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  • 11 May 2020 2:29 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Philadelphians who are struggling financially because of the pandemic may also be eligible for an emergency cash grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Emergency Assistance Program is for families with children who were working and experienced the loss of a job or income.

    Applications will be accepted starting tomorrow, Monday, May 11, 2020, through June 12. Residents can apply online or call BenePhilly at 1 (833) 373-5868.

    Emergency Cash Assistance

  • 11 May 2020 2:19 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    The City of Philadelphia launched an emergency rental assistance program that is expected to keep at least 3,000 families in their homes. The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program will make rent payments for people who have lost income because of COVID-19.

    Program information is available at Renters may begin submitting applications on Tuesday, May 12 at 10 a.m. Applications must be submitted by Saturday, May 16, at 5 p.m. Renters who do not have access to the internet or a smart phone will be able to get program and application information by calling 3-1-1.

    Help With Rent

  • 08 May 2020 11:08 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    SEPTA will soon be operating on a regular schedule for most transit services on Sunday, May 17.

    Customers are advised to use SEPTA for essential travel only and are strongly encouraged to wear face masks and coverings. Fare payment and front door entry will be restored.  

    Transit vehicles will have the following capacity:

    • 20 people will be allowed at a time on buses
    • 25 people allowed on per trolley
    • 30 people will be allowed on the Norristown Line

    Regional Rail will continue to operate on a "Lifeline Schedule" through the end of May.

  • 08 May 2020 10:59 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Yesterday, Thursday evening, Gov. Wolf extended the Stay at Home order to June 4 in the Philadelphia area.  

    Stay home as much as possible. Try to get groceries once per week instead of daily. Freedom of travel remains, but please refrain from non-essential travel. Essential travel includes things like commuting to an essential job, picking up supplies like groceries and medicine, and checking on family and pets in other households. Do not host or attend gatherings. 

  • 07 May 2020 11:35 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Several members have asked that we clearly state the need to wear masks when outside, especially if you are biking or running. Although it seems like common sense and common courtesy, I have had several somewhat heated conversations about this topic.   CCRA has looked into the regulations regarding mask wearing outside. Consistent with everything else we know about the Covid-19, the policies at the local, state and federal levels are consistently vague. While mask wearing outside, for any activity, is encouraged, it is not required if you are socially distant. 

    Philadelphia says you don't need a mask outside if you are staying six feet away from others.

     Pennsylvania recommends but does not mandate wearing a mask outdoors

    Federal policy (CDC/FEMA) says wear a mask or face covering when you go outside. (NOTE, this guidance expires as of tonight, April 30, at midnight)

    The Bicycle Coalition 
    (citing CDC guidelines--about to expire tonight) recommends that bikers wear masks and practice social distancing when riding. 

    I could not find an organization comparable to the Bicycle Coalition for runners but Philadelphia Runner, a long time CC running supply shop, sponsors several running clubs. On their blog, they cite CDC guidelines (again, about to expire tonight) for mask wearing and share directions on making your own mask.


    Bottom Line - although clearly a best practice, wearing a mask outdoors is not required.   Philadelphia guidance stipulates that you must be socially distanced (at least 6' from others) but with no enforcement, this is meaningless.  CCRA will continue to recommend mask wearing but that is all it is, a recommendation.


    FAQs about homemade masks

  • 04 May 2020 1:46 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    If you want to cook your own fish dinner, Robert Amar, owner of Small World Seafood, is selling fresh fish on Friday on Rittenhouse Square in front of The Dorchester. You can sign up for notifications about seafood selection each week. Order forms are sent to you on Thursday. Pick up Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 11.45 a.mFriends report this is very good fish.

  • 01 May 2020 10:57 AM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Two months after he presented his 2021 budget to the City Council, Philadelphia Major Jim Kenney released a revised budget on Friday in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

    The revised budget includes layoffs, tax increases, salary reductions and cuts to some city services.

    "Even as our operating departments rushed to respond to the virus, I directed our finance and budget directors to start the budget process all over again," Kenney said in a recorded address. "They developed a new plan that addresses the unfortunate economic reality we now face."

    The Office of the Department of Finance projects that without the changes, the city would face a $649 million deficit in the coming year -- at least five times the projected deficit in 2009.

    The projection led to what Kenney called "painful" decisions in order to reduce spending.

  • 30 Apr 2020 3:55 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    Violations of orders put in place to combat the spread of the covid-19 now carry fines up to $2,000 businesses and $600 for individuals.

    Enforcement officers also have the discretion to issue Code Violation Notices (CNVs) to allow payment of lesser amounts for violations of the order to avoid being taken to court. 

  • 29 Apr 2020 9:46 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

    As the rate of new cases of the coronavirus in Philadelphia continues to decline, albeit slowly, the city will begin winding down the operation of the temporary hospital space at Temple University’s Liacouras Center.

    It was another sign of improvement after the city avoided a catastrophic surge of cases — and it was also a sign of the caution officials are using as they move forward: As the virus still circulates, the city will keep equipment at the center in case of an unexpected surge or second wave.

  • 27 Apr 2020 1:39 PM | Travis Oliver (Administrator)

     SEPTA is making another important change to its bus and trolley routes. It is no longer using a fixed timetable. Instead, SEPTA will run them on what it calls a frequency-based schedule.

    For example, some routes will run every 15 minutes, instead of at specific times, to reduce the number of people waiting.

    SEPTA is rolling out this system over the next few days.

    They are encouraging riders to check the SEPTA APP and transit view feature to see their next bus or trolley.

Center City Quarterly

CCRA publishes the Center City Quarterly to provide information on Center City people and events from the point of local residents.  You'll be guaranteed to learn something interesting about your neighborhood in every issue!

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