This post was written by Randy Duque, Deputy Director, Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, Community Relations Division
These are stressful times for all of us. As the City continues to respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, we thought it would be helpful to provide Philadelphia residents with some useful tips.
With most of our residents staying at home as much as possible, conflicts both inside the home or between neighbors may happen.
We’ve identified the top three conflicts that have the potential to occur and are sharing tips on how you can avoid creating those conflicts or de-escalate them.
Loitering or gathering outside
As stated in the City’s Business Activity and Stay at Home Order, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.
If family members are outside, they should try to wear face coverings or masks and be mindful of other neighbors or people passing by. Remember, people should only be outside if they are performing an essential activity as laid out in the City’s Order.
If you see people consistently gathering in a public location, you can report this to 3-1-1. If there are any large parties or gatherings happening at night, you can call 9-1-1.
Since many residents are staying at home, be considerate about the noise coming from your home, and try to be understanding about noise that may be coming from your neighbor’s home. For example, if you’re working out at home, you may want to try low-impact workouts that limit the amount of noise you’ll create.
Although the City’s Noise Ordinance is directed towards excessive noise after 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 p.m. on weekends, try to be mindful of noise levels during the day as well. Many people are working from home right now, so being aware of noise both during business hours and at night is important.
Acts of ethnic intimidation or harassment
The COVID-19 coronavirus can affect anyone. Acts of hate and discrimination against anyone based on their ethnicity or the perception that they are sick or a carrier of COVID-19 are illegal and are not tolerated in Philadelphia. If you see a hate crime in progress call 9-1-1.
To report non-emergency hate crimes and bias incidents related to fear of COVID-19, you should contact the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) at 215-686-4670 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can report an incident in any language. Anonymous reports can be made to the PCHR hotline at 215-686-2856. You can find more information on PCHR’s website.
Building positive relationships with neighbors
Finally, while we can all do our part to reduce conflict in our neighborhoods, it is also important to build positive relations with our neighbors.
Check on your neighbors. If you are going out for groceries or essential items, see if they need some, too. As you do this, remember to wear your face mask and practice social distancing!
If you are experiencing a community conflict or conflict with your neighbor, or if you believe you have been the victim of a hate crime or bias incident, please contact PCHR by calling 215-686-4670 or emailing email@example.com.