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Kensington news: Constituent services, Day of the Dead, Election Day, food drives, Halloween events, ice skating

Here’s the weekly update with information about free activities, resources, programs, and news stories.

Families paint pumpkins during the Fall Harvest Festival held at Community Center at Visitation, on October 30, 2021. (File photo by Solmaira Valerio)

Happy Halloween! Kensington is closing out a month full of fall festivals and trunk-or-treats with spooky activities on Tuesday. Check them out below.

In case you missed it, last week we published a Voices essay in English and Spanish from Ryan Moser reflecting on PA 211’s reentry resources for returning citizens and how it can improve. This story was done in collaboration with Love Now Media and Metro Philly as part of the newly launched Philadelphia Journalism Collaborative.

If you’ve been following our reporting on the Patrick Heron case, the former Philadelphia police officer pleaded guilty last Monday to sexually assaulting numerous prepubescent children and women. 

This week also marks the Day of the Dead, which falls on Nov. 2. Learn more about this tradition and a bread of the dead recipe in this Voices essay by Mónica Perez.

Most importantly, Election Day is on Nov. 7. Prepare for next week’s election with resources in our newsletter’s “General Election 2023” section.

Our upcoming programs 

We’re hosting a few of our own programs at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber Street: 

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. 

Lastly, this newsletter and our stories are free to read because we believe it’s important to make local news accessible. If you’d like to help support this work, please consider becoming a paid member

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


Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 president John McNesby resigned on Friday after 16 years in the position. He will move onto a position for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the police union will vote on his successor in the coming days.

SEPTA’s looming strike has been halted. The transportation agency’s union reached a tentative agreement with leadership on Oct. 27. The agreement includes raises, a signing bonus, and a pension increase. Union members will vote on whether to ratify the agreement on Nov. 10.  

Activities & Events 

Oct. 31
NKCDC’s Community Health Worker Team and Friends are hosting a fall fest at 5 p.m. at Trenton and Auburn Playground. Come for food, games and spooky treats. 

Show off your cutest and scariest costumes at Nelson Playground’s Trunk or Treat at 5 p.m. Attendees can participate in contests for best decorated trunk and best costume, a Halloween scavenger hunt, raffle, and haunted house. The playground is located at 2500-34 N. 3rd St. 

Celebrate Halloween with the Friends of Norris Square Park’s “Scare in the Square”. Trick-or-treat with your family in the park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Nov. 1
Councilmember Quetcy Lozada’s office will be hosting Municipal Gov. Wednesdays, connecting constituents with city services by popping up at different community centers each week. This Wednesday’s District 7 pop-up will be at the West Kensington Ministry from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Cantina La Martina is hosting a Día de los Muertos movie night for children at McPherson Square Library from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. . The Wednesday night screening of Disney-Pixar’s “Coco” will include hot chocolate, churros and additional snacks. Children ages 8 and younger must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. 

Nov. 2
Cantina la Marina is hosting a celebration of life for Día de los Muertos on Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. The day will be filled with live music, arts & crafts, dance performances, and a best dress Catrina contest. 

Nov. 3
Show off your artistic chops or enjoy the show by attending Creative Becoming’s open mic on Nov. 3. The performances will take place at Perch Studio at 2321 Emerald St. at 7 p.m. November’s theme is Love, Hope and Fidelity. 

Nov. 4
Groove to the rhythm at Creative Reaction Studio’s afrobeats dance class at 3437 D Street at noon. General adult admission is $10 and kids admission is $5. 

Time to hit the ice! Scanlon Recreation Center’s public skate is back at the rink starting Nov. 4 from 1 p..m to 3 p.m. General admission is free and skate rental is $3. 

Calling all freaks and geeks! WEIRDO: The East Kensington Arts and Oddities Festival is back. Enjoy circus acts, arts, music, and a variety of exhibitors on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. For a full list of participating locations, click here.

Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden is hosting a Day of the Dead celebration this Saturday. “Iconos/Icons: Honoring the Queer Artists & Those Who Inspire Us” will pay homage to queer artists with the construction of a community altar. Participants can bring a photograph of a favorite artist or mentor or of a loved one. Flowers, fruits, candles, and other mementos are also welcome. The opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. followed by performances. 

Nov. 5
Hart Lane Farm
is partnering with Mural Arts to host art activities using natural and thrifted materials. The last workshop will take place Sunday, Nov. 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at 514 Hart Lane. 

Open Kitchen Sculpture Garden is hosting a performance of “Spirit-Rider and Night-Heart” a shadow puppetry and song performance set to Georgia Beatty’s album “Apprentice to Transformation”.  The night begins with a food share at 6 p.m. and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Admission is a suggested donation of $5-20. 

November 1-5
Cook, meet other youth, and get paid to do it! Philly Bridge & Jawn and Nourish will be hosting workshops for youth to learn how to cook and network with local organizations and each other. Teens between the ages of 12 to 19 years old can participate and earn a stipend of $20 each day. The pilot program will run through the first week of November from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 2001 E. Allegheny Ave. Register here

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

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.

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

General Election 2023

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

WURD Radio is hosting a voter engagement forum on housing, gentrification, and what the city needs from incoming leadership post-election. The discussion will take place Nov. 2 on air from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  

Interested in becoming a poll worker? Sign up here

Presente Media sat down with mayoral candidates Cherelle Parker (D) and David Oh (R) to discuss how they plan to address the opioid crisis in Kensington. View the interview here.  

Should Philly create an Office for People with Disabilities and add it to the city charter? Learn the details of November’s single ballot question from Billy Penn

While Philly’s mayoral race dominates this year’s election, there are several judicial seats on November’s ballot. Learn from Spotlight PA how your vote can impact specific issues, what is judicial retention, and how the Pennsylvania Commonwealth and Superior courts work. 


Norris Square Neighborhood Project
Norris Square Neighborhood Project is hiring an after-school assistant instructor to contribute to youth leadership development and provide program support for after-school and summer programs. This part-time position pays $18 per hour for 22 hours per week. 

Resolve Philly, in partnership with City Bureau, is 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

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

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

Safe-Hub Philadelphia
Safe-Hub is hiring soccer coaches for the fall and spring seasons. Head coaches are paid $22 per hour while assistant and flex coaches are volunteer positions. 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


Philadelphia City Council’s next stated meeting is Nov. 2 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. 

The Harrowgate Civic Association’s next meeting is Thursday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Heitzman Recreation Center. 


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.

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 Department of Public Health
The health department is providing free air purifiers for early childhood centers and K-12 schools. If you’re an educator with an eligible classroom, click here to request a purifier. 


Mental Health First Aid
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.

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 

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. 

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

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

The soup kitchen’s free community wardrobe, Marie’s Closet, is in need of donations of blankets (twin size or larger) and men’s pants, hoodies, and long-sleeved shirts of any size. Drop-offs can be made Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 2441 Kensington Ave. 

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

Newsletter edited by Khysir Carter