Jewell Williams, Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County (left) participated in Career Day at the Albert M. Greenfield School in Center City Philadelphia along with Marine Corps Reserve Captain Sean A. Toolan (middle) who has a son there in the second grade, and Deputy Sheriff Officer Marquet Parsons, a graduate of Greenfield. 

Sheriff Wiliams spoke about the importance of education and delivered an anti-bullying message to a kindergarten and fifth grade class during the day. 

For Helen Clowney, working with and serving the neighbors on her neatly kept, tree-lined block in North Philadelphia has been a labor of love - one that has endured a half-century.

Looking out on the cherry blossoms that brighten the 2200 block of North Woodstock Street, Clowney speaks with pride of the street where she has lived her entire life and served as a block captain for 50 years. She is retiring this spring.

"It's a family block. It's like family. We're very close," Clowney said Thursday.

"If somebody gets sick, everybody steps in and helps," she said. "If they need something, we try to help them get it. It's just a close-knit block."

Last week, Clowney was honored by her neighbors, family, and community leaders at her church, St. Martin de Porres. More than 100 people attended.

Clowney, a widow who doesn't like to discuss her age, said she knew every person living on the block of 70 homes between Susquehanna Avenue and Dauphin Street.

"I can tell you who lives in each house," Clowney said.

And her neighbors know her for her activism, her generosity, and the whistle she blows when calling for them to participate in street cleanups several times a year.

"Miss Helen is one of the icons of this block," said neighbor Paul Richards. "She's going to be sorely missed as our block captain."

When it's time to clean up the block, "she gets out that whistle," Richards said. "She goes from the top of the block, blowing that whistle, and she has a few of the kids knocking on doors."

When the work is done, she gives everyone a treat, Richards said, usually a pretzel and water ice.

He and others said Clowney is known for organizing the street's annual Memorial Day block party.

Another neighbor, Bernice Hines, also recalled Clowney blowing her whistle to call out neighbors for projects.

"She used the whistle to say, 'All you lazy birds, get out here. You're a part of this block. Show your commitment to it,' " Hines said.

Asked what she liked about being a block captain, Clowney said, "It just makes me feel good inside. When we have affairs in the block, we never have any trouble. Everybody is just family."

Clowney noted that she has a cocaptain, Willie Mae Clark, who has worked with her for many years. "She's a very good person, and I think she should be recognized, too," Clowney said.

Clowney, a graduate of Philadelphia High School for Girls who spent her life as a stay-at-home mother with one child, said she enjoyed walking children to school and back home again.

Among her other interests, she said, she enjoys spending time at the Martin Luther King Older Adult Center on Cecil B. Moore Avenue, where she leads a poetry class.

Clowney also likes to cut a few steps doing line dances. She said she enjoys doing the electric slide and the cha-cha slide. "The Baltimore - that's my favorite. They named that one after me," she quipped. "I taught my granddaughter, my son-in-law, and my daughter."

Her son-in-law, Tony Leonard, said Clowney goes to meetings with elected officials in the community and attends monthly meetings with police at the 22d District at 17th Street and Montgomery Avenue. She describes Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, who grew up in the neighborhood, as "two of my kids."

She is pleased that a neighbor, Jannette Robinson, will take over as block captain. Clowney said the street also has three junior block captains, two boys and a girl.

Clowney said she was stepping down because "I thought it was time enough for someone else to step up to the plate and take my place after 50 years."

Hines, her neighbor, stood on her front steps and looked down proudly.

"You see this block and the way it looks. It looks this way because of her," Hines said. "She has worked hard to keep it intact."


Written by Vernon Clark for the Philadelphia Inquirer on May 6, 2014.

Last week Sheriff Jewell Williams lead Operation Sunrise, a city wide sweep which brought in over a dozen fugitives with outstanding warrants.

AT-RISK YOUTH have voices too, and InLiquid Art and Design has created an exhibition that reflects those voices.

One of them belongs to Harmony Ellerbe, 14, a seventh-grader at Avery D. Harrington School in West Philadelphia.

Harmony, 14, said her art class had inspired her to write "Violence," a poem about a girl who was raped as a child, who lost her father to gun violence, whose brother was jailed and whose mother was addicted to drugs.

