After worsening over the past several decades, the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela has reached what some who've fled call "indescribable" levels. More than 2,500 ex-pats have ended up in Philly, where they've found refuge and work to help their compatriots back home. Billy Penn spoke with several "Phillyzuelans" about their experiences, and the activist efforts of local nonprofit Casa de Venezuela. “Now that I’m in Philadelphia,” one man proclaimed, “no one can take me out of here.”
So far, this year's World Cup action in Russia has been all about the underdog teams — so yeah, this tournament basically screams Philadelphia. Last week FIFA awarded the 2026 games to a combined USA-Mexico-Canada bid, and Philly is on the shortlist of possible host cities. From the nation's 250th birthday celebration to our track record with big events, here's why the World Cup obviously belongs here.
Three months sober and looking for a place to stay in Philly, Louis Gay was referred by a city social worker to a recovery house called Clean Days & Sober Nights. When he showed up there, he found bed bugs and an abusive manager — so he left, and demanded his money back. No go. Clean Days' owner told Billy Penn refunds were against policy. The city social worker, meanwhile, can't really do anything to help (recovery house certification isn't mandatory), but did say he's cutting all ties with Clean Days moving forward.
- This North Philly elementary school purposely hired many black male teachers to provide role models. It's working.
- Millennials were the only age cohort in Philly to increase turnout in the 2018 primary election.
- There's a criminal justice reform rally with Meek Mill at City Hall today from noon to 5 pm.
- The answer to a heat wave = Pop's Water Ice (in case you've never been).
- If you're taking SEPTA this week, bring nonperishable food for the "Stop Hunger at Your Station" Philabundance barrels. Collection locations listed here.
CHOP opened a $42.5 million healthy literacy center in South Philly in May of 2016. Apparently it's hosting an event today "to celebrate Citizens Bank's support" — thanks, Citizens Bank — and Mayor Kenney will speak (11 a.m.). Then it's off to the ribbon-cutting for a new play space inside the Whitman Library at Second and Snyder (12 p.m.).
🥩 BP Event 🌟 Meet the woman sourcing the best meat in Philly and taste the goods at our next cooking demo, featuring chef Trevor Budny and Heather Thomason of Primal Supply. Tix are $15. (Tuesday, June 19, 6 p.m.)
🚚 BP Event 🌟 To celebrate the opening of New Liberty Distillery's gorgeous courtyard space in Kensington, we're throwing a Final Four Food Truck party. All-you-can-eat tickets are $20. (Saturday, June 23, 1 to 4 p.m.)
⛑️ Want to be able to save a person at risk of dying from an overdose? Attend a free narcan training at Mural Arts' Kensington Storefront. (Monday, June 18, 6 to 7 p.m.)
🔒 Chef Kurt Evans is teaming with the Community Bail Fund for a free discussion in West Philly about the food and education situation in prisons. Light refreshments will be served. (Tuesday, June 19, 7 p.m.)
💜 The Purple Heart Truck Run, a 7,800-mile cross-country awareness trip in a mobility-enabled truck driven by by amputee veterans, will make a stop at the Museum of the American Revolution. (Wednesday, June 20, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
🚣 Experience the summer solstice sunset on the Schuylkill. Bartram's Garden is hosting a rowboat party using skiffs built by middle school students. Expect music, activities and more. (Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m.)
Shout out to BP member Anita, who recently joined and said "I'm paying my dues for a very good product." Thanks, Anita! Here's how to become a Billy Penn member today. We rely on your support to stay on top of Philly news and inform a growing community of interested, involved Philadelphians. Thank you to everyone who's contributed.