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Recovery House Challenge

I admit it.  I don’t get it.  Why does it take state legislation to regulate recovery houses in the city of Philadelphia?  Is there something in the constitution of the Commonwealth that prohibits a county or city from controlling this issue?

The Inquirer, for some reason today, decided to pay some attention to this issue.

Jorge Santana, a former chief of staff for State Rep. Tony Payton who volunteers for the lawmaker on special projects, walks by from Payton’s nearby Frankford office and shakes his head. “This is what we’re dealing with,” Santana says of the beat-up commercial corridor.

Along the 4300 block of Frankford Avenue, with its discount stores, fast-food joints, and vacancies, the building with the blue door is one of four recovery houses in a three-block stretch that also hosts an alcohol-treatment center.

“It’s hard to get businesses to open up here,” Santana says of the disinvestment along the avenue.

His aim is to help build community through economic empowerment. Part of the challenge lies in an entrenched market. In the last five years, Santana says, Frankford has become an epicenter for drug- and alcohol-recovery houses. On one block, a recovery house sits across from an Irish pub. On another, a recovery house sits paces from a well-trafficked drug corner.

You can read the rest of the story here.  Please comment and tell me why we have gone nowhere on this issue in the four years we have been blogging about it.

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The Great Egg Give Away

I would like to invite you to attend a historic food giveaway I am helping to set up through the Office of State Rep. Tony Payton, Jr.  next Friday, May 20th at SHARE on Hunting Park Avenue.   A flier is attached to share with the community.  Please share this with all the food cupboard providers in your neighborhood.

Over 20,000 dozen eggs will be delivered to SHARE and Philabundance for distribution!

The first 400 people will receive hot scrambled eggs for breakfast.

Space is limited for the Main Event.
RSVP today by calling
Jorge Santana at 215-744-7901 or by email to

Main Event:
Great Egg Giveaway at SHARE

2901 West Hunting Park Avenue, Phila., PA

Breakfast to be served at 8am


Second Event:
Drive Hunger from Philadelphia

Egg Donation to Philabundance at 11:00am

3616 South Galloway Street, Philadelphia, PA

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Northwood Civic Meeting

Jorge Santana, Rep. Tony Payton's Chief of Staff

There were about 30 people last night at the Northwood Civic, which had been rescheduled to avoid next weeks election day.  The focus was on quality of life issues as follows:

  • The Civic is going back to court on the issue of enforcement against 950 Fillmore Street and the addition to the home at that location.
  • Residents of the 1100 block of Herbert Street have complained about one occupant of that block operating a business selling automobiles.  There are as many as 11 cars parked on the street.  The owner is moving tags from one to the other to avoid detection.
  • Illegal day cares continue to be a problem.  Some are offering care for as many as twelve children around the clock.  There are safety as well as traffic and noise issues.
  • Barry noted that the Frankford Civic voted to not support the zoning application of the Bridge to move onto the property at Adams Avenue.   Northwood will maintain its support for the move.
  • They will continue to work on the VOA group home by talking with the owners.
  • Members voted to approve attorney’s fees for the Bridge zoning hearing and the case for 950 Fillmore Street.
  • The Civic is looking to apply for a grant from the Preservation Alliance for demolition of the garages located Rutland and Fillmore Streets.  There were severely damaged in a fire.  Looking to make improvements to the nearby tennis courts at the other end of the block at Rutland and Harrison Streets.
  • Barry will be meeting with the Principal of Frankford High School today to discuss the problem with students roaming through the neighborhood and getting into trouble.  He is looking to having a similar discussion with the Principal of Emunds in the future.

Jorge Santana, Tony Payton’s Chief of Staff, announced that he will be leaving his position with Tony at the end of the week.   Jorge has been at almost every Northwood meeting and Barry noted that he has been invaluable to the Civic with his assistance in every way possible.

The next Northwood Civic meeting is scheduled for June 21st at 7PM.


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4403 Frankford Avenue

A stop work order on 4403 Frankford Avenue (L+I sticker is up) has been issued, but a crew of guys continues to work on the property.  It is a large property that starts on Frankford Ave and wraps around Unity Street.

From Jorge Santana to Sharon Krause, community relations officer, 15th district:

The neighbors are very concerned that the property will be a large recovery home or a beer distribution facility.  L+I instructed me to contact the 15th to have the men stopped.   I called the district and got a busy signal, so I am sending this email instead.  We need these guys to stop the work until it is fairly vetted by the community and approved by L+I.

Can you place a daily roll call on the property to ensure that work is not happening on the place.  I have been told that work was being done at odd hours, including at 10pm last night (probably to avoid an arrest or work stoppage).

Thanks in advance for addressing this issue.  A 3-1-1 complaint has also been filed.  The ticket numbers are1333382 and 1324831.

This property is buttoned up so tight, you can’t see what is going on inside.

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Economic Development Meeting Proposed for Frankford Northwood

The Northwood Civic Meeting on November 16th was my first outing after a few weeks off for personal business.  NEastPhilly did a fine job of reporting the details and I won’t duplicate anything they offered.  You can get their report here.

At that meeting, Jorge Santana, Chief of Staff for State Rep Tony Payton made mention of a proposed meeting of the various groups in Frankford and Northwood for the purpose of working on an economic development plan.  The big news is that all of these groups will work together on something.  Nothing is going to happen here until we all get on the same page and start pushing in the same direction so this is the big news.

We need economic development here.  We need investment.  We need singles who work to buy homes or rent those new condos along Deal Street that will be going into those old buildings in 2010.  We need families to buy those new town homes that will be going up over in East Frankford.  None of that will happen until we all start pushing in the same direction.

This is how it starts.  We’ll let you know when that meeting happens.