Skip to content

Police disperse Kensington Avenue encampment with no city services present, city doesn't know where people went

No city social services were present when police dispersed the encampments despite promises from city leaders that the initiative would be “service-led.”

Police line Allegheny Avenue early Wednesday morning after officers dispersed people on the 3000-3100 blocks of Kensington Avenue ahead of the planned encampment resolution clearing, which was set to start at 8 a.m. (Photo by Emily Rizzo)

Philadelphia Police Department officers dispersed people from Kensington Avenue early this morning as part of a planned encampment resolution process.

No city social services were present during that time, despite promises from city leaders that the initiative would be “service-led.” City officials said they don't know where people went and are "still trying to figure it out."

The encampment clearing was supposed to begin at 8 a.m., according to officials. Police officers arrived at approximately 5:30 a.m. according to department representatives.

Legal observers and harm reductionists said they witnessed unhoused individuals asking for city services before outreach workers had arrived.

“There was no one except the police,” said harm reduction advocate Eva Fitch. “Everyone was just asking, 'where are the vans? They said they would be here to pick me up.'”

This is a developing story. Click here for the latest updates.

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