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Kensington news: Blended outreach, Clownadelphia, Harrowgate running club, and Port Richmond Neighborhood Action

We're back at it with our Monday morning update with information about free activities, resources, programs, and more.

A cake was presented to Harrowgate resident Jim Ridgway after Philadelphia City Council member Jim Harrity announced a resolution honoring his work in the neighborhood. (Photo by Solmaira Valerio)

Good morning, neighbors. While spring officially arrived last month, the weather is finally starting to feel like it's here 🌷☀️.

We're back at it today with a week's worth neighborhood news, plus events and activities for you to attend and take full advantage of the warm, sunny days ahead.

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

In case you missed it

Lifelong Harrowgate resident honored with City Council resolution for fostering “unity and pride among residents”

Jim Ridgway, a 67-year-old lifelong Harrowgate resident, was met with a surprise at the April Harrowgate Civic Association meeting when Philadelphia City Council member Jim Harrity announced a resolution honoring his “tireless efforts in making a positive impact on the lives” of Kensington residents.

Ridgway, who founded Harrowgate Civic Association about 10 years ago, now serves as the group’s vice president.

Click here to read more.

City began “blended, enhanced outreach” in Kensington last week, as residents were eager for more details

Last Tuesday, the city increased its homeless engagement and police presence in Kensington in what city officials are describing as “blended, enhanced outreach.”

According to city officials, the city’s plan entails bussing unhoused residents to the surrounding counties and possible family reunification, plus increased police engagement.

Click here to read more.

Pennsylvania law to improve sexual assault aftercare landscape remains unfunded

While we don't usually cover state-level news, we thought it was important after writing about Philadelphia's sexual assault aftercare system to highlight a potential solution.

The national shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, or SANE nurses, can make the process of receiving a rape kit exam long, stressful, and sometimes intolerable for survivors, advocates say.

In hopes of addressing the national shortage of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, or SANE nurses, Pennsylvania Senator Elder Vogel introduced a sexual assault exam access bill last fall. The law would create grants that would assist hospitals in hiring SANE nurses. Facilities would apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the money.

However, the law has not received any funding from the state.

Click here to read more.

What’s happening in the neighborhood

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, will work on time management and effective communication. Click here to Register.

Harrowgate Run Club

Starting April 16, a group of Harrowgate residents called the “Harrowgate Run Club” will host walking and running groups at Harrowgate Park on Tuesdays from 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Streets Department Mechanical Street Cleaning

The Street Department’s Mechanical Cleaning Program will operate from April 1 to November 1. The program will include weekly street sweeping and sidewalk debris removal. The Streets Department is hosting one more meeting this month, on April 23 at 10 a.m. Click here to sign up.

Our programs 

Youth Voices 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. 

Activities & Events 

April 16

The Blue Stoop is sponsoring its eleventh installment of The Bricks Reading Series at H&H Books, located at 2230 Frankford Avenue, at 7 p.m. This installment will feature work from writers Denise Laidler, Mia Kang, and Monique Laban. To learn more and to register, click here.

April 17

Councilmember Lozada is hosting a Town Hall meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Juniata Boys and Girls Club, located at 1230 E Cayuga St. All neighbors are invited to speak and be a part of the process.

April 18

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action is hosting a gathering at 2537 E Monmouth ST at 6:30 p.m., with Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Rosario as an honorary guest.

Pig Iron Theatre Company is slightly outside of the neighborhood, but they're hosting “Clownadelphia,” a kid-friendly clown soiree on April 18-19 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to all clown-loving families. To register and learn more, click here.

April 19

Temple University is hosting the 1st annual Re-entry Second Chance Job Fair at 1755 N 13th St, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This job fair is exclusively for formerly incarcerated citizens and will feature employers from many industries. For more information, contact Micheal Robinson at (214) 204-0677 or email

Heitzman Recreation Center is hosting a family bingo night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per adult and $15 per child 12 years or younger. For more information, call (215) 537-3244 or contact

Prismatic Arts Ensemble is hosting its “Finding Our Light” event at The Perch at 7:30 p.m. This is Prismatic Arts’ first in-person event. Come to meet the artists in the ensemble personally and musically in a fun and immersive way.

April 20

Philadelphia City Commissioners & The Free Library of Philadelphia is partnering to host the “Philadelphia Your Future” job fair at Feltonville Rec Center (221 E Wyoming Ave), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This job fair is open to all high school students looking to connect with employers and colleges to begin planning their futures.

H&H Books is hosting its kid-friendly “Story (And Craft!) Time” event, which will feature children’s book illustrator Claire Abribat. Abribat will introduce the participants to her collaborative art project, The Traveling Library of Dogs”, and will help them make puppy portraits. To register for the event or learn more, click here.

Town Watch Integrated Services is partnering with the 25th Police District to host a Town Watch Training at the Police District’s headquarters (3901 Whitaker Ave) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants will learn how to observe, document, and report crimes committed in the area.

Afrobeats Dance Philly is hosting another community dance class from noon to 1:30 p.m. at Creative Reaction Studios, 3437 D St. Come learn new moves or show off old ones to the sounds of Afrobeat with friends and community members. Entry for adults is $10, and $5 for children. Payment will be accepted via cash, Zelle, or Cash App at the door. Click here to sign up.

April 21

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action (PRNA) is hosting its “Riverward’s Kids’ Dance Party” at Brooklyn Bowl (1009 Canal St), starting at 1 p.m. The event is for kids of all ages and will feature a live concert and refreshments. Tickets are $8 per person.

Hive 76 is hosting their Board Game Day. Make sure to stop by and play some games with friends or family. 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.  

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. 

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

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 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.

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.


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 City-wide Events

Autism Expo

The School District of Philadelphia is hosting its 14th annual Autism Expo on April 19 at 440 N Broad St from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free event will feature resources from organizations such as Helping Hands Family and Philadelphia Family Voices.

Spotlight on Puerto Rico

Women In Struggle/Mujeres En Lucha is sponsoring a presentation tour of Puerto Rico and its struggle for independence from U.S. Imperialism. Berta Joubert Ceci, a founding member of Women In Struggle, will speak and provide a slideshow of the history of the nation's fight for freedom. On April 15, Joubert Ceci will be SEIU Local 688 (1924 Spring Garden St) at 6:30 p.m.

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

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.

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.  

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.


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 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 for 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. 

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. 


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

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

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