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Senior Citizens Shut Down City Street To Protest Security Changes At Their Residence

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Residents of Gladys B. Jacobs Manor are up in arms about the Philadelphia Housing Authority's plan to eliminate their daytime security guard. "We are out here because the (Philadelphia) Housing Authority is trying to take our security away,"' said resident Catherine White (at right). (credit: Pat Loeb/KYW)

Residents of Gladys B. Jacobs Manor are up in arms about the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s plan to eliminate their daytime security guard. “We are out here because the (Philadelphia) Housing Authority is trying to take our security away,”‘ said resident Catherine White (at right). (credit: Pat Loeb/KYW)

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By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was an unusual protest that shut down North 11th Street between Wallace and Fairmount Avenue on Tuesday. The protestors were using walkers and wheelchairs to block the street.

“We are out here because the (Philadelphia) Housing Authority is trying to take our security away,”‘ said resident Catherine White.

“We want our security guards back,” said resident Barbara Sanders.

Residents of Gladys B. Jacobs Manor are up in arms about the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s plan to eliminate their daytime security guard — so they sat down in chairs outside the senior citizens residence to demand the guards stay.

“We don’t feel safe here,” said Sanders, “and that’s why we’re shutting it down.”

“We are not eliminating security,” says PHA chief Kelvin Jeremiah. “We are enhancing it.”

Jeremiah says the agency is shifting away from contracted security guards in favor of enlarging its police force and improving security features, such as surveillance cameras and gates.

At Gladys B (Jacobs Manor) alone, we have spent $340,000 in security upgrades,” he says.

Jeremiah says there will still be evening and overnight security guards, and he believes residents will ultimately be safer.

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