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Kensington news: Emergency alerts, farm stands, general election, jobs, murals & public space grants

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

A scarecrow in the garden bed at Ruth Street Garden. (File Photo by Erin Blewett)

Happy October, Kensington!

In case you didn’t see our story about Vientiane Bistro’s five-year anniversary on Kensington Avenue, click here to give it a read. Plus, we just dropped our October newspaper at these locations if you want to pick up a copy of our paper, too.  

Our upcoming programs 

We’re hosting a few of our own programs at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber Street, starting this 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. 

*We won’t be hosting a Mural Art Mondayz workshop next week due to Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

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. 

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


The Amber Owls cheer team has limited spaces left for youth between the ages of five to eight years old. Contact Coach Mimi Martinez by calling 267-597-2446 or emailing for more information.

FEMA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System and Wireless Emergency Alerts in English and Spanish at 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. 

Activities & Events 

Now - 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. 

Oct. 3
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. 

Oct. 5
Esperanza’s donation-based farmstand’s last day is Thursday, 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. 

Taller Puertorriqueño is hosting a virtual artist talk with Patrick McGrath Muñiz and Li Sumpter to explore the allegories and iconography in their artwork. The discussion will stream on Youtube from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Oct. 6
Show off your artistic chops or enjoy the show by attending Creative Becoming’s open mic on Oct. 6. The performances will take place at Perch Studio at 2321 Emerald St. at 7 p.m. 

Oct. 7
Wills Eye Hospital
will offer free vision care for children between six to 17 years old in the Philadelphia area on Oct. 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The hospital is located at 840 Walnut St. 

Mural Arts will be dedicating a 400-foot-long mural depicting themes of social justice at 1800 N. American St. from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The event will follow an Art for the Cash Poor art market from noon to 6 p.m. nearby at 1400-1500 block of N. American St. 

Oct. 9
Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day at a day-long festival at Shackamaxon (Penn Treaty) Park on Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will feature live musical and dance performances, vendors, and food. Donations are appreciated. 

Vientiane Bistro will be celebrating a new mural outside the restaurant on 2537 Kensington Ave. on Oct. 9 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The party will have art-based activities for community members. 

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. 

Tuesdays & Thursdays
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. 

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. The deadline to register before the General Election is Oct. 23. 

Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is hosting a virtual forum for Pennsylvania’s appellate courts on Oct. 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

The Urban Affairs Coalition is hosting a mayoral candidate forum on Oct. 26 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Temple University’s Liacouras Center on 1776 N. Broad St. Philadelphians can submit questions when registering. Register 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


Friends of McPherson & Kensington Neighbors Association have a joint meeting on Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. Join virtually on Microsoft Teams or in-person at McPherson Square Library.

The School District of Philadelphia will be hosting a public meeting of the Board of Education on Oct. 4 at Thomas A. Edison High School at 4 p.m. To register to speak, call 215-400-5959 before 4 p.m. on Oct. 3. Upcoming meetings can be found here

Philadelphia City Council’s next stated meeting is Oct. 5 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 meets on Oct. 5 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.

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

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 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 and Oct. 18. 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 

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

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

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