In Philadelphia, homeless Latinos are an underserved and undercounted group that advocates say aren’t reaching city services designed to help them. The city has pledged to amp up outreach efforts in the coming year. Another area in which Philadelphia is looking to improve in 2019: curbing gun violence. Yesterday, Mayor Jim Kenney introduced sprawling initiatives aimed at reducing what he called the “ongoing crisis” of gun violence in the city. And, if you’re waking up to a blanket of snow, here’s what you should know about transportation and school closings this morning.

Latinos make up nearly 15 percent of Philadelphia’s population, and the city’s poorest minority group, with 39 percent living in poverty, according to census data. But step inside a Philly homeless shelter, and those statistics aren’t represented.

Labeled the Latino Homeless Paradox, advocates say many Latinos — confronted with language barriers and available beds outside their neighborhoods — feel the system is not for them, and are more likely to live on the streets or couch-surf with friends and family.

Nationally, and in Philadelphia, Latinos represent a small fraction of people in shelters, causing them to miss out on homeless and public housing help from the government.

After a record year of gun violence in Philadelphia in 2018, with an average of nearly four people shot per day, Mayor Jim Kenney has introduced sprawling initiatives aimed at reducing the city’s level of gun violence.

The mayor vowed to dedicate more than $4 million over the next six months to address the crisis, hoping to blend policing tactics, public health programs, and efforts to address issues like school truancy, poverty, and blight to stem the tide.

The longest-ever federal government shutdown is now in its 28th day, and its consequences continue to mount. For the first time in 36 years, the King Day National Bell Ceremony will not occur at the Liberty Bell after corporate and nonprofit donors couldn’t raise the money to open the National Park.

Meanwhile, more than 4,100 federal workers have applied for Pennsylvania and New Jersey unemployment benefits since the start of the shutdown, the FBI and other federal agencies are also feeling its effects, and some Philly restaurants and SEPTA are offering deals to aid the unpaid government workers.

And although they won in swing districts, newly-elected Pennsylvania and New Jersey Democrats are holding firm against negotiations over President Donald Trump’s border wall until the government reopens.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Looking good in every season, Ben. ❄️Thanks for the photo, @stylephilly!

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That’s Interesting


Signe Wilkinson cartoon du jour Toon18 Women’s March
Signe Wilkinson
Signe Wilkinson cartoon du jour Toon18 Women’s March

“As I think about Jack today, what I know for certain is that Philadelphia and the world have lost a giant – a financial visionary whose bedrock integrity, competitive grit, compassion, and contributions to millions of investors — will endure.” - Bill Marimow, The Inquirer’s vice president of strategic development, reflects on the loss of his friend and Vanguard founder John Bogle.

What we’re reading

  • This summer, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court restored a general assistance program that affords low-income residents around $200 per month for groceries and rent. But new legislation is threatening to dismantle it once again, Generocity reports
  • After her son and author Joseph Beam died from AIDS-related complications in 1988, Philadelphia school teacher Dorothy Beam dedicated her life to amplifying the voices of black gay men across America. Philadelphia Gay News tells her story.
  • Have you noticed the Boyd Theater’s glass facelift? It’s the latest work of Delco native and Drexel grad Christina Sioutis, who, as Philly Mag explains, never planned on becoming a glass artist.   
  • Can the FBI link you to a crime based on the shirt or jeans you’re wearing? Not according to scientists, who are beginning to question the Quantico team’s methods. ProPublica explains
A sign advertises the chance to buy a granite Love Park keepsake at Love Park on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
A sign advertises the chance to buy a granite Love Park keepsake at Love Park on Friday, Nov. 24, 2017.

Your Daily Dose of | LOVE

Fourteen months after a trademark battle stonewalled the sale of the city’s LOVE Park mementos, the pieces of painted park granite are back on sale, with additional (slightly different) keepsakes to come.