Point Breeze expands its own street cleaning program

Pat Loeb
March 11, 2019 - 5:29 pm
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson with Urban League director Charlene Matlock Turner and workers and officials from Ready, Willing and Able.

Pat Loeb/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia's Point Breeze community isn't waiting for Mayor Kenney's proposed street sweeping pilot. 

They already have their own program growing and Monday, they announced they're expanding it to get every street in the neighborhood. 

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A couple of years ago, residents started a GoFundMe page to pay for street cleaning and hired the homeless services agency, Ready, Willing and Able, to provide the labor. It's worked out so well, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson wangled $200,000 out of the city budget to expand the program. 

The workers will now clean from Broad to 25th streets and just south of Washington to Snyder avenues with brooms and rakes, working daily so every block gets swept once a week.   

Johnson says using the formerly homeless workforce makes the program doubly beneficial. 

"It's bigger than just cleaning up our neighborhood. It's really helping individuals reclaim their lives and become productive members of society," Johnson said. 

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Neighbor Dianne Mitchell says residents appreciate both aspects of the program. 

"We are so blessed to have this organization to assist the Point Breeze neighborhood. We are ready, we are willing and we are able to assist them also," Mitchell said.