Homeless people find refuge at Occupy Philadelphia

The tent city of protesters on the west side of Philadelphia City Hall is more permanent as it marks one week. In that short time, “Occupy Philadelphia” has improved life for some of the city’s most vulnerable.

The Occupy Philadelphia movement now has a library, a family zone and recycling bins. South Philadelphia resident Patrick DeWit, a bike courier, said the food operation is more organized than in the beginning, too.”A week ago we were basically cutting bread on the floor, and now we have a full kitchen with storage shelves. And it’s basically a professional kitchen that we can work out of a stove and a refrigerator at the Friends’ Center—the Quaker Center down the street,” said DeWit. “We have plenty of tables on site.”It’s not just Occupy Philadelphia faithful heading to the food tent. Homeless people are here too.Harvey Lockeridge is one such man taking advantage of the tent village’s amenities. He held a flyer that read: “Harvey’s Homeless Reality Tour at 4 p.m. daily presented by Occupy Philly’s public relations team.”

Lockridge said it’s nice not to have Police wake him up at odd hours prodding him to move along.

“Oh I’ve had some great sleep!” said Lockeridge. “I finally got a tent, myself. I get food, too. I don’t have to get up at an odd time in the morning. I can sleep as long as I need to.”

A nurse working in the medic tent said homeless people are also taking advantage of the medical services.  While she said she doesn’t provide anything beyond bandages and a hug, those have come in handy for several street people.   If the problem is more than she can deal with she’ll get the police or an ambulance. That hasn’t happened yet.

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