Who’s fighting the opioid crisis in your neighborhood?

Kensington is the epicenter of Philadelphia’s opioid crisis

Addiction remains a persistent problem in Philadelphia, and the opioid crisis comes up a lot in Billy Penn’s reporting. As we detail potential solutions to the crisis, we want to be able to point people to resources, and places they can find help or solace.

Over 1,200 Philadelphians died from overdoses last year, and that number is expected to rise, potentially soaring past 2017’s all-time high.

Many Philadelphians who have died from overdose either sought treatment or were in the midst of it, but had missed life-saving touchstones. Philly has made strides in overdose response and harm reduction efforts, but organizations struggle to secure licensing and funding outside the epicenter of Kensington.

Last month, we published an article by Courtenay Harris Bond highlighting a new St. Joe’s University program to train correctional officers in trauma-informed opioid response. We ended with a resource list, and realized most easy-to-find options are national or statewide hotlines that don’t have a real presence in Philly neighborhoods. Many also have long wait times, and might direct callers to 911 for immediate attention, which isn’t always well-suited to handle a relapse, overdose, or general inquiries.

As we practice journalism as a public service, how can we do a better job of connecting people to the most accessible options? And what makes a “good” resource?

In collaboration with Equally Informed Philly and Germantown Info Hub, we’re putting together a list of addiction resources in Philly — and we’re asking for your help finding them.

We’re looking for organizations or efforts that are:

  • Local to Philly
  • Responsive
  • Unafraid to answer questions big and small
  • Bonus: Doing something unique to engage their community and make resources accessible — tabling, needle exchanges, hosting fairs.

The inspiration for this project comes from Kensington Voice, the hyperlocal community news source that helped Equally Informed collect addiction resources specific to Kensington. We hope to build upon their work by crowdsourcing recommendations for other neighborhoods from people who know them best: you.

Have one to recommend? Fill out the brief form below.

We’ll publish the list as a regularly-updated resource anyone can use, and include it in our addiction-related articles going forward.

Billy Penn is one of more than 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on economic mobility. Read more at brokeinphilly.org or follow at @brokeinphilly.