PEC is in the Third Councilmanic District, represented by Jaime Gauthier. Elected in 2019, Councilperson Gauthier brings a long history of working in community development to the district. We met October 14th to discuss the following concerns.
Kevin Brown, PEC’s manager of the Neighborhood Advisory Council, asked about zoning that would protect against proposed zoning variances that threaten the integrity of neighborhoods. He inquired how City funds could be used to improve a variety of services. In response, Ms. Gauthier pledged to work with PEC and neighbors to challenge development proposals considered not productive for the area.
Angie Maury, staff member of YSI’s Baring House crisis nursery center, asked about how we can address violence in local neighborhoods. Ms. Gauthier responded that she has been addressing violence for several years now, bringing new resources and strategies to the Third District. She expressed that violence is a systemic problem throughout the entire City.
Dante Leonard, PEC’s manager for the Commercial Corridor, asked about how to improve City services like trash removal, abandoned cars, illegal dumping, and more. Ms. Gauthier recounted that she is a prime mover behind the “Just Serve PHL” initiative within City Council to let the Administration know that improvements are needed. She asserted that the Third District is poorly served and is working to make that fact known to various City Departments. She says that she recognizes that street cleaning and trash removal is a serious problem that leads to blight, lack of safety, and the deterioration of neighborhoods.
Roslyn Edwards, PEC’s Early Childhood Education Director, shared information that was originally gathered by the Nurse-Family Partnership about how parents are feeling about the safety of the neighborhood.
We capped off the meeting pledging to work together on a variety of issues to benefit the community. Stay tuned!
Children Cannot Wait Campaign (CCW) Educates Policy Directors of Pennsylvania’s Gubernatorial Candidates
We succeeded in getting Pennsylvania’s Gubernatorial candidates to commit to children and youth experiencing homelessness. Whoever wins, we expect to have an open door to continue advocating for our children on substantive changes.
Our statewide network met recently with the Policy Directors working with Gubernatorial candidates Doug Mastriano and Josh Shapiro to discuss what the winning candidate would do to support Pennsylvania’s 40,000 children and youth experiencing homelessness.
In September, we met with Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano’s Deputy Campaign Manager and Policy Director, Josh Harmon. And in October, we met with Akbar Hossein of Josh Shapiro’s campaign.
We asked both Policy Directors how their Administrations would support homeless children, how they would collect and share data to show outcomes, and how they would support the recent expansions of various programs thanks to the American Rescue Plan.
Ellen Tiberino is the namesake of the matriarch of the Tiberino family. She was also one of the exhibitors of Ultra Silk Gallery's Art Exhibit titled "TIBERINO: The Legacy Continues", celebrating her family’s art legacy in Philadelphia. The Tiberino family has a long history particularly in West Philadelphia, known for celebrating culture, politics and activism. Rashida Watson, owner of Ultra Silk Gallery opened in March 2022 and sought to revitalize Second Fridays Events on Lancaster Avenue featuring new artists every month. Ms. Watson looked forward to featuring the Tiberino family and recalled key moments meeting the parents, Joseph and Ellen Powell Tiberino. The Tiberino’s history is well known in Philadelphia and around the world. The art is exhibited by their children, Raphael, Ellen, Gabriel and Latif. Ms. Watson and her daughter, Kenya hosted both the Opening & Closing Reception at her gallery located at 3808 Lancaster Avenue.
Daughter, Ellen Tiberino has special ties to PEC. She received the Artist’s Grant funded by the Mural Arts program at PEC and did a series of art shows for this program as part of the PEC’s Neighborhood Time Exchange Residency in 2018. She did “Change in the Community” at PEC’s Families First in 2018, working with stained glass to capture the earth’s natural beauty. The participants made hand-painted ceramic tiles based on the theme of the change they would like to see in the community and helped create the surrounding Mosaic. Her workshops centered around intergenerational art classes, bringing together seniors and school-age children. She believes that art therapy saves lives and even continued her work during the covid pandemic. Tiberino said, “During Covid, in addition to holding Mosaic workshops at Bartram's Garden and creating a permanent installation with the participant’s work, I held workshops with the housing-challenged community at Suburban Station for the Mural Arts Philadelphia program “Color me Back.“ From working with these participants in this program, their ideas from the workshop helped me form the Mural I created that was installed in Suburban Station in October 2021, titled “Opposing Forces.” The family celebrated with the Philadelphia community at the October 14th Closing Reception of their exhibit at Ultra Silk Gallery.
The PEC Behavioral Health Team Shares Mental Health Resources
We estimate that more than 1,000 adults are preparing to serve homeless students in Pennsylvania. It is a truly remarkable effort by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to train all 500 PA school districts and staff at each school on the McKinney-Vento federal requirements, operations, data collection, monitoring, reporting, and more.
The Education for Children and Youth Experiencing Homelessness (ECYEH) program held its annual conference recently, offering training to counselors, social workers and other school personnel whose job will include supporting homeless students. It is heroic work. PEC attended the conference, and following are two efforts that we think are beneficial.
Our statewide network called ‘Children Cannot Wait’ met with Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Mastriano’s Deputy Campaign Manager and Policy Director, Josh Harmon to discuss what Mr. Mastriano would do to support Pennsylvania’s 40,000 children and youth experiencing homelessness if he is elected as our next Governor.
Kathy Desmond, President of the People’s Emergency Center (PEC), led the meeting, posing questions about how a Mastriano Administration would support homeless children. Ms. Desmond mentioned that there were 40,000 children and youth experiencing homelessness in 2019, before the pandemic.
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