One little girl in a life full of violence, watched her dad get shot, seen her brother go to jail. Living in hell.

And that's just the beginning.

"The poem was about something that was going on with my friend in her life," Harmony said. "I felt bad for her and I was thinking about her.

"In art class we talked about violence, and it just came to me."

She read "Violence" to classmates and other artists at a preview of the exhibition yesterday.

The Traveling Youth Art Exhibition - on display until April 30 at Family Court, on Vine Street near 18th - features art by more than 25 girls and boys, each portraying a vision of community and home.

"Art is a really necessary way of expressing yourself, both positively and negatively," said Rachel Zimmerman, executive director of InLiquid, a nonprofit organization on American Street near Master, North Philadelphia.

The exhibition contains work by students at Edison High School, the Philadelphia Mural Arts Guild, the Harrington School and a program of Moore College of Art. Each visual or poetic artist has experienced the criminal-justice system, spent time in detention or been affected by it.

"I do a lot of social-justice art with my students. It gives students a voice," said Leila Lindo, an art teacher at Harrington on, Baltimore Avenue near 53rd Street.

"I like them to do art about topics that are important to them, and a lot of the time the things that are important to them have to do with social justice and their rights."

Lindo said that Harmony's poem shows how art can be therapeutic. The school's display, "My Neighborhood, My Community and Me," features collages that show boys and girls in their communities.

"It gives students the opportunity to open up and lets them know that they don't have to suppress how they feel and show people their artistic abilities," Harmony said of the exhibition.

The Sheriff's Office is sponsoring the exhibition, to support innovative programs that provide second chances to young people, some of whom have been in detention. InLiquid is putting on the exhibition in partnership with the Juvenile Law Center.

"The vast majority of these young people are from neighborhoods with known gangs, high crime rates and urban blight; they need creative options - including art programs, education and job opportunities," Sheriff Jewell Williams said. "I'd rather see the youth packing pens, paintbrushes, paper, notebooks and computers than packing pistols, shotguns or gang tattoos."

The exhibition can be seen from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It will travel regionally after April.


Written by Ashley Kuhn for the Philadelphia Daily News on April 1, 2014.

Spring has finally arrived and I know many are preparing to do urgent home repairs and cleanup after an extremely harsh winter.

Some will have to invest sizeable dollars in major repairs involving roofs, sidewalks, and even the removal of trees and fallen fences.

For those already economically challenged to keep up with their mortgages, there are several programs available to help ease the financial burden of putting your home back in shape.

The Philadelphia Housing Development Corporation, for example, has a Basic Systems Repair Program that provides free repairs to “the electrical, plumbing and heating systems of owner-occupied homes in Philadelphia,” as well as “free replacement of a house’s roof if major interior damage such as a collapsing ceiling is evident”.

Certain income restrictions and other requirements regarding residency must be met, but the program is certainly worth exploring, especially if you are a senior living on a fixed income.

Also, the City’s Office of Supportive Housing has a “Rapid Re-Housing” program that “may include cash assistance with rent, utilities and security deposits too”.

Another great resource is the Save Your Home Philly Hotline at (215) 334-4663, that sets you up with a housing counselor if your home is in default.  This is the first step to applying for possible assistance from the Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, commonly known as HEMAP.

We are also working on putting together a resource page on our web site that lists numerous agencies and programs that may help you not only save your home, but improve it as well and possibly increase its value.

As the Sheriff of Philadelphia City and County, I have directed my staff to increase the number of workshops and seminars we conduct in the community, and to continue with our twice monthly classes on How To Purchase Property At A Sheriff’s Sale conducted in English and Spanish at 100 S. Broad Street.

Finally, I look forward to visiting individual blocks and neighborhoods through the fall as part of our support of the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee and the hundreds of individuals who work so diligently to maintain not only their property, but the community as a whole.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact:  Airika Brunson
Phone:  215-686-3572

Philadelphia juveniles paint their way to a second chance

At-risk student art exhibit opens at Family Court Division

Philadelphia, March 25—In partnership with INLIQUID Art and Design, the Office of the Sheriff of the City and County Of Philadelphia, invites the public to view the Traveling Youth Art Exhibition starting on Tuesday, April 1 through April 30, 2014 between the hours of 2pm and 5pm at the Philadelphia Family Division of Juvenile Court, 1801 Vine Street.  The Art Exhibition is an opportunity to celebrate and honor the talents, creativity and determination of local public school students who were once affected by the juvenile justice system—in some cases due to circumstances beyond their control.  Their artwork portrays their vision of their communities and homes.

