WHAT YOU CAN DO / FLYER / BACKGROUND / PA & CITY LAWS / MENTAL ILLNESS / DHS / UPDATES
EMAIL us to join our efforts or for updates: Lynn and Cliff Landes / LynnLandes@gmail.com
UPDATE: Dec 20, 2022: Support Needed For Potential Litigation To Help End Rampant Lawlessness In Philadelphia & Nonenforcement of State Laws
We are asking the City of Philadelphia to do the following:
Educate the public, both property
owners and tenants, about
their absolute 'legal right'
and 'responsibility' under state and city laws
(Titles 9 & 10) to keep their sidewalks clear of criminal behavior and
prohibited conduct (i.e., loiterers, panhandlers, and the homeless).
The City should issue public service announcements (PSAs) &
education on the importance of laws regarding health, sanitation, & public
Unfortunately, most businesses don't know about Title 9 or Title 10.
Many businesses who have security staff, often do not allow them to enforce
security outside of the building, in violation of Title 9. This is a situation
that SafeStreetsPhilly has tried to remediate through educating the various
businesses, but it would be better handled by the city disseminating this
information to the public in a more orderly and uniform manner, such as on tax
bills and statements, in radio and TV spots, and on buses!
Enforce the law. Particularly,
Titles 9 and 10.
If necessary, sue the District Attorney and Police Commissioner for "failure
to enforce the law".
Enforce 'no camping on public property without a
permit' AND always have shelter space available. Federal court
decisions have stated that people can live on the street “IF” municipalities
provide NO shelter space, which makes sense (Martin
v City of Boise). Therefore, it is incumbent on governments to always
have shelter space available for the homeless. Non-profits cannot make
this commitment. Whereas, the city has thousands of vacant buildings, and some
could be quickly converted. That said, every county in the country should also
have available emergency shelters, including facilities for short term and
long term mental health care and drug rehabilitation. To that end, the City of
Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should take steps to meet with
their colleagues in other cities and states to agree to share this
responsibility and build publicly funded facilities.
Enforce "Repeated Panhandling" under
Title 10, and if necessary, challenge the 9th Circuit Court's ruling that
ruled panhandling is a form of "free speech".
Panhandlers are often drug addicts who provide the perfect environment for
drug dealers to do business, as well as pose a constant problem to many
businesses and neighborhoods. The city should determine if there is a real
need for financial assistance or employment, and then take the appropriate
action through city services. Also, no person or organizations, including
nonprofits, should be allowed to panhandle or solicit drivers in traffic.
Amend Philadelphia Code, Title 10, to
strengthen enforcement of “Prohibited Conduct”, by
allowing the police to cite and remove violators immediately, if necessary.
The police should take the homeless to a facility for assessment, shelter, and
services, rather than to have the Homeless Outreach Team come out to the scene
of the violation, where the homeless often reject offers of assistance and
continue to violate Philadelphia laws. Complainants should be able to file
charges at the scene of the crime, rather than be required to go to Detectives
Central, which many businesspeople do not have the time or staff to do. In
addition, chronic offenders should receive progressive sentencing, the more
the offenses, the longer the sentence. That said, we are strong
supporters of rehabilitation programs, job training, and drug treatment in
prison and out.
Increase police patrols, day and
night. Plus, the police are over-relying on the public to call 911.
It appears that unless residents and businesses complain, nothing happens.
This could be an over-reaction to charges of police harassment.
Request that mayor and city council
work with PA state representatives in Harrisburg to amend Pennsylvania Code,
5100.84 for involuntary commitments, so that those who need
long-term or life-time mental health shelter and care can receive it. It is
laws like this one that have resulted in the mentally ill living on the street
or in prison.
Determine the identity of the homeless
who are coming in for shelter and services. In some cases, the
“homeless” have homes, assets, and relatives or caretakers who are looking for
them, but because the sharing of information is too often a voluntary process
at government offices and nonprofit shelters, that information is not
available or acted upon.
Ensure that the
mentally ill, who qualify for SSD and other benefits, receive them,
along with an assigned case worker. Currently, the Office of Homeless
Servicer and some non-profits offer to assist in getting SSD benefits for the
mentally ill, but it is a voluntary process on the part of the mentally &
physically ill. See
more info below
Audit the Department of Homeless
ensure that their $100 million dollar budget is being effectively employed.
There is a widespread and serious concern that many of the non-profits are
enabling the homeless to live on the streets, rather than effectively getting
them off of the streets.
Offer rehabilitation, drug treatment,
and job training to those in need.
Life skills, crafts, and a wide variety of job training services
are needed for those in need, facilities, or in prison, including primitive
skills and crafts, from low tech to high (such as gardening, knitting,
crochet, weaving, sewing, wood working, furniture repair, tool making, lamp
construction and repairs, dog training, the building trades, computer
programming and repair, etc.). There are many in the city who would
volunteer their time and talents to such a venture.
Remove All SEPTA
When the city removed
the SEPTA benches across from Macy's on Market Street, it made a huge
difference in discouraging the panhandlers, drunks, and miscreants to hang out
in that area. If people need to sit, there are light weight fold-up stools
they can buy. Therefore, we strongly urge the city to remove all seating for
bus stops as they are a magnet for trouble.
All The Sidewalk
Steam Vents Need To Be Covered in
order to prevent the homeless from camping there.
dumpsters, trash cans, and food waste containers
that are accessible to the public, as they are magnets for health and
BUSINESS: Every business, tenant, and property owner has the 'legal right' to keep their sidewalks clear of loiterers at any time, no restrictions. In Philadelphia, under Title 9, businesses have the ‘right and responsibility’ to keep the vicinity around their business free from “prohibited conduct” as defined under Title 10. Under Title 9, businesses that allow prohibited conduct on the sidewalk or street, as defined under Title 10, can be forced to remediate the situation or be closed down. Unfortunately, most businesses don't know about Title 9, and believe that they have no rights or responsibilities to forbid prohibited conduct on their sidewalk or street. Even businesses who have security staff, often do not allow them to enforce security outside of the building, in violation of Title 9. This is a situation that SafeStreetsPhilly has tried to remediate through educating the various businesses, but it would be better handled by the city disseminating this information to the public.
TITLE 9-4400. RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS -- OPERATIONS: http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title9regulationofbusinessestradesandpro/chapter9-4400responsiblebusinessoperatio?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:philadelphia_pa$anc=JD_Chapter9-4400
TITLE 10. REGULATION OF INDIVIDUAL CONDUCT AND ACTIVITY -- http://library.amlegal.com/nxt/gateway.dll/Pennsylvania/philadelphia_pa/title10regulationofindividualconductanda/chapter10-600publicplaces-prohibitedcond?f=templates$fn=default.htm$3.0$vid=amlegal:philadelphia_pa$anc=JD_Chapter10-600
"Prohibited Conduct" under Title 10 (not the complete list):
- Disorderly conduct
- Interfering with traffic
- Unreasonable loitering
- Unauthorized dwellings
- Blocking street or sidewalk
- Sitting on sidewalk over one hour
- Lying down on sidewalk & benches
- Repeated or aggressive panhandling
- Leaving objects on sidewalks for over 15 minutes
- Non-passenger use of bus stops & transit terminals
EMAIL to join our efforts or for updates: Lynn and Cliff Landes / LynnLandes@gmail.com