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The Post  
Parkway Homeless Camp to be Closed; Hit-and-Run Suspects on Video; No Coins at Wawa, Bring Rolls
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/10/20 10:52 pm | updated: 07/10/20 10:52 pm
The City of Philadelphia has issued the closure of the homeless encampment located near 22nd and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The camp must be closed and cleaned out by next Friday, July 17. The camp first appeared last month as a protest over low income housing and homeless services. They were also protesting police brutality and other BLM causes. The encampment, organized by the Workers Revolutionary Collective and Occupy PHA, had grown to about 100 residents. The city said health and safety concerns were part of the decision. There had been two stabbings and an overdose death inside the camp since it was put up. Mayor Jim Kenney's office said negotiations had been going on for weeks, trying to meet the "ever-shifting demands" of residents and representatives. These were some of the initial demands: turning vacant PHA properties into permanent private housing for low-income residents; fire cops and city employees who do not treat homeless with respect; sanction the camp on the Parkway, make it a No Cop zone, and sanction other future encampments; build Tiny Houses.

"During the last four weeks, we have done a lot of work in trying to support the demands of that group," Gladstein said, "including offering and providing beds at our COVID prevention space, accelerating our work on a tiny house village, agreeing to develop permanent housing plans for all the homeless individuals at the camp and offering to enter into a concentrated planning process around the process of sanctioned encampment elsewhere in the city, not at this site. There will need to be significant cleanup to get the fields back to being a public space that’s usable by everybody."

There will be a "Homeless Connect" event held on July 15 and 16 on the Parkway near the camp. Representatives from the Health, Behavioral Health and Homeless Services departments of will be present. "Teams will offer to work intensively with participants to connect them to services and begin the process of developing a plan that will lead to permanent housing," Liz Hersh, Director of the Office of Homeless Services, said. "It is the City’s goal that by the end of next week, everyone in that camp will have a plan and a place to go right away - if the camp organizers allow. We are heartbroken that we have not been able to do more to help people. This camp cannot continue, but the unmet needs of homeless people remain. And we remain resolute in our work to end homelessness."

Philadelphia Police have released surveillance video of a hit-and-run incident that critically injured a man in West Kensington early Friday morning, 7/10. It happened around 2:30 a.m. on the on the 2700 block of North Front Street near Seltzer. A silver Jeep Cherokee can been seen running over a pedestrian who was standing in the middle of the street. The vehicle stopped. Both the passenger and the driver got out of the vehicle and looked at the victim lying in the street before getting back in the Jeep. The driver appeared to drive over the victim's legs as he was fleeing. A passerby eventually called 911. The victim was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition where he had surgery. He does not have an identification on him. Police are looking into more video from the area to better identify the suspects or their vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 215-685-3180 or 3181.

Wawa is asking customers to either use exact change, credit/debit cards, or the mobile app to pay for purchases. "Like many other businesses around the country, Wawa stores have been affected by the shortage of coins nationwide, as reported by the Federal Reserve." Due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a disruption “to the supply chain and normal circulation patterns for U.S. coin." You can choose to “round up” your cash purchase to the nearest dollar and donate your change. The donated change will go to the Wawa Foundation which will then send 100% to local chapters of the USO and local charities supporting causes related to health, hunger and everyday heroes. Select Wawa stores will also accept rolled coins and exchange for bills.

Tropical Storm Fay hit the area with a blast of winds and rain all day on Friday, 7/10. TS Warnings down the shore were correct as heavy rains and tides brought flooding in the streets in many beach towns including, Stone Harbor, Ocean City, Sea Isle, and Wildwood. The 35-45 mph winds churned up the surf and the blowing sand stung any exposed skin creating a less than ideal beach day. Back in Philadelphia, waves of heavy rain and gusty wind pounded the area. Saturday, Partly Cloudy, Chance of Scattered Thunderstorms, High 90 in Philadelphia.

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