It appears the City has discovered there is a drug crisis. It may be the reality that it has moved into neighborhoods other than Frankford and Kensington that has attracted this attention. In any case, late but still welcome, here are the details.
Councilman David Oh will be joined by Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez on Monday night at Northeast High School as he kicks off a series of seven community meetings regarding the heroin and opioid crisis.
The community meetings come as a result of a resolution Councilman Oh passed through City Council which authorized the holding of public hearings pursuant to City Council’s declaration of 2016 as “The Year to Combat the Heroin Abuse Epidemic in Philadelphia.” The resolution also called for the development of a strategy to effectively address the heroin epidemic as an urgent local health priority.
The first hearing is scheduled to take place Friday, May 20th in the Public Health and Human Services Committee, chaired by Councilwoman Cindy Bass. Before then, Councilman Oh will visit Northeast Philadelphia, the Manayunk/Roxborough area, the River Wards, North Philadelphia, West Philadelphia, and South Philadelphia to gain a comprehensive perspective of the epidemic from local residents. Schools and recreation centers across Philadelphia have volunteered to open their doors for these important meetings. All community members are welcome to share their suggestions and experiences.
Councilman Oh hopes that the community meetings will help engage citizens and provide insights from everyday people who deal with drug abuse in preparation for the May 20th hearing. He believes that the development of a strategy will incorporate the formation of local committees that can address issues related to the epidemic in their own neighborhoods. These community meetings will be a first step towards uniting Philadelphia neighborhoods around that cause.
The schedule of community meetings is as follows (all meetings are from 6:30 to 8:30 PM):
Monday, April 18: Northeast Philadelphia (Northeast High School, 1601 Cottman Ave)
Monday, April 25: Northeast Philadelphia (Kleinlife, 10100 Jamison Ave)
Wednesday, April 27: Manayunk/Roxborough (Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center, 7 Lock St)
Thursday, April 28: River Wards (Maritime Academy Charter High School, 2700 E Huntingdon St)
Monday, May 2: North Philadelphia (Philadelphia Recovery Community Center, 1701 W Lehigh Ave)
Thursday, May 5: West Philadelphia (University of the Sciences, 636 S 42nd St, PharmTox Building, Room 140)
Thursday, May 12: South Philadelphia (Palumbo Recreation Center, 700 S 9th St)