Recent studies show that cleaner neighborhoods are not only good for our mental health, but help reduce violence too. Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) was inspired by this correlation to work with Mt. Airy CDC (MACDC) on a small block-cleaning pilot this past summer.
Employing evidence-based strategies and utilizing block-level maps of gun violence and litter created by the City, MACDC recommended the inclusion of certain Mt. Airy blocks that scored high on both metrics. Senator Haywood’s office worked with Germantown United CDC to identify target blocks in that community as well.
Glitter, a new, subscription-based weekly litter cleaning service, was hired to keep the blocks clean starting last June. Already positive outcomes have been seen–including less litter left on the streets now that the blocks are consistently cleaner. Since there is less trash to clean up, the cleaners have been able to expand their services to surrounding blocks, and have developed a friendly relationship with neighbors.
However, as of mid-September funding for the pilot stage of this project is about to run out. Senator Haywood and MACDC are working to apply for additional program funding that would enable the work to continue in 2023. Neighbors and stakeholders can help bridge this gap by donating funds to the project, keeping the initiative alive in Northwest Philly, and helping to expand its efforts for cleaner, safer streets.
Read more about the project and contribute to making Mt. Airy a safer place to live for all: