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Kensington news: Summer events, “Romance, Rock, Redemption”, new Love Lot mural, plus a Juneteenth celebration

Prevention Point and Mural Arts staff, along with artist Victor Srgo (holding the scissors), poses with the "Once Upon a Hope Dream" mural in the Love Lot on Thursday, June 13, 2024. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

Happy Monday, folks.

Summer break is officially here, and local organizations are prepared with lots of activities for families and kids.

Also, we want to wish those who celebrate a happy Juneteenth, which is on Wednesday, June 19.

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

News (in case you missed it)

Artist dedicates new Prevention Point Love Lot mural to son: “It doesn't have to be a ‘rock bottom.’ It's a positive sign of hope.”

Artist Victor Sgro unveiled a new mural at Prevention Point's Love Lot last week on Ruth and East Clearfield Streets. Sgro, who is in recovery, hopes his mural inspires others who are still struggling with opioid addiction.

Click here to read more.

As city leaders eye jail to clean up Kensington, Philly jails say they’re stretched too thin.

Prison staff say the staffing shortage makes it impossible to deliver timely, high-quality care for the approximately 4,700 people incarcerated in Philadelphia’s jails daily – a majority of whom present with substance use disorder.

Click here to read more.

Get arrested for drugs in Kensington? Here's a chart that explains the process.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel said police will increase enforcement for drug-related activity as early as Monday in an effort to implement Mayor Cherelle Parker’s new policing initiative aimed at shutting down Kensington’s open-air drug market. 

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Department of Prisons has said it’s stretched too thin to deliver timely, high-quality care for the 4,700 people incarcerated in Philadelphia’s jails daily – a majority of whom have a substance use disorder – let alone a potential influx from Kensington. 

So, what exactly happens when someone gets arrested for drug possession in Kensington?

Click here to read more.   

What’s happening in the neighborhood

Simple Way Summer Lunch Program

The Simple Way will be hosting lunchtime and games for youth in the neighborhood 5-18 years old starting June 17 - August 23 at 3200 Potter St. The program will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Philly Talking Drums Summer Events

Philly Talking Drums is hosting free events across the neighborhood all summer. Click here to check out the schedule.

Monthly community meetings

Friends of McPherson
When: Every first Tuesday from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Where: McPherson Square Library at 601 E. Indiana Ave.

Harrowgate Civic Association 
When: Every first Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Heitzman Recreation Center at 3631 Amber St.

*There is no Harrowgate Civic meeting in July. 

Kensington Independent Civic Association (KICA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Harrowgate PAL Center at 851 E. Tioga St. 

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action (PRNA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Block Church at 2537 E. Monmouth St.

Activities & Events 

June 17

Lillian Marrero Library is hosting its “Summer Resource Bananza” event from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Come by and enjoy an afternoon of activities, food, giveaways, and learn about harm reduction services and more.

June 18

The Share Food Program is hosting its “Summer Meals Kick-off Celebration” event at Heitzman Recreation Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will include activities, games, resources for children and families, and special guest appearances. Free summer meals for youth will be served starting at 12 pm.

June 20

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action is hosting its “Third Thursday Neighborhood Gathering” event at 2537 E Monmouth St at 6:30 p.m. There will be guests such as The Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee folks from the 24th Police District.

H&H Books is hosting the “Romance, Rock, Redemption” author talk from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Local authors Xio Axelrod and Kristen Callihan will be chatting with attendees about their reactive processes and more. Click here to register and learn more.

June 22

Friends of Harrowgate Park is hosting its “Summer Festival!” at Harrowgate Park from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine. There will be face painting, lawn games, snacks, and more.

Cesar Andreu Iglesias Garden is a Juneteenth celebration from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be free food, music, vendors, artmaking, and more. Click here to register and learn more.

June 23

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.

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.

Free Trainings

Fab Youth Philly Free Workshops for Summer Jobs

Fab Youth Philly is hosting free workshops to prepare teens for summer jobs this year at its Kensington location from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The workshops will run from April to June. In 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. In June, teens will work on time management and effective communication. Click here to register.

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

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 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.

The city is also hiring in multiple civil service jobs. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available. View listings and 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

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

Waste Management

Waste Management is hiring for multiple positions with an average pay of $26 per hour. Click here to apply and learn more.


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 Summer Program
Mondays - Thursdays, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.
3237 Amber Street, 3rd Floor

Our Youth Voices Summer Program begins June 24 and runs through August 16. Students in grades six through 12 are invited to join us for arts and crafts, computer games, multimedia projects, and more.

Contact Khysir Carter at with questions.

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