Every week, we report on the Philadelphia Resilience Project, the City’s emergency response to combat the opioid crisis. 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, schools reported a reduction in drug activity on the street thanks to a new safe corridors program between schools and police, we prepared for another large-scale cleanup on Saturday, HIV screenings continued to meet increase goals, and the Philadelphia Fire Department started a new program to help prevent future overdoses.

Below is a more detailed update on other immediate and short-term goals for the seven mission areas of the project.

Mission Area 1: Clear Encampments – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Outstanding Immediate Goals
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 26, 38 campers from Frankford Avenue have accepted housing in the Kensington Navigation Center and started their plans.
Prevent unsafe squatting and the formation of new encampments on all vacant properties within the target area by November 15. L&I has completed the block survey for all ten census tracts. There are 192 vacant lots owned by PHA.

The following are the outcomes of that survey:

  • 60 clean and seals.
  • 14 Public demolitions.
  • 18 Private demolitions
Short Term Goals
Begin outreach to clear Emerald Street Encampment by January 15 Outreach to Emerald Street is ongoing.
Develop comprehensive strategy to prevent encampments from relocating or reforming. In coordination with MA2, MA1 is supporting the  law enforcement strategy by addressing conditions in the built environment that contribute to encampments, indirectly, such as drug trafficking. Initial focus has been on properties that have been sealed multiple times that are adjacent to a school. We’ve discovered that these properties are safe houses for drug activities.
In coordination with Mission Area 4 (Trash and Litter), and Mission Area 2 (Public Safety) decrease short-dumping in the target area. MA1 is no longer managing this objective and has referred it to MA4.
In coordination with Mission Areas 3 (Reduce Homelessness) and 6 (Increase Treatment) bring additional services to the Navigation Center. Services at Kensington Navigation Center are scheduled during extended hours on Tuesday and Thursday from 7-9am and 5-7pm.
Review and develop policies to promote the safety, security, and civil rights of Kensington community members, including homeless individuals with drug addiction. Law to draft encampment policy and a food/clothing distribution policy by December 7th.
Mission Area 2: Reduce Criminal Activity – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Outstanding Immediate Goals  
Reduce injection drug use. Cut down demand for drugs. In progress.
Create and strengthen existing safe corridor routes for travel to and from school. There are safe corridor teams in place at both Elkins School and Willard with a process in place to strengthen and expand by recruiting additional volunteers. Training at other target schools is on-going.  Schools report seeing less drug activity on corners after initiation of safe corridor team.
Increase safety measures for children using foot and bike patrols, plus daily school checks. Additional police personnel have been added to the Service Detail.
Implement Police-Assisted Diversion (PAD) program in East Police Division. Since its launch, PAD has had seven (7) referrals (Two through arrests and five through police social referrals.) Three of those clients are currently in short term detox and two clients are still connected to services and have peer support.  
Short Term Goals
Enhance federal and state partnerships to address narcotic supply and distribution Continuing to form stronger collaboration with state and federal partners regarding targeting mid to high level drug operations in collaboration with social services.
Create and strengthen existing Safe Corridor routes for travel to and from school. PDP has provided the Safe Corridor Reflective vests for the program.
Engage the community and ensure they are aware that their needs are being addressed. In progress and ongoing.
Mission 3: Reduce Unsheltered Population – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Outstanding Immediate Goals
Identify a temporary site for a 24-hour Navigation Center including respite and wrap-around services.   In progress. Potential sites have been assessed, but no site has been confirmed.    
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.

In progress. There is currently a by-name list for Frankford and Emerald encampments. A by-name list for the Kensington area is in development.
Develop a strategy to bring in public and health services. A meeting with interested organizations for bringing in health services was held on November 29.
Short Term Goals
Explore intermediate housing, inspired by Seattle’s use of Tiny Houses. No updates to share at this time.
Open temporary Navigation Center, with plans to move people through and out of it and into temporary housing. Planning continues to secure a site for the comprehensive Navigation Center.
Bring public services on site to provide access to treatment, employment services, ID registration, and recovery assistance, and to work towards preventing the spread of communicable diseases. No updates to share at this time.
Develop a housing exit strategy by creating a program to ensure that there is a flow of people through the Navigation Center and on to longer term housing with the end goal of self-sufficiency and rehabilitation. No updates to share at this time.
Mission 4: Reduce Trash and Litter – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Short Term Goals
Attempt to engage prison system to have weekenders prisoners assist with cleaning areas in the grid The Department of Prisons will be joining us Saturday with some prisoners for our large scale cleanup and then we will be meeting to discuss continuous efforts with them cleaning in the Resilience Project area.
Continuous clean up efforts within the initial clean up area The next large-scale clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 from 9 am to 12 pm, beginning at Elkin School at D & Allegheny. Registration information for this clean-up can be found here.
Coordinate with School District to ensure Safe Corridors are blight-free. In Progress
Coordinate with Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet and incorporate some of their their mission goals In Progress
Engage Environmental Crime Unit to investigate illegal dumping. In progress
Engage with SEPTA to discuss the installation of trash receptacles at EL stop entrances along Kensington Ave. In progress and discussions continue.
Identify process for additional placement of trash receptacles and ongoing collection responsibilities. Completed as part of the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet.
Support efforts to expand operation geographically. CLIP expanded operations on Allegheny and Kensington Avenues. Next we will engage the other schools in the Police East Division to coordinate cleanups and Blight Free School Safe Corridors
Mission 5: Reduce Overdoses – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Outstanding Immediate Goals
Prevent outbreak of Hepatitis A among homeless individuals and injection drug users in the Kensington area. Complete and ongoing. Outreach teams have been vaccinating in Kensington weekly. Focus has been in encampments and for those experiencing homelessness. Hepatitis A immunization of homeless and injection drug using populations has been implemented by street-side outreach. To date, 268 people have been immunized. Surveillance for cases of acute hepatitis A in Kensington has been implemented. There have been no cases of hepatitis A identified in the area.
Prevent transmission of HIV infection through injection drug use. Complete and ongoing. All service agencies and healthcare providers in Kensington area have been asked to increase HIV screening activities among drug users by at least 25% and HIV testing sites in Kensington have increased the number of tests performed by 31%. HIV surveillance data reports are distributed biweekly to key partners. 91% of injection drug users with new HIV infection were linked to medical care within 30 days.
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. Prisons has been providing Narcan to high risk prisoners on release. Cost has shifted to an insurance refund process and no longer a cost to the City.
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. In progress. A data-sharing agreement has been drafted and is under review by Law Department. Meetings to discuss data-sharing across City departments and the creation of a high-risk client list are occurring weekly with all relevant partners. Public Health has been tasked with being the “manager” of the high-risk client list, but access is granted to those providing services.
Short Term Goals
Increase distribution of naloxone (Narcan) and related training. PFD instituted a “leave behind program,” where locations they respond to will be provided a dose of Narcan for any future ODs at that location.

