Support Arvilla Residents!
Hello from West Philadelphia, where 18 residents of the Arvilla building (4500 block of Osage) are being forced out of their homes at only a few weeks' notice.
One of the residents of the Arvilla is an elder, who have been in the building for 50 years -- and another is a single mother of three who was invited in by the owners just ~7 months ago, only to be told to leave right in the middle of winter.
Many of the residents are in a vulnerable position -- and as a result they have been ignored, forced to endure poor conditions, and eventually pushed out.
While neighbors are organizing to keep the building affordable and open to tenants, the owner has yet to halt the evictions.
To keep current residents safe and supported (especially during the holiday season), we are looking for at least $1000 per head to reimburse any expenses they'll have, and to ensure a cushion during this time.
Please contribute as you are able, and share this campaign widely!
More info: www.ArvillaOrganizing.org
We set a modest target of $20k, but it would be great to triple that or more.
Funds will be channeled through the Calvary Center for Culture & Community, a trusted local organization that will help us account for it. Since they're a 501c3, your contribution is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
The fundraising committee (Alex Gunnison, Aya Kaufmann, Tammer Ibrahim, Mary McGettigan, Timothy Crawford & JJ Tiziou) will provide oversight for equitable distribution to Arvilla residents.
Because cash gifts can mess up benefits & subsidies, we’ll use the $$ to help neighbors cover costs of daily life & moving / transition costs & provide gift cards.
Our goal is for at least 75% of the money raised to be distributed evenly per person in a need-blind no-conditions manner. The remaining 25% will allow flexibility for dealing with specific resident needs as they come up.
We will have touch-points at the end of January & end of February to distribute resources, and may continue the campaign beyond that depending on how the coming months shape up.
Thank you for being generous in your support of our neighbors!
FOR MORE INFO:
Inquirer: The Penn-Alexander Effect: Is there any room for low-income residents in University City?
NBC10: Tenants of University City Apartment say they were forced out of their homes
WestPhillyLocal: Neighbors Protest Arvilla sale, owners say deal nearly final
GeekGirlWisdom: Support Arvilla Residents in W. Philly from Getting Pushed Out
I've had the blessing of being on the receiving end of a lot of gratitude from friends in the Arvilla who are grateful for all of the neighborhood support that was extended to them... but the thanks is really due to all of you who've chipped in– so thank you all.
Craig is one of three residents who were at our meeting last night and it's great to see these connections continue beyond the evictions.
Please share w/ anyone in the neighborhood who'd be interested in joining us...
For those of you in W. Philly, we just had our second dinner for the group that is focusing on individual neighbor support and resource sharing in our area and for the neighbors who've been displaced from the Arvilla.
This is all about long-term relationship building and exchange, and you'd be welcome to join if you're in the area.
To get involved, drop a line to Chloe & Rocky who are helping co-facilitate this group:
Chloe Wang <email@example.com>
Rocky Breslow <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
You can also:
Subscribe to this new listserv to receive updates about the neighbor support group:
Fill out this Google form to share what you'd be willing to offer, and we'll work on turning the responses into a directory zine! There is much to offer, from physical items to skills to social time:
Join us at our next dinner meeting next Monday, March 18, 7 PM at 4529 Osage. (RSVP to Chloe & Rocky)
For those of you more interested in larger issues of policy and affordable housing in the area and city, save the date for a meeting on March 7th at Calvary, 7-9pm, and please email email@example.com if you'd like to help push that agenda forward!
There's good news & bad:
Quick bit of good news:
I heard from the young mother of the 3 kids and they are well. They are smoothly settled in Overbrook, & she says to all of us:
I just wanted to thank you for your ongoing support throughout these hard times.
(Confession: when I sent my last email on Feb 1mentioning that three of us were worried about her, I actually had a voicemail from her from Jan 25 that she’d left from her daughter’s phone that had slipped by unlistened-to. The fact that I’d dropped the ball on this is another indicator of my being overextended, hence my not being able to lead us forward into an ongoing W. Philly movement without more support. A few more folks are still needed to take on organizing roles – please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d be game.)
Quick bit of bad news:
Our 81yr old elder had a nasty fall during the move last week, and just went in to the hospital on Monday. (The “comprehensive relocation assistance” provided by Mission First was a couple guys with a truck who dumped his stuff all over his new apartment without setting the furniture up or putting anything in place, leaving a minefield of tripping hazards which led to a fall & a broken hip.) – Please keep him in your hearts & prayers as he’s scheduled for surgery. Not sure if he’ll end up able to come back right away or will spend time in rehab, but we could use a few more folks to help support him specifically. Our next neighbor support / resource share dinner is Feb 18 at 7pm at 4529.