Skip to content

Kensington news: Kensington police task force, sexual assault exams, Kensington’s Got Talent, + Paula’s Patches clothing swap & story time

We're back at it with our Monday morning newsletter.

A photo of a sexual assault evidence collection kit at the Philadelphia Sexual Assault Response Center. (Photo by Jill Bauer-Reese)

Good morning, neighbors.

We hope you’re just as excited as we are about today’s solar eclipse, which will appear around 3:15-3:20 p.m. Want to watch it with some folks you may know? McPherson Square Library will host a viewing party at 3:15, but make sure to arrive a few minutes early to prepare. Please wear protective eyewear; the eclipse can permanently damage your eyes.

Otherwise, here's your weekly roundup.

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

Kensington’s new deputy police commissioner is launching a “temporary task force” to quell drug-related gun violence

Pedro Rosario, Kensington’s new deputy police commissioner, is launching a “temporary task force” to quell drug-related gun violence in the neighborhood.

Kensington Voice's Sammy Caiola talked with Deputy Commissioner Rosario last week to hear more about his plans for the neighborhood.

Click here to read the interview.

‘Who falls through the cracks?’: Philly’s sexual assault exam process creates barriers for survivors, skirts state rules

State law requires Pennsylvania hospitals to provide rape kit exams on site. Still, Philadelphia’s three largest hospital systems all have protocols for transferring sexual assault survivors to a facility that is co-located with law enforcement, receives no city funding, and is about $400,000 under budget.

Click here to read the full story.

☝️ Pssst: Stay tuned for a solutions story on addressing the above issue, which we'll publish later this week.

What’s happening in the neighborhood

Philly Bridge & Jawn’s Cook, Eat, Meet, and Get Paid

Philly Bridge & Jawn’s “Cook, Eat, Meet and Get Paid” is returning this week for its spring programming. The program will be from April 10-14, from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The home base for the program will meet at Cantina La Martina. Each day is open to 30 teens and they will be paid $20 for each day attended. To register, click here.

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 two meetings this month, on April 10 at 6 p.m. and April 23 at 10 a.m. Click here to sign up.

Heitzman Rec Spring Basketball League

This spring, Heitzman Recreation Center is having a free basketball league for all children ages seven to 14 years old. The games for the 7-10 age group will take place on Wednesdays and games for the 11 to 14 age group will be on Fridays. The evaluation period will take place on April 1o, 12, and 17. The time for the 7-10 age group will be 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and the 11-14 age group evaluations will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. To register or for more information, contact or call 215-537-3244.

Our programs 

Youth Voices Afterschool Program

Mondays - Fridays 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 free, sponsored meals from nearby restaurants for four days out of each week, so please show them some love:

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 9

McPherson Square Library will be hosting a “The Super Mario Bros Movie” movie night at 3:30 p.m. Bring the kids by, or take in the nostalgia yourself.

The Story Factory PHL is hosting Creatives Philly’s “Creatives’ Gallery” art and fashion exhibition from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Philly Designer Terry Bridges will unveil a new collection from his brand, Trtl Collective. To register and learn more about the event, click here.

April 10

Congreso is hosting its “Spring into Summer” event at the parking lot of 2800 N American St from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to join and learn about all of the resources and activities available in the neighborhood this summer. There will also be free activities, bubble-blowing, treats, and more.

Xiente is hosting a zoning meeting on April 10 at 6 p.m. at the Children's Center at 2011 N. Mascher Street.

April 11

Opus Elite Real Estate is having a grand opening from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for its new office in Fishtown, 1214 N Front St. All real estate professionals and enthusiasts are welcome to attend. There will be food, cocktails, networking opportunities, and a magic show. To register or learn more, click here.

April 12

Come to Taller Puertorriqueno from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. to check out the opening reception of Betsy Z. Casanas’s exhibition, “Call & Response.” The exhibition will include Casanas's previous murals as well as new work. To register for the exhibition and learn more about Casanas, click here.

April 13

NKCDC is hosting one of their First-Time Homebuyer Workshops from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 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.

Julia De Burgos Bookstore is hosting a clothing swap and story time event from 10 a.m. to noon. The story time part of the event will be a reading of “Paula’s Patches”, a children's book written by Gabriella Adleman. The clothing swap, which will be extended to 4 p.m., is open to all ages and genders. To register for this event, click here.

Thunderbird Salvage is hosting its “Kensington’s Got Talent” talent show event from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. This adults-only event will be $25 per person, which includes free beer. To register, click here

Giving Culture is hosting a dance party fundraising event at Say No More Kensington, starting at 9 p.m. The fundraiser will be benefiting a non-profit city-wide teen art exhibition, with plans to open in the city this summer. The tickets range in price from $15-$100, with $15 tickets for students and artists. To register and learn more, click here.

April 14

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.

Philadelphia Neurodivergent Meetup is hosting a meet-up for neurodivergent folks at American Grammar (Front St & Diamond St) from noon to 2 p.m. Meetups happen every second Sunday of the month. This month’s conversation topic is movies & tv. To register for the meetup, click here.

MSC Digital Studios is inviting local designers to its casting call event, which will take place at 426 E Allegheny Ave from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. MSC is looking for established or new up-and-coming designers who can deliver quality garments and electric designs. If chosen, the company will support you with promotion, modeling talent, and additional support. Make sure to bring a portfolio of your work and a design with you. To register and learn more, click here.



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 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.

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.


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.  

Free City-wide Events

Parks & Rec Job Fair

Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is hosting a job fair at The Dell Music Center on Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They are currently hiring for seasonal positions like lifeguards, camp staff, and more. For more information, click here.

Philly Otaku Fest

Are you a big fan of Japanese pop culture? Philly Otaku Fest is a three-day free-to-enter convention, offering a full weekend of cosplay, vendors, gaming, food trucks, and more. Otaku Fest will run for three days this weekend. Here’s the schedule:

  • Friday, April 12, 4 pm – 9 pm
  • Saturday, April 13, 12 pm – 9 pm
  • Sunday, April 14, 12 pm – 6 pm

All game tournaments and activities will be free, but make sure to bring lots of cash to support the small business vendors and food trucks.

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 a correctional officer and research & information analyst.

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

Want to support our work? 

We provide this newsletter, all of our stories, and our programs for free because we believe it’s important to make local news and creative expression opportunities accessible. If you’d like to help support this work, please consider becoming a paid member

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

Have any questions, comments, or concerns about this story? Send an email to