On August 22, South Street Headhouse District sponsored a well attended community conversation about homelessness and panhandling. Representatives from Philadelphia City Council, Philadelphia Police Department, Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services, Society Hill Civic Association, Queen Village Neighbors Association and Bella Vista Neighbors Association were present.
Some highlights from the meeting include:
– Philadelphia has the lowest rate of homeless of any of the largest cities in the US
– Philadelphia has 11,503 emergency, temporary, and permanent beds for the homeless
– the City recently added 500 additional beds in response to the opioid crisis
– giving money directly to panhandlers is not recommended by the police or the Office of Homeless Services (OHS)
– OHS/police recommend calling 911 if you see someone urinating or defecating, aggressively panhandling, blocking a doorway, or committing any other crime