Author: Katie Kohler

Often Given: Help, Not Hope, Chester panhandler prays for more

Exit six off I-95 offers two options. A left sends you into the outskirts of Chester’s Sun Village with dilapidated homes and litter strewn empty lots. A right puts you directly onto Widener University’s campus, a school that recently reached record highs in a national student satisfaction survey and is regularly listed among the best law schools. Frank, a homeless man, sits on the side of the off-ramp, a common sight to the thousands of cars that pass daily. He holds a sign written on a tattered piece of cardboard that reads, “Homeless Anything Helps!!! God Bless” Late last...

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Bad News; Patients complain service still poor; knock no service on holidays

It’s been over three months but 77 year-old dialysis patient Verna immediately recognized the face of a reporter she only met once. “Nothing has changed. I’m still here waiting,” Verna says before a ‘hello.’ On March 22, The Spirit exclusively reported about issues DaVita Dialysis patients at Crozer Medical Center were having with Community Transit (CT), not the least of which were very long waits for shared-rides. “I hate it with a passion but I can’t do no better. I’m sick of it,” said Mary, a Chester resident who was waiting with Verna for a ride on a recent...

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Good News; Community Transit hits the 7’s jackpot and marks a milestone

The wheels on the Community Transit (CT) bus go ‘round and ‘round and by doing so, keeps the Delaware County senior citizen community in motion.  “Without Community Transit, the aging community would come to a halt,” said Kim McDaniel, a Senior Community Services (SCS) center director. “They are the key to getting people not just here, but to the doctors and other places. They really are dependent on them.” Last Friday morning Community Transit of Delaware County marked the 7,777,777th trip provided to residents of the county and acknowledged SCS’s 40th anniversary. SCS was one of the inaugural agencies to provide...

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Advocate uses comedy to deliver serious message

The self-proclaimed “Kevin Hart of crackheads” held an audience of 280 people rapt at the 20th anniversary celebration of the partnership between the Delaware County Department of Human Services and Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania last Wednesday at the Drexelbrook. Keynote speaker Tonier Cain, paced in an invisible small box on the dais, using her hands for emphasis, while she shared details of her horrific childhood, 19 years of prostitution, homelessness and drug addiction, and, finally, her redemption. “I don’t know if I move around because I have a lot of energy or it’s the crack in my system...

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County celebrates 20 years of behavorial health partnership

In recognition of 20 years of behavioral health leadership and the partnership demonstrated by the Delaware County HealthChoices program, more than 280 individuals joined County Council, the County Department of Human Services and Magellan Behavioral Health of Pennsylvania for an awards program and anniversary celebration last Wednesday in Drexel Hill. Along with providing mental health inpatient and outpatient psychiatric services, which are offered 24-hours, seven days-a-week through crisis services, the HealthChoices program provides substance abuse treatment, detoxification, and rehabilitation services for residents struggling with addiction. “Magellan does their work outside the box,” said Jonna L. DiStefano, administrator, Office of Behavioral...

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