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Kensington news: Election Day, Earth Day composting, PPD community listening session, and NKCDC native plant sale

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

Volunteers planted seven new trees at McPherson Square Park on April 21, 2024. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

Happy Earth Day, neighbors.

Here’s your friendly reminder that, if you haven’t already voted, the Primary Election Day is tomorrow, April 23. 

Click here to find your polling place. For a rundown on how to vote, why tomorrow’s election is so important and more, check out Spotlight PA’s 2024 Primary Election guide, which they kindly let us republish. 

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

News (in case you missed it)

Parker administration announces five-phase Kensington plan despite care continuum that “doesn’t exist”

While Philly’s police commissioner said the city’s “warning and opportunity” phase will begin after an encampment sweep scheduled for May 8, the city’s managing director said “we don’t have enough beds” to offer those who need addiction treatment and related services.

Click here to read more.

Philly is piloting a crime scene clean-up program in Kensington

A new city program that hires a professional cleaning service to handle blood and other remains after outdoor shootings launched this month in the 25th police district.

Previously, police responding to a shooting on a street or sidewalk would collect evidence and then call in the Philadelphia Fire Department to hose away any residue, according to city personnel. 

But residents and advocates say despite those protocols, family members and neighbors sometimes do the job themselves, at their own risk of physical and psychological harm.

Click here to read more.

Activities & Events 

April 22

McPherson Square Library is hosting an Earth Day composting event at 3:30. Come celebrate Earth Day by helping some trees grow.

The Philadelphia Police Department is holding a Community Listening Session at Little Flower High School (1000 W Lycoming St) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel will be there to listen to community members’ thoughts and concerns as he works to achieve the Mayor’s plans for the city.

April 23

The Street Department is hosting one more meeting this month, on April 23 at 10 a.m. Click here to sign up.

McPherson Square Library is hosting another movie night at 3:30 p.m. This time, it will be playing “Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest.”

April 24

Philly Documenters is having a virtual orientation and training from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Learn how you can get paid $17 an hour to attend local government meetings and take notes. No prior experience is required. Click here to register and learn more.

April 25

NKCDC is hosting a record-clearing workshop, in partnership with Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. at their office on Ruth and Somerset Streets. Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts will present how to navigate the process of expungement and clearing your record after a criminal incident, including a review of the documents required for completion and where to go to file documents.

Are you a local comedian looking to tell some jokes on a stage? The Monkey Club will be hosting their monthly open mic for comedians at 7 p.m. Sign-ups for the open mic start at 6:30 p.m., and each set will have 5 minutes. Click here to sign up.

April 27

NKCDC is having a Native Plant Sale at 2501 Cumberland St from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $1 of every plant sold goes to support NKCDC’s Urban Ag and Community Garden Program. Payment via VENMO and PAYLPAL will be accepted.

The City of Philadelphia is hosting a Parent Youth Resource Fair at the Pennsylvania Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come by and discover the available summer jobs for teens, summer camp options for the younger ones, and more.

Julia De Burgos Bookstore is hosting a “Churro Stand” Book Launch & Storytime event from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Author Karina N. Gonzalez and Illustrator Krystal Quiles will be there to do a reading of their book and guide arts & crafts activities. Free churros are included. Click here to register and learn more.

Do you know anyone between the ages of 10 and 18 years old interested in learning photography? Immortal Vision Studio is hosting a free youth photography class from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their location, 426 E. Allegheny Avenue. Participants can expect to learn basic camera operation, have time to practice in the studio, and learn photo editing basics. Breakfast is included. Click here to register.

The Philadelphia Barber Co. is having a Crew Cut Comedy Show at their Kensington location from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The showcase includes local comedians like Shane O’Connor, Anna Gallagher, and more. Regular tickets for the show are $15, but the early bird sale for $3 off is still up until April 27. Click here to register and learn more.

Women in Vinyl, a non-profit organization that empowers all women and female identifying individuals in the art of music on vinyl, is having a book release and signing event at Post Haste from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The book, “Women in Vinyl: The Art of Making Vinyl,” is comprehensive guide to the world of vinyl, with a focus on empowerment, and highlighting the vital role women and minority groups play in shaping the industry. Click here to register and learn more.

April 28

The Philadelphia Socialist Rifle Association will be distributing hoagies and clothing to the unhoused community at McPherson Square. The organization is inviting anyone interested to come out to help with the distribution. Preparation will take place at Lancaster Avenue Autonomous Space (LAVA), located in West Philly, at 8 a.m. The distribution will happen at 11 a.m. at McPherson. Click here to register and to learn more.

Fan convention season is coming up, neighbors. Hive 76 is hosting an Open Cosplay Craft Day from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Come by and work on your new or returning costumes to prepare for your next fan convention or cosplay party. Click here to register.

Weekly Events


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.  


Heitzman Recreation Center hosts a free chess club on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for ages eight and up. No registration or prior experience is required. For more information, contact


The “Harrowgate Run Club” is hosting walking and running groups at Harrowgate Park on Tuesdays from 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Heitzman Recreation Center hosts free art classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays will consist of bracelet making, and on Thursdays, participants will be making arts & crafts. For more information, contact or call 215-537-3244.


Every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Galaei hosts its weekly discussion group, “Code Grindr”, in person at its location. This discussion group will unpack the negative impact that hookup apps have and the stigmas they uphold surrounding race, gender identity, and the harm they cause people. 

