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Tents intensify the battle over homelessness | Morning Newsletter

And, demand is up for COVID-19 vaccines.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Good morning. ☀️ It’s going to be a sunny one in the 60s.

Today we’re bringing you the latest on our housing crisis. Officials are issuing tents to people experiencing homelessness in Norristown — and advocates are outraged.

Meanwhile, demand for COVID-19 vaccines is up again, for a few reasons.

Thanks to everyone who sent us feedback about our fresh Inquirer Morning Newsletter approach. If you haven’t yet, we’d love to hear from you.

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I’m taking this newsletter for a spin today, and Kerith will be right back with you tomorrow.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_AshleyHoffman,

When people facing homelessness in Norristown call Montgomery County officials for help, they’re told shelter is in short supply. And then they’re issued tents.

It’s become a flash point in the housing crisis. Advocates are raising their voices about the lack of resources. And some business owners told us they’re concerned about the tents for other reasons: optics.

To make matters worse, winter is coming. “I’ve written numerous stories on people experiencing homelessness, and I’m always struck — as I was in Norristown — by how frank people are about their experiences, and how willing they are to share personal details of their troubles,” reporter Alfred Lubrano told us.

Keep reading his article for more on the housing crunch in Norristown.

📈 The news: Some Pennsylvania and New Jersey clinics are seeing some of their highest demand for shots in months. Why? A few reasons.

1️⃣ Pint-sized eligible humans: Children ages 5 to 11 became eligible last week.

2️⃣ Boosting: More of the already-vaccinated population can get booster shots.

3️⃣ First-timers: And there have also been modest upticks in people getting first doses.

🔺 Rollout rolling: More than 18,000 children ages 5 to 11 in Pennsylvania and 9,000 in New Jersey were vaccinated in the first several days of the rollout.

💉 New blood: Pediatricians, hospitals, and pharmacists have launched clinics, appointments, and school vaccination events. One stab at softening the pinch? Reinforcements from grown-ups in Wizard of Oz costumes. Check our photo of the day at the bottom of this newsletter.

Our reporters Justine McDaniel and Erin McCarthy have more on vaccine clinics getting busy again.

What you should know today

  1. Philly will open three evening resource centers for young people and their parents in an effort to stem gun violence.

  2. Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Sean Parnell’s contentious custody trial ended yesterday without an immediate ruling and with two completely conflicting narratives about alleged abuse — both delivered under oath.

  3. The federal bribery trial of labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty got thrown a curveball in the coda: a juror tested positive for COVID-19.

  4. A nurse whistleblower says that Aetna took Medicaid money and failed to provide care to children battling economic insecurity, and the insurer denies the allegations.

  5. The pandemic was a perfect isolating storm for those with a hoarding disorder.

  6. After our grand alfresco experiment, streeteries could soon be permanent in Philly — but only in certain areas.

  7. If you’re thinking it’s safe-ish enough to check out some theater, get in. We’re going to some exciting shows.

  8. We’re talking about some of the best and worst performances from last night’s 76ers’ 118-109 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

  9. Local Coronavirus numbers: Track the latest COVD-19 data.

And meet the Philly breakdancer helping plan the debut of breakdancing for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. C’est magnifique. It’s impossible not to feel the good vibes of this video.

🧠 Philly trivia time 🧠

Where is Philadelphia cream cheese really from and how did we even get tangled up in this marketing ploy to cash in on our primo dairy rep? We’ve got a whole story you can break the ice with. We’ll give you a hint: 🆕 🥓

Read on if you want to know the answers.

Photo of the day

💖 We hope to see you a million more tomorrow mornings.