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The Philadelphia Resilience Project Progress Report

 

Every week, a report on the Philadelphia Resilience Project, the City’s emergency response to combat the opioid crisis is published.  Right now, the efforts are focused on Kensington and surrounding neighborhoods – the epicenter of the opioid crisis – but we expect to expand to other sections of the city as needed.

This week, City workers, volunteers, and community members gathered together for a massive neighborhood cleanup of Kensington, removing 103 tons of trash and debris, clearing 38 vacant lots, cleaning 38 blocks. The effort saw 263 volunteers working together from 31 different community groups. L&I also issued 24 violations with seven clean-and-seals on vacant properties.

“Cleanups are just a part of the Philadelphia Resilience Project,” Mayor Kenney explained. “No child should have to walk past syringes on their way to school. No residents should feel unsafe. And no one should have to suffer through addiction without access to housing and treatment. And we’re working on all this — together.”

We also continued outreach about closing the Frankford Avenue encampment on November 15, and outreach teams have provided vaccinations to 222 people for diseases like hepatitis and influenza.

Below is a more detailed update on the other immediate goals which have a deadline of November 16, 2018.


Mission Area 1: Clear Encampments
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Clear Frankford Avenue encampment of all campers and debris by November 15. Encampment closure effort continues with outreach to all individuals residing in the encampment. As of November 2, there are 123 unduplicated individuals residing in the Frankford Ave. encampment. Outreach also began to individuals residing in the Emerald Street encampment
In coordination with Mission Areas 3 and 6, solidify housing plans for 100 percent of Frankford encampment individuals who are relocated to the Navigation Center within 30 days of intake. As of November 2, 11 individuals residing in the Kensington Navigation Center have started their housing/treatment plan.
Prevent unsafe squatting and the formation of new encampments on all vacant properties within the target area by November 15. Licenses and Inspections (L&I) sent letters to 5600 owners of vacant properties and lots in the target area to inform owners how to prevent the formation of encampments. L&I has identified 15 properties within Census Tract 178 for clean and seal operations, seven of which were sealed during the November 1 cleanup. L&I will continue to survey Census Tracts in and around the target area to identify vacant properties for clean and seal.
Mission Area 2: Reduce Criminal Activity
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Reduce injection drug use. Cut down demand for drugs. Interdisciplinary teams are being coordinated to engage the population in the target area.
Create and strengthen existing safe corridor routes for travel to and from school. Five schools have been identified for a pilot program. Effort will begin with Elkin Elementary School, which will be fully implemented within two weeks.
Increase safety measures for children using foot and bike patrols, plus daily school checks. Because there was an immediate need for safety measures during Halloween, multiple Police Districts hosted community events between October 26 and October 30. PPD deployed an additional 20 foot officers during Trick or Treat.
Implement Police-Assisted Diversion (PAD) program in East Police Division. The PAD program is on track to begin on November 15.
Support the operation of removing the encampment on November 15. Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) assisted with posting signs to support the encampment closure.

PPD has devoted resources to support this effort.

Mission 3: Reduce Unsheltered Population
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Identify a temporary site for a 24-hour Navigation Center including respite and wrap-around services   Work continues to identify a site.  
Create a budget and determine the cost to stand up a Navigation Center.   A budget proposal for a Navigation Center has been created and is awaiting Finance review.
Create a by-name list of unsheltered persons in the area and redeploy community outreach resources to ensure

that the mission area is reaching as much of the target population as possible.