The Office of the Sheriff is sponsoring the art exhibit to support innovative programs that provide second chances to youth, some of whom have been in detention.  In 2013, the Sheriff's Office delivered 7,177 juvenile inmates to court and sentencing hearings.

“The vast majority of these young people are from neighborhoods with known gang, high crime rates and urban blight; they need creative options–including art programs, education and job opportunities,” said Sheriff Jewell Williams.  “I'd rather see the youth packing pens, paint brushes, paper, notebooks and computers than packing pistols, shot guns, or gang tattoos.”

"I would like to see more of these art programs throughout the city, especially if they result in fewer juveniles visiting my court house," says Judge Kevin Dougherty, Administrative Judge of the Family Division of Juvenile Court.  “Since 2009, the number of juvenile arrests have been decreased by nearly 3,000, we want to continue that trend.” 

The Traveling Youth Art Exhibit collectioncontains works fromstudents at Edison High School, The Philadelphia Mural Arts Guild, Harrington Elementary School, and Moore College of Arts Learning through Photography Program.  More than 30 pieces are on exhibit, representing students from all grade levels.The students were chosen from arts education programs; each has had experience in the criminal justice system or spent time in detention.

These youth artists were involved in art-making and engaged in creative outlets through their schools or through community organizations that prioritized access to the arts. The Traveling Art Show proves that all children and youth in Philadelphia need and deserve to have access to these same kinds of programs and opportunities.  The artists from the Mural Arts Guild program are former dropouts who have returned to earn their high school diplomas.

The exhibit is one of INLIQUID’s Juvenile In Justice programs which include a Youth Ambassador Program and the first free juvenile record expungement clinic in Philadelphia.  The clinic is a partnership with Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity (PLSE).  The Youth Art Show is traveling regionally throughout 2014.  

“Arts education plays an essential role in providing young people with tools to understand the world and to express themselves,” according to Rachael Zimmerman, President of INLIQUID. “By having them address issues related to both personal hardships and the justice system through art, we are able to learn from them and gain crucial insights from the perspectives of youth in our community, allowing us to better engage them and provide support.”

The Exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday, April 1, 2014 and runs thru April 30, 2014, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm Monday thru Friday.

About the Office of the Philadelphia Sheriff

The Office of the Sheriff, City and County of Philadelphia is committed to serving and protecting the lives, property and rights of all within a framework of high ethical standards and professional conduct at all time.  The Office is responsible to provide safety to all that enter Philadelphia courtrooms including, judges, juries, defendants, witnesses, courtroom personnel and the public.  It is also responsible to manage all First Judicial Court ordered foreclosures of property - that includes mortgage and tax sales, in an ethical, honest, transparent and respectful manner while offering dignity to all involved in the procedure.

About InLIQUID

InLiquid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 280 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.

Ten percent of the highest bid for each property auctioned off shall be deposited in certified check, attorney’s check or money order with the Sheriff by each bidder when the bid is registered, provided that in no case shall less than Six Hundred Dollars ($600.00) be deposited, otherwise upon failure or refusal to make such deposit, the bidder shall lose all benefit of the bid and the property may be  offered again and sold unless a second bid has been registered, then, the second highest bidder will take the property at the highest bid price.

Additionally, where there is active bidding, the highest bidder, and the second highest bidder, if any must post the entire amount of the cost of the distribution policy for the property at the time of sale by certified check, attorney’s check or money order with the Sheriff.

The balance of the purchase money must be deposited in certified check, attorney’s check or money order together with a Deed poll for execution by the highest bidder to the Sheriff at his office within 30 days from the time of the sale. Also, if the first bidder does not complete settlement with the Sheriff within the thirty (30) day time limit and a second bid was registered at the sale, the second bidder shall be granted the same thirty (30) day time limit to make settlement with the Sheriff on the second bid. Thereafter, the Sheriff shall be at liberty to return the writ to court.

