp at ‘open-air drug market’

The city of Philadelphia will clear a homeless encampment in the Kensington section of the city this week. The area is widely known as the largest “open-air drug market” on the East Coast and the “center of Philadelphia’s opioid crisis.”

Clearing the encampment in the part of the city was a campaign promise by recently elected Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker. It was an initiative specified in Parker’s 100 Day Plan to address violence related to rampant illegal drug use and homelessness in the area.

“The temporary closure is necessary to ensure the safety of the City’s outreach teams as they engage individuals during the camp’s final day of resolution on Wednesday, May 8, when individuals living in the camp have been notified to dismantle all tents and structures that pose a public danger. health and safety hazards and impede the passage of sidewalks,” the city announced in a news release.

The Kensington section of Philadelphia is plagued by the negative effects of the multibillion-dollar illegal opioid trade, which is rampant. Philadelphia researcher reported. Gun violence and open drug use are commonplace. Between 2015 and 2022, the city reported 1,270 fatal overdoses in the Kensington region alone. According to reports, there were more than 1,400 shootings in the same area during that same period.

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Many of the homeless camp’s residents are reportedly drug addicts. Recent estimates indicate that there are at least 675 homeless people in this one part of the city, with many city officials believing this number to be significantly lower than the actual number. Philadelphia researcher reported.

The city’s efforts to remove the encampment will mark the final phase of a “month-long encampment resolution process” that began in April, the CBS News reported.

Parker’s initiatives are an integral part of her declaration to make the City of Brotherly Love the “safest, cleanest, greenest, great city” in the country.