Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf took a tour of the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and vowed to do more to help people impacted by the opioid epidemic.
“We need to do more, more money, more programs, more help,” said Wolf after seeing people living on the streets surrounding the Esperanza Health Center at Kensington and Allegheny.
“It’s incredibly sad and depressing,” said Wolf after he toured the area, which was at least partially cleaned up by a large police presence surrounding Esperanza, a converted bank which has been transformed into a health care facility.
Susan Post of Esperanza says the building might be beautiful and a haven for people in the low-income neighborhood but, “getting into the building is traumatizing.” Post says workers are, “traumatized by those who are addicted living on the streets, and by the violence that comes from selling and purchasing opioids and the horrible experience that comes from actually watching people overdose before you on the street.”
Post also spoke about turf wars breaking out, with gun battles between people trying to “own” the corner for narcotic sales. “Our community is in ruin,” said Post. “I believe this is breaking the fabric of our society.”