Looking for more open mics in the neighborhood? Tina’s Tacos hosts an open mic and live band karaoke night every Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Come by and show off your vocal skills or enjoy some local talent.


Every Thursday at 7 p.m., PhillySouls hosts weekly Bible studies at 1222 N Palethorp St. All creatives, Bible readers, and young professionals are welcome. To register for this week’s or future studies, click here.

Free Trainings

Energy Coordinating Agency

The Energy Coordinating Agency is offering a training program for people interested in a career in environmental remediation. This 10-week training gives you 4 industry certifications and the skills to turn abandoned or unused lots into greenspaces in your neighborhood. The training will be from Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. To apply, contact Tess Willams at 267-306-9551 or by email at

Fab Youth Philly Free Workshops for Summer Jobs

Fab Youth Philly is hosting free workshops to prepare teens for summer jobs this year at their Kensington location from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The workshops will run from April to June. During April, participants will learn about making resumes and filling out job applications. In May, they will learn what they need to know during job interviews. And in June, teens will work on time management and effective communication. Click here to register.

Forklift Certification Class

Project Home is offering a free forklift certification class this June. Participants will receive all-day hands-on training from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., learning how to operate forklifts. You must have a driver’s license to be eligible for the certification class. The deadline for applications is May 23. Click here to apply.

JEVS Project WOW

JEVS Human Services is offering its free Project WOW Certified Production Training Program to young adults ages 18 to 24 who did not complete a high school diploma. This program offers hands-on training in OSHA 10, a Production Technician Certificate, a High School Diploma through Penn Foster, and more. To register and learn more, click here.

Lifeguard Trainings

Parks & Rec has reopened its free lifeguard training for teens 16 years and older. Upon completion, you will earn free lifeguard certification, which allows you to earn a starting pay of $16 an hour. Click here to apply or learn more.

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.

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 19 is currently accepting applications for their Philadelphia training center. Earn money while you learn a new trade, and learn from experienced professionals in the field. Click here to apply and learn more.

Funding Opportunities

2024 Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program

Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance & Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’s Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator program provides creative entrepreneurs with small business consulting and $2000 in critical funds. 51% of the program's funding is reserved for BIPOC entrepreneurs and those in low-income communities. The application window is from May 1 to May 31. To Apply for the grant program and learn more, click here.

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.  

In Color Birding Club

From now until August, In Color Birding Club is offering school bus sponsorships for teachers and institutions taking their students to field trips in nature or other green spaces like gardens or arboretums. First priorities will be given to first-time applicants and teachers or institutions with a majority presence of BIPOC students. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Violence Prevention Grant Program

The DA’s Office Violence Prevention Grant Program has returned, and community-based addiction recovery nonprofits are encouraged to apply.  To begin the application process, contact You must be a registered 501(c)(3) to be eligible for this grant opportunity.

Philadelphia Water Department State Grants

The Philadelphia Water Department has grants available for its Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund. Eligible homeowners can get up to $10,000 for unpaid water bills. To apply and learn more, click here.


Career Connected Learning PHL

Career Connected Learning PHL is connecting teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 with paid opportunities for the summer. Click here to learn more.

City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is hiring for multiple positions, including Correctional Officer and Research & Information Analyst. View listings and apply here.

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

Esperanza Health Center

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

Kensington Corridor Trust

Kensington Corridor Trust is hiring a Seasonal Garden Steward. The job is part-time and temporary, and you will be making up $25 an hour for 10 hours a week. To apply and learn more, click 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

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

PGW is hiring for multiple positions including Call Center Representative, Field Service Technician, and more. Click here to apply.

Philadelphia Parks & Rec

Philadelphia Parks & Rec is currently hiring for multiple positions, including RSI Programming Specialist-Pops Playground and Seasonal Maintenance Attendant. To apply and learn more, click here.

School District of Philadelphia

The School district of Philadelphia is hiring Assistant Teachers. The starting salary is $20.61 an hour. Click here to apply.

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

Vientiane Bistro

Vientiane Bistro is hiring a part-time server and part-time delivery driver for its local delivery. To apply, call (267) 703-8199 or contact


Xiente is hiring in multiple positions, including OST Group Leaders, Head Start Lead Teacher, and more. To apply, send your resume and cover letter to


Filter Philly

Filter Philly provides free air purifiers, masks, and tests to local events and organizations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. If you’d like to be supplied with a free purifier or equipment, contact

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. 


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.

Youth Employment Project (YEP)

Temple University’s Youth Employment Project (YEP) is looking to enroll out-of-school young adults ages 16 to 24 years old into their program to support them with earning their GEDs and transitioning to employment or higher education. Requirements include being a Philadelphia resident, highly determined and self-motivated, and having a basic understanding of computer skills. Click here to fill out their interest form.

Volunteer Opportunities

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia is looking for volunteers for their author events. Volunteers will have the duties of greeting and ticketing patrons prior to events, assisting with audio equipment, and vetting questions from audience members. To volunteer, contact

Kensington Soccer Club

Kensington Soccer Club is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. If you or someone you know is interested, send your resume to

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 11 a.m. to 3 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

Kensington Voice programs 

Youth Voices Afterschool Program
Mondays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Every Monday through Friday, we host youth programming at our newsroom at 3237 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’ve got arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia equipment, and more. 

We have sponsored meals from nearby restaurants for four days out of each week:

Youth participants who are interested in creative writing, multimedia production, and visual arts can collaborate with us to publish their work to our website and receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their contributions. 

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