An Evaluation of the City of Philadelphia's Kensington Encampment Resolution Pilot

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School of Social Policy and Practice::Departmental Papers (SPP)
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Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Urban Studies and Planning
Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Homelessness among People with Behavioral Health-related Disabilities
Homelessness and HIV/AIDS
opiate addiction
City of Philadelphia
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Metraux, Stephen
Cusack, Meagan
Graham, Fritz
Metzger, David S.

This evaluation is an independent examination of the City of Philadelphia’s Encampment Resolution Pilot (ERP), an initiative to shut down two homeless encampments located in the Kensington section of Philadelphia. The closure process involved an extended period of active outreach that facilitated access to housing, substance use treatment, and other services to people who stayed in the encampments and faced displacement. We examined two primary outcomes: first, whether the encampments were closed as scheduled and remained closed; and, second, the extent to which the people who were sleeping in the encampments (i.e., the target population) received needed services.

The evaluation is based upon five primary data collection activities that, combined, provided a timely, multifaceted assessment of ERP, and particularly of the impacts ERP had on both those displaced by the initiative and the area of Kensington surrounding these encampments. These data components are:

  1. An “Outreach Encampment and Survey” of 169 persons who frequented the encampments;
  2. Data collected as part of ERP outreach services and linked to the City of Philadelphia’s integrated data system of services records known as CARES;
  3. Direct observation of community meetings, ERP planning meetings, and encampment sites;
  4. Interviews with people who stayed in encampments and community members as well as advocates for those staying in the encampments, and ERP officials and providers; and
  5. Documents and records from City of Philadelphia and other sources, and media coverage related to ERP and Kensington
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