There is currently a by-name list for Frankford and Emerald encampments. A by-name list for the Kensington area is in development. The next quarterly Point-in-Time count is scheduled for November 14.
Develop a strategy to bring in public and health services. A budget proposal for a Navigation Center with wrap around services has been developed and is awaiting Finance review.
Identify a provider to operate the Short-term Navigation Center A provider with a positive track record of operating large- scale shelters has been tentatively identified. Efforts continue to secure a provider for treatment options and programs.
Mission 4: Reduce Trash and Litter
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Conduct a large scale clean-up along Kensington Ave on November 2. A large-scale cleanup was held on November 1 with 434 city staff members and volunteers who collected 103 total tons of trash and debris. During the four-hour cleanup, 90 miles of streets were swept through mechanical street sweepers; 16 illegal dumps were picked up; 31 water inlets were cleaned; 263 volunteers participated from 31 community groups; 38 vacant lots were cleaned; 7 doors and windows were painted along Kensington Avenue; 107 properties cleaned of graffiti; 38 blocks were cleaned; 80 bags were collected; 24 open L&I violations issued; 7 clean and seals completed on vacant property.
Place needle drop boxes at McPherson Square and targeted SEPTA stations. Seven needle drop boxes were installed on October 25. An additional drop box is pending install later this month.
Provide a temporary dumpster to support Frankford Avenue encampment closure. A dumpster has been ordered and a site has been identified.
Recruit volunteers with lived experience to assist with regular clean ups. Upcoming cleanups have been scheduled for November 10 and November 17. Volunteers are being recruited through community outreach.
Use bicycles for mobile collection of discarded syringes. A bike group called KIND — Kensington Initiative on Needle Disposal — were present at the November 1 cleanup and will continue weekly cleanups.
311 will establish a local informational and complaint line (pod) specifically for this operation. The bilingual 311 pod is operational as of October 26 and is receiving approximately 50 calls a day.
Mission 5: Reduce Overdoses
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Prevent outbreak of Hepatitis A among homeless individuals and injection drug users in the Kensington area. Outreach teams have been vaccinating in Kensington weekly.  Focus has been in encampments and for those experiencing homelessness.185 Hepatitis A and 174 influenza immunizations have been given to date to 222 unique individuals.
Prevent transmission of HIV infection through injection drug use. All service agencies and healthcare providers in Kensington area have been asked to increase HIV screening activities among drug users by at least 25%.

Activity counts are expected by next week.

Create risk-based model for identifying individuals who have experienced previous overdose and are at highest risk for a subsequent overdose so they can be referred for services. This is in development and dependent on the establishment of a data-sharing agreement (outlined below).
Implement name-based data sharing and/or reporting of non-fatal overdoses and opioid-related risk conditions, so that highest-risk individuals can be referred for services by November 16. A data-sharing agreement has been drafted and requires additional review by Law which is underway. A weekly meeting has been established to discuss data-sharing among numerous city agencies.
Mission 6: Increase Treatment Options and Access
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Disseminate information on treatment access. Additional information on accessing Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) will be posted on DBHIDS’ website within the next week.
Deploy mobile outreach team including medical professionals to provide Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the field. Mobile outreach teams were at the Frankford encampment and engaged 21 individuals.
Coordinate with Community Forgiveness and Restoration Program at Temple.   19 individuals participated in the first workshop on October 27.
Facilitate access to treatment from bridges with reserved Kirkbride beds. All five Kirkbride beds reserved for the encampment have been used as of November 1.
Launch treatment capacity database. Data entry training was conducted on October 22 and a program is scheduled to launch next week.

Still finalizing data on website.

Expand warm hand-offs for treatment access across the system by December 31. As of October 20, 84 warm handoffs to behavioral health treatment were accomplished. This work continues and we are determining how frequently warm-handoffs can be collected and reported.  
Mission 7: Mobilize Community Response
Immediate Goal Progress as of November 2, 2018
Create a community calendar to highlight meetings, trainings, clean ups, big public events, paint days, and other programming. The community calendar is now live and publicly available at phila.gov/opioids.
Identify potential funding partners and engage an external fundraiser. Engaging a fundraising partner is underway and is expected to be complete within 30-45 days.
Create and train Philly311 unit for specialized Kensington/Fairhill information and assignments. Kensington 311 pod is operational as of October 26 and is operating in both English and Spanish. We’re receiving approximately 50 constituent calls a day, which are shared with serving departments daily.
Direct engagement with Kensington/Fairhill community. This is ongoing. A community meeting with local representatives of community based organizations and faith-based organizations is scheduled for November 16.
Create a volunteer sign up form. This is complete as of October 26 and can be accessed HERE. We are currently recruiting volunteers for two upcoming cleanups.
Create targeted information and resources for neighborhood leaders. 31 groups participated in the cleanup on November 1.
Create promotional materials to share at libraries, rec centers, schools, and throughout the community.   Flyers were distributed among neighborhood businesses, community organizations, public spaces, and residents to increase awareness about the Nov. 1 clean up. This is ongoing.
Ensure all materials are understandable and meet other Access and Functional Needs (AFN) requirements. This is ongoing. In addition to preparing bilingual materials, we’ve focused on reducing the literacy level for all of our written communications.  
Increase frequency of communication to residents providing status of the Philadelphia Resilience Project. Weekly emails continue and we are determining which other targeted methods of communication will be deployed.

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