How can and should we
solve our city’s addiction crisis?

At the end of April, the City of Philadelphia announced its second attempt to clear encampments of people experiencing “addiction-related homelessness” in Kensington.

However, the addiction crisis isn’t just centered in one neighborhood and people around the city face barriers to treatment and recovery every step of the way.

For four months, journalism students at Temple University engaged with the community to create a series of stories about some of the challenges that intersect with addiction. 

The project is called 1217 — a dedication to the 1,217 people who died of overdoses in Philadelphia in 2017. 

As a result, we collected voices from people affected by the crisis and those on the ground working to make a difference.

Some of the people in this project are referred to by their first names only to respect their requests for privacy. 

Row homes line Potter Street in Kensington. PHOTO BY SYDNEY SCHAEFER
Brandi (left) is consoled by a friend during a vigil for her late boyfriend, John Paul, who died of an overdose in April 2018. PHOTO BY SYDNEY SCHAEFER