The Daily Mail reported on the situation in the City of Brotherly Love. It touched on the footage that showed the homeless drug addicts in a trance-like state, dubbed "dope lean." The video also captured fires burning on trash littered sidewalks as groups of people set up camp.
"Drug users are seen hunched over with no control of their limbs, while others are sprawled across the garbage-covered streets," the Mail noted. "Large groups have taken over the sidewalks, turning them into homeless encampments where many people live in their own filth."
According to the report, the Kensington neighborhood is known as "ground zero" for Philadelphia's drug epidemic. It has also become an open-air drug market, with the potent animal tranquilizer called xylazine adding fuel to the fire. The powerful sedative dubbed "tranq" has infiltrated the street drug supply as it is used to enhance the effects of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine. (Related: Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood in CRISIS due to widespread abuse of animal tranquilizer xylazine.)
Many of the addicts living on the streets have turned to crime and theft to sustain themselves. Numbers from the Philadelphia Police Department attest to this, with citywide theft up by two percent and total property crimes up by 22.35 percent compared to 2022. Crime data reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer also shows that Kensington has one of the highest drug crime rates in the city.
In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the state of Pennsylvania had one of the highest drug overdose death rates in the country, with 5,449 overdose deaths. In response, Philadelphia's Opioid Response Unit outlined its plan to address the overdose crisis in April 2022. They announced investments in community-based efforts and a law enforcement partnership to disrupt the drug market.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia District Attorney (DA) Larry Krasner was impeached in 2022 for his failure to crack down on crime. However, Krasner – one of the first DAs to describe himself as a "progressive prosecutor" – remains in office.
According to a local activist, businesses disgruntled by addicts loitering in front of their establishments are responding in a not-so-brotherly manner. They are now resorting to the use of sprinkler systems and other booby traps to keep the addicts away from their storefronts.
Frank Rodriguez, a drug user and dealer-turned-sober businessman, told Fox News that some Kensington businesses have gone the extra mile to keep their storefronts appealing to prospective customers. "They have to set up these crazy little hacks and booby traps just to keep people off their stoops," he said.
"There are businesses that set up sprinkler systems, so they just can be inside and hit a button and the sprinkler system goes off. [Some] businesses end up throwing soapy water on the ground just so it is wet, and it is not a comfortable place to sit down."
Rodriguez also shared the predicament of Mexican eatery Cantina La Martina, highlighting the obstacles it faces due to drug addiction and homelessness. He said the restaurant's front is frequently littered with "needles, vomit, feces [and] bodies." Because of this, the joint's employees "have to come out every single day and clean up numerous times."
Mariangeli Saez, a co-owner of Cantina La Martina, also revealed that the eatery suffered because of Kensington's public safety problem. Nightly servings have dropped at least 60 percent, and some of their suppliers have refused to make deliveries due to safety concerns.
"I couldn't imagine the customers to my business having to come through all this chaos just to support my business," Rodriguez said. "Who wants to come down to this neighborhood to shop here? Who wants to do that? Nobody."
"The businesses don't last long. When they are put in the community, the community tends to tear them down. It's not a place for anything to thrive. There's people that are literally just waiting for you to nod off so they can go in your bag, take your money, take your drugs [and] take the shoes off your feet."
The activist concluded: "It's 100 percent getting worse. It's [going to] get worse tomorrow, and the next day is [going to] be even worse."
Watch this footage of homeless drug addicts taken at the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia.
This video is from the HaydenStore channel on Brighteon.com.