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Vacant lot in Kensington transforms into safe haven for those struggling with addiction

Vacant lot in Kensington transforms to safe haven for those struggling with addiction
Vacant lot in Kensington transforms to safe haven for those struggling with addiction 02:10

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two weeks ago CBS Philadelphia reported on a recently launched around-the-clock cleaning program in the Kensington business corridor. The pilot program hopes to clean up the drug-ridden neighborhood and help those struggling with addiction.


On the other side of this fence on Kensington Avenue is an oasis from the harsh realities of drug addiction.

"This is one of the areas that he would frequently use to visit and I use to follow him all the time down here," Patrice Rogers, founder of Stop the Risk said.

Addiction that ultimately took the life of Rogers' husband several years ago. 

"I realize it just wasn't about the drugs, that my husband wanted to be around people that was just like him," she said.

Rogers turned her loss into action. 

Taking the money her husband left her to transform this vacant lot into a safe haven for her neighbors struggling with addiction. Four people are staying here right now.

"I have two homes they live in here for three months. They work on their recovery and then go to a more suitable recovery house, or somewhere with more stability for them to work on their recovery," Rogers said. 

"I met Patrice through a friend of mine getting clean. Introduced me to her and it fell in place," Corey, a resident of Stop the Risk said.

Corey has lived on the property for the last seven weeks.

"When you're in a place with people with a common goal and you start to care about each other. You walk through the fence it's a different feeling than from out there," Corey said. 


Residents like Corey are responsible for keeping the property clean along with the sidewalks in front. Rogers does not allow drug use on the property.

"I believe these are first steps for them to get to the second step in the stages for their lives," Rogers said. 

A step Corey believes will help him in his sobriety.

"It has to be different here in order for it to work. It can't be the same as on the other side of the fence or the other side of this fence. Give us an opportunity and a chance. That's how I see it," Corey said. 

Rogers is looking for funding to help her continue the work she's doing. She hopes to add additional tiny homes and a garden in the future.

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