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Kensington news: MLK Day events, EKNA meeting, clothing swap, arts internship, & Kensington's new deputy police commissioner

Kensington Voice's Monday morning update with information about free activities, resources, programs, and more.

Pedro "Pete" Rosario is sworn in as the deputy police commissioner who will lead the Philadelphia Police Department's Kensington strategy on January 11, 2024. (Photo by Sammy Caiola)

Happy MLK Day, neighbors!

We’ve got a lot in store this week, with events beginning as early as this afternoon. 

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

Recent news

At a press conference on Thursday, Pedro “Pete” Rosario was officially sworn in as the deputy police commissioner who will lead the Philadelphia Police Department’s Kensington strategy. 

“Kensington for a long time has not been a priority,” Rosario said at the press conference. “It’s so important that now, with the leadership that we have in place, we're moving in that direction to make it a priority.” 

Mayor Cherelle Parker said Rosario's "unmatched qualifications and decades of experience make him the best candidate for this job."

Parker first named Rosario in a community meeting last Monday.


Bloomberg Art Internship

The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies, is running a summer arts internship program for all high school seniors in the city. The program will begin June 19, and participants will be paid $17.53 an hour while working up to 35 hours per week. Applications for the program are due on February 28. To apply, or to learn more about the internship program, click here.

Emergency Warming Center

Prevention Point is hosting an overnight Emergency Warming Center from Wednesday, January 16, at 5 p.m. to Thursday, January 17, at 7 a.m. 

They are collecting blankets, clean coats and jackets, food (meals and snacks for between 70 and 100 people), and hand/footwarmers to support the event. Those interested in donating or volunteering can contact Dee at and Larry at

Our programs 

Every Monday through Friday, we host youth programming at our newsroom at Allegheny & 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. 

Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices) 

Mondays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

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 ( 

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices) 

Tuesdays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

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. 

Youth Voices After-School Program

Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. 

Kids in grades six through 12 are invited to stay safe and warm with us after they get out of school. We’ve got arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia equipment, and more. 

Activities & Events 

Jan 15

From 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Fishtown Neighbors Association is hosting a MLK Day storytelling event at the Fishtown Recreation Center, located at 1235 E Palmer Street. Participants will be showcasing readings, slam poetry, and other forms of expression to explore experiences with racism, racial and class solidarity, community engagement, and more. There will also be activities for kids, so feel free to bring the little ones with you. If you're interested in participating, reach out to Ashlei at

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Immortal Vision Studio is hosting a MLK Day of Service event. The event will include a Community Clean Up and Camera Drive for those who have old or unused camera equipment. The meet-up for the service day will be at the studio, located at 426 E Allegheny Avenue. Click here to register and learn more.

The East Kensington Neighbors Association is meeting at Philadelphia Brewing Company, located at 244o Frankford Ave., from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They meet every third Monday of the month.

Jan 16

We Can is hosting an advisory meeting at Impact Services, located at 1952 E. Allegheny Ave., from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They meet every third Tuesday of the month. 

The Blue Stoop is hosting its eighth installment of The Bricks Reading Series at H&H Books, located at 2230 Frankford Avenue, at 7 p.m. Enjoy light refreshments and meet Philly writers Maggie Millner, Nuha Fariha, and Denise Laidler for book readings and discussion. To learn more and to register to join, click here.

Jan 17

Come down to The School District of Philadelphia for the Capital Programs Meet & Greet. You will learn about opportunities in the fields of construction and design, and have the chance to network with large construction management firms. The event begins at 3 p.m. and will be held at the School District of Philadelphia, located at 440 N Broad St in their auditorium. Click here to RSVP.

The Fishtown Neighbors Association is meeting at Fishtown Recreation Center, located at 1202 E. Montgomery Ave., from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They meet every third Wednesday of the month.

Jan 19

Looking to refresh your wardrobe for the new year but in a sustainable way? Time After Time Boutique is hosting a wardrobe event this Friday and Saturday at their shop, located in The Gotham at 2000 N 2nd St, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Swap clothes and get help creating new outfits and styles from folks that work in the business. To register for the clothing swap, click here

Jan 21

Take a tour of Hive 76’s makerspace during their Open House from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. You can check out their woodshop, 3D printer and other tools, and learn how to become a member of the space. Click here to register.

They are also hosting their Boardgame 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.  


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 Trainings

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.

Northstar Digital Literacy Program

Northstar is hosting a digital literacy certification program at Kensington Neighborhood Library, on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Come learn basic computer skills and how to operate different digital programs to fill up that resume. For more information, call 215-685-9996 and ask for the library’s Digital Resource Specialist. 

Funding Opportunities

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.  

Community Award Grant Program

The Life Unites Us Community Award grant program is giving $10,000 to $25,000 to community-based organizations working in the field of harm reduction and substance use disorder and recovery services. The grant is aimed at supporting organizations that do this work and that advocate against stigmas that affect those with substance use disorders and those seeking recovery. To Apply and learn more, click 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


Resolve Philly is still 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.   

Esperanza Health Center

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

Gloria Casarez Elementary School

Gloria Casarez Elementary School is hiring new teachers for their Kindergarten, Art, ESOL, and 1st & 5th grade classes. If you are interested, call 215-400-7160, or stop by the school, located at 800 E Ontario St, and let them know you’re looking to fill one of the positions.

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

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



Ceiba still has openings for its Educational and First Time Home Buyers Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. The organization also has Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) applications available for immigrants. For more information, contact Ceiba here.

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.

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. 

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.


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.

Real Estate Tax Credit Program

The City of Philadelphia Real Estate Tax Credit Program offers eligible homeowners a one-time credit that will be added to a current or future tax bill. To be eligible, you must live in the city, be the owner and resident in your home, and your household income must be at or below 80% Area Median Income (AMI). The application deadline has been extended to Jan. 31 at 5 p.m. To apply and learn more about the program, click here.

Seeking Donations

Joan of Arc Food Pantry

The Saint Joan of Arc Food Pantry is in need of food 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. 

Volunteer Opportunities

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 noon to 4 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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