Skip to content

Kensington news: New City Council districts, Harrowgate Civic meeting, and Saturday library hours

Here’s our Monday morning update with information about free activities, resources, programs, and more.

(Photo by Jill Bauer-Reese)

Happy New Year, neighbors! 

We’re excited to be back from our winter break and hope you’re enjoying 2024 so far with your family and friends. 

This week’s a little light on events as everyone recovers from the holiday. But as always, if you know of an event you’d like us to include, send it our way at

Recent news

In case you missed it, we recently published a story about Operation Hug the Block, a group of Philadelphia gun violence prevention activists who are pushing neighborhood watch as a way to prevent shootings in Kensington and other places where violent crime is common.


New City Council Districts

A new Philadelphia City Council map takes effect today, meaning that you may now live in a different district. Pay close attention to the streets near the Kensington and Allegheny Avenue intersection, which are now divided into Districts 1, 6, and 7. Click here to view the new map. 

Click below for more information on each of the Councilmembers: 

Saturday Library Hours

Starting this week, Kensington Library and McPherson Square Library will be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out this article in Billy Penn, which lists all Philly libraries with Saturday hours. 

Our programs 

Every Monday through Friday, we host youth programming at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber Street from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. The programs are designed for students in grades six through 12, but those in that age range are welcome to bring their younger siblings, too. 

We’re closed today for the holiday, but we’ll be right back on schedule tomorrow, January 2. 

Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices) 

Mondays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

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 ( 

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices) 

Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

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. 

Youth Voices After-School ProgramWednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

Kids in grades six through 12 are invited to stay safe and warm with us after they get out of school. We’ve got arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia equipment, and more. 

Activities & Events 

Jan. 3

Hive 76 is having their First Wednesday Miniature Paint day from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Meet other mini-paint enthusiasts and enjoy their high-resolution 3D printer. Painting airbrushes and supplies will be provided, but you are welcome to bring your own supplies. Click here to sign up. 

Jan. 4

The Harrowgate Civic Association is having a general meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. Joan of Arc, located at 3546 Frankford Ave. Join to hear monthly updates from neighbors, Friends of Harrowgate Park, and the 24th Police District. 

Jan. 6

The Sunday Love Project is hosting two events from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 3200 and 3206 Kensington Avenue. One is a Shopping Day for seniors, and the other is a Three King's Day event with free clothes and toys for the kids.


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

Free Trainings

Mental Health First Aid Training

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.

Rebuild Paid Job Training

Interested in learning masonry or carpentry? Philadelphia’s Rebuild initiative is partnering with Preservation Trades Center (PTC) to recruit participants for their winter 2024 Carpentry and Masonry Academies. The full-time paid training will be 40 hours a week for six weeks, and participants will be compensated at the rate of $15 an hour. The program has two upcoming mandatory information sessions: one on January 4 at 6 p.m. and the other on January 9 at 12 p.m. Click here to learn more. 

Funding Opportunities

Block beautification

As part of the Keep It Clean Philly campaign, the city is offering funding to block captains the PMBC Block Captain Beautification Grant to beautify their block. The grant amount can be as much as $500, and is only available to block captains registered through the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC). Click here to apply.

Business security

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

Nonprofits can also apply for security enhancements through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  

Overdose Prevention and Community Healing Fund

The City is seeking applications from community-based organizations (CBOs) for the Overdose Prevention and Community Healing Fund. There are $20,000 and $100,000 grants available. The application will close on Jan. 11, 2024. Click here for more information.  


Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available, including communications specialist and graphic designer. View listings and apply here


Resolve Philly is still looking to train and hire community members to attend public meetings and take notes to share with the wider community. Pay is $17 per hour per assignment. Learn more here.   

Esperanza Health Center

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

Kensington Food Company

Kensington Food Company is hiring a warehouse team member. Tasks would include receiving shipments, packing orders, and delivery. Pay is $18 per hour for 30 hours per week. Apply here

New Kensington Community Development Community 

NKCDC is hiring for several full-time positions. View listings here

Pathways to Housing PA

Pathways to Housing PA is hiring for several positions, including for a truck driver/warehouse assistant at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank at 3650 I St. Find listings and apply here


PennDot is hiring new engineers, equipment operators, inspectors, and mechanics. View job listings and apply here

Safe-Hub Philadelphia

Safe-Hub is hiring soccer coaches. Head coaches are paid $22 per hour while assistant and flex coaches are volunteer positions. Apply here

Taller Puertorriqueño

Taller is looking for a new Development Director. The job calls for expertise in fundraising, strategic planning, and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. To apply, send your resume and a cover letter to Nasheli Ortiz at

Seeking Donations 

Heart of Kensington Public Sculpture Project

Do you have any spare bike parts you aren’t using? Impact Services, Mural Arts, RideFree, and artist Evan Mendel Dawnson have partnered up to create a sculpture celebrating the positive impacts of the biking culture in Philadelphia. Bike donations will be collected on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at RideFree’s home base, 1952 E. Allegheny Ave., basement level.

Joan of Arc Food Pantry

The Saint Joan of Arc Food Pantry is in need of donations. The food bank operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The site is located at the church on 2025 E. Atlantic St. Call 215-535-4641 to schedule a drop-off. 



Ceiba still has openings for its Educational and First Time Home Buyers Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. The organization also has Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) applications available for immigrants. For more information, contact Ceiba 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.

Fresh Choice Food Pantry

The Community Center at Visitation’s Fresh Choice Food Pantry is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Additional offerings include coffee, light snacks, free vital checks, HIV testing, and Hepatitis-C testing. 

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.


Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are now open. Income-eligible families could receive up to $1,000 to pay for heating bills. Apply online or by mail. 


From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday, NKCDC’s Kensington Empowerment Hub is open for their Record Clearing Clinic. Clients can meet with lawyers from the Lawyers for Social Equity organization to have their cases reviewed to see if they can be cleared of any records.

Real Estate Tax Credit Program

The City of Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Credit Program offers eligible homeowners a one-time credit that will be added to a current or future tax bill. To be eligible, you must live in the city, be the owner and resident in your home, and your household income must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI).  The application deadline has been extended to Jan 31, 2024, at 5 p.m. To apply and learn more about the program, click here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Avenues of Change

Avenues of Change is looking for volunteers to assist with its afterschool programming for Kensington students. Volunteers must have a background check, fingerprinting, and child abuse clearances to participate. If interested, contact executive director Matt Nocho by calling 267-826-6740 or emailing 

Philly Community Wireless

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

Savage Sisters

Savage Sisters, an organization that serves people recovering from substance use disorders, has an outreach program where they directly serve folks with resources and food. On Tuesdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., they hand out warm food and harm reduction kits, and they also do a clean up around the area afterward. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Liddy at or 215-954-6199. 

Small Things

Small Things, a local food bank, opened a “free grocery store” style food pantry at 3510 A St. in Fairhill. Operating hours are Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is looking for volunteers

Want to support our work? 

We provide this newsletter, all of our stories, and our programs for free because we believe it’s important to make local news and creative expression opportunities accessible. If you’d like to help support this work, please consider becoming a paid supporter

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

Have any questions, comments, or concerns about this story? Send an email to