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Walking Kensington Pawnshops and Prayers on a Street of Hard Times

virginia allyn | United States

Nicole. She came to the area to start over. Nicole reports being sexually molested from a very young age. She is sleeping on a mattress on the street while waiting for housing. "It's like a circus out here," she said. The morning I met her she saved someone's life.

Walk Kensington Avenue in the City of Philadelphia and you've come to a street of hard times.  Once a thriving hub of the working class today it stands for uban neglect.  Factories closed.  Buildings sit abandoned. Fires burned and people died in fires when building codes and fire safety guidelines were violated.  Today people sit on the sidewalk using needles in plain sight.  They pass out on the streets or stand barely conscious at the corners. Trash baskets overflow and streets are littered with garbage.  There's an opioid epidemic here.  Against this backdrop are the stories of people whose lives go on here.  Their plight is told in pictures. 

Kensington Avenue could be in almost any city in America.  It just happens to be in Philadellphia.  This avenue tells a story of the crises that come to cities and settle there. Soluitons are few and the problems become greater.  

Some may see it as a dangerous, ugly place with everything one would want to avoid.  Others may see lives broken, people caught up in a drama who wish they could start over and make their story new.

virginia allyn   


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