"Claim no easy victories..." Amilcar Cabral, 1965
Gilbert's Shoes Blog
As the Shoe Store approaches its 10 year anniversary this coming spring, it is also about to run out of time to get fixed up under the construction permit issued by the city of Philadelphia almost 5 years ago in the aftermath of a warrantless police/city raid and condemnation.
This is a deadline imposed by the city on all construction permits that is not extendable. So, if we want to make the shoe store legal in the eyes of the authorities and a legitimate community center we got to get things done around here over the next six months in a serious way!
The Community Space Bathroom and Kitchenettte recently got a lot of much needed TLC!
Here's what we did and why:
The joists (wooden beams supporting the floor) had rotted completely out of the wall due to water infiltration! As a result the floor was sagging. On top of that the bathroom and adjoining room were really hard to clean - the bathroom floor wasn't sealed and was smelling strongly of urine and the adjoining room was just dirty plywood subfloor with lots of gaps and cracks that filled up with dirt.
2013 saw a lot of events happen in the community space. Here's an incomplete review with a few words from some of our keyholders
Philadelphia Coalition Of the Heart / Hip Hop Party For The People
Fall 2012 and Spring/Summer/Fall 2013 were preoccupied almost entirely with exterior work. Our old roof put in circa 2005, done in a fast paced frenzy of ignorance, was chronically leaking in many places despite patching and was also suffering from a lot of condensation issues in the winter because of a lack of venting. The 2,000 sq/ft roof had only one drain that would sometimes clog up with leaves and result in minor flooding.
The night of February 27th, 2012 - Francisville lost another young man to gunfire right at our own back door. Wee, we mourn your loss and those who have been lost before and since. Thanks to our neighbor for permission to paint the wall, to Key, BE and NTEL for their work on this portrait and mural and to the friends, neighbors and family who financed and supported the work. Making the violence visible is an important step towards healing and moving forward. We gotta turn this around - its time to stop the violence and address all the conditions that lead to it. Free the Hood.