Issue #1: January 2019
Filling empty homes


How hard is it to take an abandoned building and turn it into a safe living space for people experiencing homelessness?


Last August, we hit the streets of Kensington to learn more about what you — residents and members of the community — might want or need from a neighborhood newsroom. Since then, we’ve heard from hundreds of you via our pop-up newsroom stations, suggestion boxes, text messages, online surveys, emails, and more.

What you told us was not surprising: there’s a lot more to the neighborhood than what usually makes the news. Kensington needs a voice, and we’re here to elevate your words.

With your feedback, we built the website and newsroom — a pop-up that meets you where you are throughout the week to collect story ideas and guide you through sharing your voice — that you see in front of you today. It’s a rough draft of what’s to come and will continue to evolve with and for this community.

Kensington Voice is far from perfect. Only one of us (currently) is a native Spanish speaker, none of us have ever built a bilingual website, we have no print edition or permanent location (yet), and we don’t have the resources to publish more than once a month. But we hope that as this project grows, so will we.

For our first issue, we set out to answer the question: How hard is it to convert abandoned buildings into housing for people experiencing homelessness? This was derived from questions asked by more than one of you at our pop-up stations this fall.

We quickly realized that the many intersections of this question — housing, homelessness, gentrification, — were too complicated to answer in one issue. However, we did our best to explore your question, and we plan to revisit this and other issues you suggest going forward.

That’s our commitment to you: We are here, at your service, to help you answer questions you have about your community, facilitate dialogue with your neighbors, and most importantly, give Kensington the platform and voice it deserves.

Please contact us with suggestions for our monthly issues, and most importantly, never hesitate to tell us how we can do better. After all, we’re here to work for and with you.



Let’s use vacant buildings to help people experiencing homelessness or mental illness in Kensington

There are plenty of abandoned homes and factories, so why aren’t we using them to help people in need of space and services?

About three days a week, I cut hair for people experiencing homelessness in Kensington. Sometimes I set up pop-up barber shops at the intersections of Kensington and Allegheny, Kensington and Lehigh, or…



Kensington Through Our Eyes: Photos from the gallery

In this workshop, photographers aimed to answer a question created by longtime resident Evan Figueroa-Vargas: “What does Kensington look like to you?”

The Story Corner is a collaboration between Kensington Voice and McPherson Square Library, located at the intersection of Kensington and Indiana Avenues. The Through Our Eyes camera project was the pilot of…


We know you’re curious, Kensington. Ask us questions to help us decide what stories we should explore next.

Help us tell stories you want to be told by asking us questions about the neighborhood. No question is too simple or silly. We’re collecting questions now, and next, we’ll put them up for a vote. Ask away.


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