[NEWS] Making sure Philly's homeless, poor aren't 'swept away' during papal weekend
On summer nights, more than 100 people sleep on benches and under trees that line the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
But when Pope Francis visits Philadelphia in late September, the Parkway will be cordoned off and subject to tight security. That's posing many challenges to homeless advocates.
When Pope Francis visited Manila in January, the Philippine government put nearly 500 homeless people on buses out of the city. For months, homeless outreach groups and civil rights lawyers in Philadelphia have been meeting with the city and the World Meeting of Families to make sure that does not happen.
"Early on, there seemed to be a message out there among people that we're going to be swept away," said Will O'Brien, a special projects coordinator with the nonprofit Project HOME. "The city has assured us that will not happen."