There are several key efforts underway to beautify the blocks within the North Central Special Services District (NCSSD). If you have feedback about how these initiatives are working or how they could be improved, please let us know.
We beautify our surroundings
In fall 2018, Temple University contracted the services of One Day at a Time (ODAAT), a nonprofit organization that specializes in drug and alcohol recovery programs, services for the homeless and providing transitional housing.
In February 2019, the NCSSD board voted to continue and expand these services. District residents are encouraged to report any areas in need of clean up so that the crew can prioritize them.
A partnership between the NCSSD, Temple University and ODAAT benefits everybody involved.
A 10 to 15 member street team from ODAAT provides sidewalk cleaning throughout the district four to five days each week and reports back to the city when they see larger issues, like debris or furniture in need of pickup, vacant lots in need of maintenance, or abandoned vehicles.
A 360-Degree Turn
Darnell Scott knows firsthand the power of ODAAT to transform a life. The youngest of six siblings, Scott was raised at 15th and Dauphin streets. Today he is a leader of the ODAAT street sweeping service for the community where he grew up.
“I got caught up in the street like some of these other younger guys, and Rev. Mel Wells, [president of ODAAT,] always went out of his way to try to help me out,” says Scott. “I’m living proof that you can come all the way back—a 360-degree turn is doable.”
Scott started his career with ODAAT as a volunteer, and through his hard work and dedication was promoted to supervisor of the street cleanup team in 2016. Along the way, Scott witnessed eight young men connect with the ODAAT reentry program and make improvements in their community and in themselves, earning credit scores and GED certifications.
PhilaCan Trash Receptacle Program
From November 2018 through May 2019, the NCSSD participated in an experimental program managed by the Philadelphia Streets Department called PhilaCan, which provided 35-gallon trash receptacles to homeowners who wished to conveniently store trash in front of their properties between trash collection days. More cans on each block mean less litter on each street—a win for all of us.
This project was developed in response to a Philadelphia study that determined trash cans with lids could help reduce the city’s litter problem—and the fact that ours is currently the only major U.S. city without a municipal street-sweeping program.
Visit PhilaCan for details. Restrictions apply.
To report dumping or littering, call 311.
In response to community feedback, students moving into the residential areas surrounding Temple’s campus will be given information on recycling and trash collection so they clearly understand when they should put out trash for pickup and what types of containers should be used. Temple’s Office of Sustainability also distributes recycling bins to students living near campus as part of the Good Neighbor Initiative at the beginning of each academic year.