Social issues

 By Kevin Cook and Marilyn S. D'Angelo

Strawberry Mansion: Battling Vacancy

Strawberry Mansion: Battling Vacancy

In Strawberry Mansion housing runs the gambit from centuries old, protected historic mansions to the vacant, burnt-out shells of abandoned residences. The neighborhood also offers a nearly three-mile stretch of scenic and leisurely driving on Kelly Drive following the Schuylkill River’s eastern bank through Fairmount Park with views of some of the oldest homes in […]

 By Emily Freisher and Samantha Williams

Germantown: First Annual Community Café

Germantown: First Annual Community Café

Local residents convened Sunday afternoon at the Sedgwick Theater for the first annual Community Café. The event, co-sponsored by Neighborhood Networks and MARCHinG for Change, created a forum for people in the community to express their opinions on matters such as health care and safety and to suggest ways of promoting change. Café organizers reached […]

 By Dustin Khebzou

Mantua: Food Not Bombs

Mantua: Food Not Bombs

A heavenly aroma spills outs from a bubbling pot of potato squash soup in the basement of the Cavalry Church. Claire Smith quickly turns down the burner and goes back to preparing three large trays of savory brussel sprouts. Paul Divido and Anna Jacobs take turns kneading dough to turn into luscious cinnamon buns. In […]

 By Katie Annesley

Germantown: A Tale of Two Newspapers

Germantown: A Tale of Two Newspapers

The doors of the Germantown Courier, which began in the historic community in 1936, were slammed shut last February. Unfortunately, there was little the staff could do prevent or deter its folding. In 1998 the newspapers, the Courier and its sister paper, the Mt. Airy Times Express, were bought by the Journal Register Corp. “They […]

 By Samantha Williams and Emily Freisher

Mantua: Daycare Centers Feel the Pinch

Mantua: Daycare Centers Feel the Pinch

[local /files/2009/10/fa0906mantuaaskthegovernor.mov] Some of the children of Heavenly Hall Day Care center know their ABCs. Others choose to defer the alphabet to focus on the basic motor skills needed to connect food to fork, fork to mouth. The play area, a messy toy-land of kitchen sets and building blocks, bursts with the high energy of […]

 By Leeann Hamilton and Jeff Craven

North Central: A Center for AIDs/HIV Patients

North Central: A Center for AIDs/HIV Patients

The Calcutta House is a non-profit organization that provides housing and support services for people living with AIDS in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley area. More than 20,000 Philadelphians are living with HIV/AIDS. At any given time, one third of all Americans living with HIV/AIDS are either homeless, or in danger of losing their housing. In a city where homelessness is an unremitting problem, and at its highest rate in the past ten years, housing for those that are infected with the disease is a sure fire way to prevent the spread of AIDS.

 By Nikki Volpicelli and Jonathan Viguers

Fairhill: Needle Exchange Program Helps Addicts

Fairhill: Needle Exchange Program Helps Addicts

It’s a Wednesday and cold, too cold for October. The weather is gray. It matches the cement stairs on the corner of Third street and Lehigh Avenue. People line the stairwell leading to a sturdy door in the basement of an old warehouse. The door is marked with a small blue sign that reads, “Prevention Point […]

 By Evan Casey and Jessica Fowler

Ludlow’s Identity Crisis

Ludlow’s Identity Crisis

“It looks nice, but they’re still shooting like it’s Iraq out here,” said Shawn Govan when asked about all the new and rehabbed housing being built in the Ludlow neighborhood. This statement was promptly shot full of holes itself by several other residents of the area. Still, there is a kernel of truth in Shawn’s […]

 By Matt Bell and Kristen van Genderen

Olney: Programs for Battling Childhood Obesity

Olney: Programs for Battling Childhood Obesity

The doors of the basement swing open revealing the church’s activities center. Motivational posters dot the walls surrounding a small basketball court. A semi-circle of metal folding chairs sits off in the far corner. On any given night the sounds of a friendly basketball game or the lively chatter of a community meeting would replace […]

 By: Kevin Cook and Marilyn S. D'Angelo

Brewerytown: The Community Center Bridges the Digital Divide

Brewerytown: The Community Center Bridges the Digital Divide

Computer access can be taken for granted by Blackberry-wielding e-mailers, but for many people, getting to a computer is not so effortless. Libraries, community and recreation centers play a primary function, giving residents in urban neighborhoods access the Internet as well as many other services. In Brewerytown, residents have been able to utilize the resources […]

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