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Kensington news: Community clean-ups, Haudenosaunee, police, redistricting, and tree recycling

Every Monday morning, we update Kensington with news and information about free activities, resources, programs, and more.

Police patrol the Kensington Avenue and Wishart Street intersection on Jan. 4, 2024. (Photo by Jill Bauer-Reese)

Good morning, neighbors. With the start of the new year, comes new changes and opportunities. We’ve got a lot of new updates and resources for you to check out this week.

If you know of an event or resource you’d like us to include in future newsletters, send it our way at

Recent news

Last week, we published a short guide to the redistricting changes around the Kensington and Allegheny Avenue intersection. Take a look to learn about the changes, and who your councilmember is.


Christmas Tree Disposal

Looking to dispose of your live Christmas tree for a good cause? The City of Philadelphia’s Christmas Tree Recycling Program is officially operating now through January 13. To learn where to drop your tree off, or how to dispose of it another way, click here.

School District of Philadelphia on Facebook

The School District of Philadelphia has a new Facebook profile, and their old account has been deactivated. Follow them here to keep up to date.

DHS Five-Year Housing Strategy Survey

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is currently updating its five-year housing strategy, with the goal of understanding the Commonwealth's housing needs to better serve residents. 

They are currently collecting feedback from folks to help guide their development. To fill out the survey, or to learn more information, click here

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. 

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 9

Join the School District of Philadelphia for their eighth annual FAFSA Kickoff. The event will be held at 440 N Broad Street, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., and will include fun, prizes and support for students and families looking to receive financial assistance through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Click here to register.

Join the Philadelphia Police Department’s 24th District for a Town Hall with Captain Bullick at 6:30 p.m. at the 24th District at 3901 Whitaker Ave. 

Jan 10

South Port Richmond Civic Association is having a meeting from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at 2733 E. Clearfield St. Neighbors are encouraged to join to socialize and keep up to date with what’s happening in the area.

Jan 11

Community First Fund is hosting a free Affinity Group Lending Info Session at 6 p.m. for small business owners to learn more about their funding opportunities. Click here to register for this week’s session and future ones.

Join Mural Arts Philadelphia and activists involved with The Climate Justice Initiative for their Power of the Haudenosaunee “Words Before All Else” workshop. Learn about the history of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address and discuss how it influences life and movements. The workshop will be held at 1800 North American St. from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Click here to register. 

Jan 12

Join the Creative Becoming community for their monthly themed open mic night at the Perch Music & Arts Studio, located at 2321 Emerald Street, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This month’s theme is “Melancholy,” and sign ups for performing are first-come first-serve. Tickets are donation based, so you pay what you can. Register here

Jan 13

Join community member and Operation Save Our City founder Roz Pichardo at a Prevention Point Philadelphia community clean. The clean up will start at 9 a.m., and volunteers will meet at 2913 Kensington Avenue. Click here to register.

NKCDC is hosting one of their First-Time Homebuyer Workshops from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Join the virtual workshop to learn how you can get support and more information about owning a home. Click here to register for Saturday’s workshop and future ones.

Jan 14

Take a tour of Hive 76’s makerspace during their Open House from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can check out their woodshop, 3D printer and other tools, and learn how you can become a member of the space. Click here to register.


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.

Northstar Digital Literacy Program

Northstar is hosting a digital literacy certification program at Kensington Neighborhood Library, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come learn  basic computer skills and how to operate different digital programs to fill up that resume. For more information, call 215-685-9996 and ask for the library’s Digital Resource Specialist. 

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.

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 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



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 at 5 p.m. To apply and learn more about the program, click here.

Seeking Donations 

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.

Volunteer Opportunities

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

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