A second bid must be registered on any property immediately after it is sold. The second bidder must present the same amount of deposit that the highest bidder delivers to the Sheriff at the sale. An extension of time under no circumstances will be granted or honored by the Sheriff whenever a second bid is registered on a property at the sale.

The first bid or opening bid on each property shall be a sum sufficient to pay all Sheriff’s costs including advertising, all taxes, water rents and municipal claims due to the City of Philadelphia. If there is no other bid price above the opening bid price, the property shall be sold by the auctioneer to the attorney on the writ at that price.

The deposit by any bidder who fails to comply with the above conditions of sale shall be forfeited and the funds will be applied to the Sheriff’s cost, then to any municipal claims that the City of Philadelphia has on the property. Finally, if a balance still remains, a Sheriff’s Distribution Policy will be ordered and the money will be distributed accordingly.

No personal checks, drafts or promises to pay will be accepted in lieu certified checks, attorney’s checks or money orders made payable to the Sheriff of Philadelphia County.

The Sheriff reserves the right to grant further extensions of time to settle and further reserves the right to refuse bids from bidders who have failed to enter deposits on their bids, failed to make settlement, or make fraudulent bids, or any other behavior which causes disruption of the Sheriff Sale. Said bidders shall be so refused for the sale in which said behavior occurred and for said further period of time as the Sheriff in his discretion shall determine.

The Sheriff will not acknowledge a deed poll to any individual or entity using an unregistered fictitious name and may, at his discretion, require proof of identity of the purchaser or the registration of fictitious names. The bid of an unregistered fictitious name shall be forfeited as if the bidder failed to meet the terms of sale.

All bidders are advised to remain at the sale until after the last property is sold. The Sheriff reserves the right to re-sell any property at any time before the end of the sale, upon the successful bidders’ failure to tender the required deposit. The Sheriff reserves the right to postpone or stay the sale of any property in which the attorney on the writ has not appeared and is not present at the sale.

Prospective purchasers are directed to the Web site of the Philadelphia Bureau of Revision of Taxes, (BRT) brtweb.phila.gov for a fuller description of the properties listed. Properties can be looked up by the BRT number – which should be cross checked with the address. Prospective purchasers are also directed to the Room 154 City Hall, 215-686-1483 and to its website philadox.phila.gov and to its website at http://philadox. phila.gov where they can view the deed to each individual property and find the boundaries of the property. PROSPECTIVE PURCHASERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DETERMINING THE NATURE, LOCATION, CONDITION AND BOUNDARIES OF THE PROPERTIES THEY SEEK TO PURCHASE. The BRT # refers to a unique number assigned by the City Bureau of Revision of Taxes to each property in the City for the purpose of assessing it for taxes. This number can be used to obtain descriptive information about the property from the BRT website. Effective Date: July 7, 2006

NOTICE OF SCHEDULE OF DISTRIBUTION

The Sheriff will file in his office, The Land Title Building, 100 South Broad Street, 5th Floor, a Schedule of Distribution Thirty (30) Days from the date of the sale of Real Estate. Distribution will be made in accordance with the Schedule unless exceptions are filed thereto within ten (10) days thereafter. N.B. - For the benefit of our non-professional readers who do not understand the meaning of the letters and figures following the defendant’s names, we make the following.

EXPLANATION

The name first appearing in each notice is that of the defendant in the writ whose property is being sold. All Writs are Writs of Executions.

The letters C.P., Court of Common Pleas; O.C., Orphans’ Court; Q.S., Court of Quarter Sessions; C.C., County Court - indicate the Court out of which the writ of execution issues under which the sale is made: S. 1941. 223. means September Term, 1941. 223, the term and number of the docket entry; the figures following show the amount of debt; and the name following is that of the attorney issuing the writ.

Attention is called to the provisions of Act No.104, approved July 27, 1955, which requires owners of properties which are used, designed or intended to be used by three or more families, or of commercial establishments which contain one or more dwelling units, to deliver to the buyers of such properties a use registration permit at the time of settlement, under certain terms and conditions. Sheriff Sales are not subject to provisions of the said Act and the Sheriff will, therefore, not deliver use registration permits in connection with any sales conducted by him.