Closing Down a Notorious Heroin Camp in Philadelphia

Earlier this year, AFP photographer Dominick Reuter and Getty photographer Spencer Platt both visited the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to photograph “El Campamento,” one of the largest open-air drug markets and shooting galleries on the East Coast, before it was shut down. According to Getty: “People come from throughout the city, and some as far away as the Midwest, for heroin that is remarkably cheap and pure.” At the end of July, the encampment, littered with mattresses, used needles and other refuse, started to be cleaned up and closed down by city workers and Consolidated Rail employees, while outreach workers try to help place homeless residents of the camp. Getty further reported that “over 900 people died last year in Philadelphia from opioid overdoses, a 30 percent increase from 2015.”

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