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Community Relations FAQ

What services do you provide?

The Community Relations Division handles most matters of intergroup conflict and neighborhood disputes within the City, and offers mediation, conciliation, counseling, and referral services for individuals and households in conflict.

Who is eligible to request your services?

Anyone living or working in the City of Philadelphia may request our services.

Can I remain anonymous?

Unfortunately you may not. In order to promote harmony, both parties must be engaged in the conciliation process.

Are there any charges or fees for your services?

There are no charges or fees for our services.

Is there a time limit for reporting an incident or concern?

There is no time limit for reporting an incident or concern, but you are urged to contact us as soon as possible after an incident occurs to lessen the chance of escalated tension or retaliation.

Must the person directly involved in a conflict request your services?

Persons directly involved in the conflict may request our services, but others may intercede on their behalf. For example, a block captain, concerned neighbor, representative from a community group, legislative office, or another agency such as the Police Department may request our services.

Who determines if a complaint falls under your jurisdiction?

An Intake Representative will take your statement in a confidential setting. You will have the opportunity to share whatever you believe is pertinent to the incident or situation you are reporting. The Intake Representative will work with you to determine if your case is appropriate for this agency. If it is not, you will be advised and provided with a referral to other agencies or services that might address your concerns. If the case appears to be under our jurisdiction, it will be tentatively accepted and referred to a supervisor for a final determination.

Situations that come under our jurisdiction:
Reducing tension or conflict among individuals, households, or groups having an ongoing relationship with each other. This can include neighbors, businesses, religious institutions, civic or community groups, or others.

Situations that do not come under our jurisdiction:
o Married or separated couples
o Victims of serious crimes or property damage
o Strangers who are not likely to see one another again
o Disputants who are already in court or whose dispute is in arbitration or in front of an administrative body such as the Zoning Board, DA's Private Criminal Complaint, etc.

What happens after my complaint is processed?

The complaint will be reviewed by an Intake Supervisor, then assigned to a Community Relations Representative. That representative will contact you by letter or telephone to discuss the complaint and our services in more detail.

How long does the whole process take?

While the processing time varies, depending on volume and nature of complaints received, you can expect to be contacted by a representative within three weeks of the date of your intake. If you believe this is an urgent situation, please indicate so to the Intake Representative.

What can I expect to happen after I am contacted?

The assigned Community Relations Representative will:
1. Listen to your concerns and help you assess the nature of the dispute.
2. Explore approaches to conflict resolution appropriate to your situation.
3. Make contact with the other party in an attempt to establish lines of communications so that you can begin to work together to resolve the dispute.
4. Assist in identifying other individuals, resources, and / or services that might be applied to a resolution of the situation.
5. Act as a go-between until you and the other party come to a working resolution.
6. Offer formal mediation offered if the parties wish to negotiate a written agreement that describes your future relationship with one another.
7. Remain available to help the parties deal with disagreements that may arise from ongoing efforts at resolution.

How do I request your services?

You can talk with one of our Human Relations Intake Reps by calling 215-686-4670, contact us by email: pchr@phila.gov, or fax: 215-686-4684.

You can also speak to a Human Relations Intake Representative in person at our Center City office:

The Curtis Center
601 Walnut Street, Suite 300
Philadelphia, PA 19106