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!
For this reason you will be seeing a lot of construction work around the community space this fall, winter and spring and as a result there may be some (hopefully minimal) inconveniencing of regularly scheduled community events.
More importantly we are asking for your help! There's really quite a lot of work to do and it doesn't seem likely that we will be able to get it all done on our own without help. There will be weekly opportunities to volunteer to work on the building, doing tasks that will contribute directly to meeting our permit requirements. Even if you don't have construction skills but are interested to learn you are welcome to come and help out, it's maybe the best way to learn! If you do have construction experience please be sure to let us know so we can task you on something you'd be good at. Another important way to support people working on the building is to volunteer to make lunch on volunteer workdays. This simple act can be a major help to keep people moving and in high spirits. We will hopefully be well stocked with basic ingredients if you'd like to just stop in and cook here with what we have on hand.
If neither of these ways to participate seems like a good fit for you, please consider donating a small amount of money either directly or through our donation page to help us pay for the materials. Also do not underestimate the value to us of spending some time to link us up to your social circles (on or off the internet) and getting the word out about us and what we do and how people can help.
Remember, the shoe store is a grassroots project, meaning that we don't get funding from grants and nobody is getting paid to work here. Places like this can only survive through community support and participation, and if you think it's important for people to have fiercly independent and free spaces for gathering, organizing, learning, communicating, having fun, making culture and plotting on freedom then please think about how you can support us in this critical time. If we successfully pass through this inspection process and get the building legalized, It will be much harder for the authorities or some negative neighbors to cause problems for the building or the community center in the future.
You can get in touch with us by stopping by most weekdays and hollering from the street, through email or by giving a call to 215 626 8818 and asking for wiley.