Health Department’s Narcan trainings continue and have started providing a dose to individuals who attend training. Free Naloxone will be distributed at four libraries on Naloxone Giveaway Day on 12/13.

Create or enhance data systems, data management, data integrity, and data analytic capabilities in various city agencies. A job description for data analyst/epidemiologist was created for enhancing capacity in the Fire Department/EMS. Recruitment of candidates is underway.
Expand mobile or field-based distribution of Medical Assisted Treatment (MAT). Working with MA6 to engage folks in Medically Assisted Treatment. PFD will soon roll out Alternative Response Unit 2, known as ARU2, to respond to overdose calls after which a support team will be onsite immediately to engage in follow-up treatment and working on getting folks to recovery. Utilizing grant between PFD, PDPH, DBHIDS to fund this.
Provide each EMS provider medic unit with a smartphone to capture overdose data to be reported to OD Map (which is used by DVIC for tracking). In progress. Working to get fire EMS online with data collection systems to the DVIC and working to procure cell phones.
Mission 6: Increase Treatment Options & Access – Progress as of December 7, 2018  
Outstanding Immediate Goals
Disseminate information on treatment access. A cumulative total of 36 unique individuals have attended the first three workshops through December 1 with CBH Member Services and other resources/programs onsite. The final workshop of this series will take place on Saturday, December 8.
Deploy mobile outreach team including medical professionals to provide Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) in the field. In progress and ongoing.
Launch treatment capacity database. Final bed-based draft is being refined for live posting. The dry run to ensure consistent and accurate reporting is happening now.
Short Term Goals
Expand warm hand-offs between emergency departments and treatment options. Alternate funding opportunities are being explored.
Expand Police Assisted Diversion (PAD) into East Division. See update provided under Mission Area 2.
Incorporate withdrawal management into the Journey of Hope Project. This will be moved to a long-term goal. RHD is pending a DEA license and physical modifications to two sites.
Mission 7: Mobilize Community Response – Progress as of December 7, 2018
Outstanding Immediate Goals
Identify potential funding partners and engage an external fundraiser. Selecting a consultant is in the final stages.
Direct engagement with Kensington/Fairhill community. On October 26, Philly311 launched a team of four (three bilingual) agents dedicated to receiving and responding to all service requests that come in about The Philadelphia Resilience Project.

As of November 19, Philly311 received a total of 1,141 “Quality of Life” service requests in the Philadelphia Resilience Project target area (19125, 19133, 19134).  From the 1,141 cases, a total of 696 cases were closed and 445 cases were new, in progression hold or open status.

The “Quality of Life” requests were comprised of these top 10 quality of life issues: Abandoned vehicle, Illegal dumping, Graffiti removal, Street Light Outage, Rubbish Collection, Vacant house, Vacant lots clean-up, Recyclables collection, Sanitation violation, Dangerous sidewalks.
Create targeted information and resources for neighborhood leaders. In progress and ongoing.  
Create promotional materials to share at libraries, rec centers, schools, and throughout the community.   Information marketing materials were created in both English and Spanish to distribute in the community libraries, schools and businesses.
Ensure all materials are understandable and meet other Access and Functional Needs (AFN) requirements. The committee continues to work with language access in the translations of all materials and appropriate vernacular.
Increase frequency of communication to residents providing status of the Philadelphia Resilience Project. Communication efforts have been ramped to bi-weekly newsletters, frequent emails and updates on the Opioids website.
Short Term Goals
Identify community members that may need newsletter and communications in Spanish. In progress and ongoing.  
Engage Council Members. The executive team is meeting with Council on a weekly basis to provide them updates.
Engage with the We Love You Foundation. We have reached out to the vice-president of We Love You Foundation to discuss volunteering options.
Purchase additional safety kits to support cleanup operations. No updates at this time.
Stand up a Community Advisory Group of 12-13 people (or groups) to give feedback and guide future engagement. In progress.  
Enable residents to be stewards of their block through meetings, cleanups and social events. In progress.
Engage CDCs and nonprofits to strengthen relationships, and more conversation. In progress and ongoing.
Open door 311 center for opioids in the neighborhood with 1 staff member. In progress.