Change can't come soon enough, said Maria Gonzalez, president of HACE, a social-service agency in Frankford. "And it's an environmental health issue we can no long allow to continue: there's contamination from the trains, there's human waste, possibly even human remains of people who died there that we never knew.
Nearby, a once-white teddy bear hangs twisting from a tree, the words "I love you" written in a red heart stitched to its chest.
Men and women sleep under tarps and plastic between pallets tied together with extension cords and wires that form rudimentary walls.
Several people huddle under a Conrail bridge - the entire camp is sometimes referred to as "under the bridge" - or beneath scrawny weed trees that defy nature by living.
One imagines their root systems nurtured by an aquifer of heroin that has bloomed from the drips and oozings of all those buried needles.
You're here for a reason, and we know that we can offer you what you are looking for.