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Kensington news: Author talks, free COVID tests, local markets, peace walks, & record-clearing clinics

A man climbs a rock wall on at the 24th Police District's block party on Frankford Avenue and Somerset Street on August 3, 2023. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

It’s chilly out there, Kensington! Fall officially announced its arrival with cool breezes and rainy days. Don’t let the weather get you down – there’s plenty to do in the neighborhood to keep you busy this season. 

In case you didn’t see the stories we published over the last week, take a look at what you missed:

We’re also hosting a few of our own programs at our newsroom at Amber & Willard Street, some of which are starting next week: 

Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices) 

Mondays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to this free workshop series, where they will develop a mural design at Kensington Voice with community artist John C. Zerbe ( 

Students can drop in for one workshop, a few, or all! But youth participants who attend at least half (5) of the workshops will receive a $75 gift card at the final event in December.

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices) 

Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM 

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to join our Creative Writing Corner with Khysir Carter, a writing workshop dedicated to building creative writing skills with peers and writing professionals. 

Students can drop in at any time. However, youth participants who work with us to publish their writing in our newspaper, website, or other media will receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their work. 

Click here for more info, including registration. 

September coloring contest 

Deadline: Sept. 30, 2023 

We’re also hosting a coloring contest in our print newspaper featuring a coloring page illustrated by Zerbe Artz. Submit your finished coloring page for a chance to win a $25 gift card. Click here to learn where you can find our September issue.

Now, here’s what’s happening around the neighborhood this week.

Activities & Events 

Sept. 23 - Oct. 9
Philly Truce’s Operation Hug The Block will lead volunteers on peace walks,  targeting 77 blocks in the city most affected by gun violence in 77 days leading up to November’s election. Evening walks in the Kensington area will take place each night from now until Oct. 9 from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. 

Sept. 26
NKCDC is hosting a record-clearing clinic at its Kensington Empowerment Hub on 2771 Ruth St., Suite 2. From 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Participants can walk in or schedule an appointment by calling 215-427-350. 

Stock up on fresh produce at The Food Trust and HACE’s farmers market at 4th and Lehigh. The market will take place on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Sept. 27
La Guagua 47 is unveiling its new project, “Street Knowledge”, an initiative to bridge the gap between education and other opportunities in local communities. Learn more at the launch event at Taller Puertorriqueño from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden is hosting a potluck from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday at 2241 N. Philip St. Read more about the garden and its offerings here

Learn about SEPTA’s new changes to its Bus Revolution draft network and share your thoughts at a public hearing on Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at SEPTA’s headquarters at 1234 Market St. 

Sept. 28
The Monkey Club is hosting a free comedy open mic on Thursday at 2101 York St. Interested comedians can sign up at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. 

Sept. 29
Join Press Press for the launch of its anthology, “Commune Diverge Shift Connect: Press Press’s Organizational Handbook” and a discussion on cultivating and sustaining ethical and compassionate frameworks. The launch event will be at H&H Books on 2230 Frankford Ave. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.  

Sept. 30
The Resource Exchange’s reFlea will feature local makers, vintage and secondhand refurbishers, upcyclers and DIY creatives selling goods that demonstrate creative reuse and waste diversion. Admission to the vendors market is free. The event will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at 1800 N. American St.  

Listen to the personal stories of three Philly-based writers at Katie Bennett’s “Personal Velocity” series, hosted by H&H Books. The readings will take place on Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 2230 Frankford Ave. 

Oct. 1
Cantina La Marina will be hosting its Chile Nogada Festival. The event will include local vendors selling their own version of a chile nogada. Participants will be judged to determine who has the best one. The festival will be on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2800 D. St. 

Thursdays through Oct. 5
Esperanza’s donation-based farmstand is running every Thursday from now through Oct. 5. Fresh produce will be distributed in Fairhill from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. outside 2940 N. 5th St. and in Kensington between 2 to 3:30 p.m. at 3222 H St. 

Oct. 11 to Nov. 29
Registration is now open
for The Lighthouse’s ceramic class which will run from mid-October to the end of November. The class is for children from 10 years old to 13 years old at 141 W. Somerset St. The class is $25. 

Norris Square Neighborhood Project’s farm stand operates every Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Raíces Garden located at 2217 N. 2nd St. 

