New anti-homeless efforts

Mayor Nutter this morning announced a series of new initiatives to fight homelessness in Philadelphia.

"We have to build this city," he told the crowd assembled in Dilworth Plaza for the announcement. "We have souls and lives to save."

Nutter said the city will create 75 new beds for chronically homeless people with behavioral or substance abuse problems. Two overnight cafes -- drop in centers that provide food and help during the winter -- will be operated throughout the summer. And the Philadelphia Housing Authority will make 500 existing housing units available specifically for people who are in transitional housing and need permanent homes.

Nutter said that, as of last week, 389 people were sleeping on the streets in Philadelphia. And roughly 6,600 were in emergency or transitional housing.

"This is a first step," Nutter said of the day's announcement. "We're here today collectively to say first and foremost we can do better."

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