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City of Philadelphia

Dispute Resolution Program

Our Dispute Resolution Program is designed to resolve disputes that have not yet escalated to violence and are not being litigated in court. The program helps prevent the escalation of neighborhood problems into potentially violent events.
A trained and experienced PCHR staff member uses conflict resolution practices or formal mediation sessions to help the parties identify the nature of their conflict. If the disputing parties reach an understanding, the mediator develops a confidential agreement that is in the best interest of the parties.

PCHR staff does not take sides in the dispute, nor do they force people to participate in the program. In addition, staff does not do anything to harm either party, including violating someone’s confidentiality. Our goal is to facilitate communication with disputing parties and to resolve the underlying conflict.

The DRP Can Help...

  • Assess the nature of a dispute in a confidential setting and provide a client with the skills necessary to solve the dispute
  • Attempt to establish communication between disputing parties
  • Provide formal mediation services and develop a confidential, legally binding agreement

The DRP Cannot Help...

  • People in the same household
  • People in intimate relationships
  • Victims of serious crimes or property damage
  • Strangers who are not likely to see each other again
  • Disputants who are already in court or whose dispute is in front of anadministrative body (e.g., the Zoning Board of Adjustment)