The Norris Square Senior Center offers free daily activities for adults 60 years old and older on Mondays through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include art, exercise, games, and socializing. Meals are also provided – $1.25 for breakfast, $1 for lunch.  

Galaei has several programs coming up for Philly’s Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community including a book club, transgender support group, sexual health discussions, and more. Keep up on Galaei’s Instagram

To browse upcoming programs at Kensington, McPherson Square, and Lillian Marrero libraries, visit

Funding Opportunities

Applications are open for Feet First Philly’s Public Space Enhancement Mini-Grant.  The program awards $500 to $2,000 for projects that improve walkability in neighborhoods. The deadline to apply is Oct. 9, 2023. 

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the City’s Business Security Camera Program. If your business is looking for additional upgrades, check out the Storefront Improvement Program.

General Election 2023

The General Election is on Nov. 7, 2023. Check out the Committee of Seventy’s free, interactive voter guide

You can register to vote online, by mail, or in person at the Voter Registration Office at 520 N. Columbus Blvd., 5th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123. You can also call the office at 215-686-1590 to request voter registration applications by mail.


Philly Community Wireless
Philly Community Wireless is hiring a technician. Duties will include carrying out internet installation, network maintenance, and community engagement. Pay is $24 per hour. Application closes Oct. 1. Apply here

City of Philadelphia
The City is hiring school crossing guards. The part-time seasonal position pays $68.18-$70.80 per day. Deadline to apply is Oct. 6. Apply here

Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia is hiring part-time library facility guards for custodial and security duties at branches throughout the city. The position will be for nine months and pay is $18 per hour. 

Providence Center
The Providence Center is hiring 2-4 high school students for a teen leadership internship. Interns would work 5 days for 11.5 hours per week. Pay is $12 per hour. Apply here

Esperanza Health Center
Esperanza Health Center has several job openings available. View listings and apply here.

New Kensington Community Development Community 
NKCDC is hiring for several full-time positions. View listings here


Department of Health and Human Services
Every U.S. household can now order four COVID-19 rapid tests for free through the U.S. government. Click here to order tests.

Kensington Library
The Kensington Library has COVID-19 rapid tests and hand sanitizer available free for community members.  

Philadelphia Water Department
The Philadelphia Water Department is running virtual water bill assistance clinics every Wednesday from now until Sept. 27, 2023. For more information, click here

Homebound Services
If you’re homebound or a caregiver of a homebound individual, you may be eligible for the Free Library’s Homebound Services. Books and other materials can be delivered to your home and returned for free. To apply for a Homebound Services Library Card, click here.


Philadelphia City Council’s next stated meeting is on Sept. 28 at 10 a.m. in Room 400 at City Hall. Community members can attend in-person or watch online. To give public testimony, you must call the phone number or send an email to the address listed in the agenda for that hearing by 3 p.m. the day before. 


Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services 
The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) offers free training for those interested in earning a Mental Health First Aid certification. The virtual training is facilitated weekly. Register here.

Philadelphia Department of Public Health
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health hosts an overdose prevention and reversal training virtually twice a month. The next training is on Oct. 3. Register here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Kensington Soccer Club
Kensington Soccer Club is hosting a food drive from now until Nov. 21. Donors can drop off canned and non-perishable food items between Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3400 J St., G4. Contact Brianna Banks at 267-972-9077 for more information. 

Philly Community Wireless
Philly Community Wireless needs tech and outreach volunteers. Learn more here

Philly Unknown
Philly Unknown is still collecting school supplies to distribute to students in need. The group is looking for volunteers to help prepare bags to hand out. If interested, email To donate, order supplies from Philly Unknown’s wishlist or send monetary donations to the following:

  • Venmo: @Philly-Unknown
  • Cash App: $PhillyUnknown 

Safe-Hub Philadelphia
Safe-Hub is looking for volunteers to participate in its Tent-or-Treat event at Scanlon Rec Center on Oct. 28 from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. To volunteer, sign up here

Sunday Love Project
Sunday Love Project
is looking for volunteers at their Greater Goods grocery in Kensington. If you’re interested in acting as a personal shopper, helping pack bulk items, or stocking shelves, email

St. Francis Inn
St. Francis Inn is accepting volunteers to work with them for a year. If interested, apply here

Have something you’d like us to share in our Monday newsletter? Please send any news or press releases to