Norristown Official’s Plan: Bus Borough’s Homeless to Villanova University

Draya LaMacchia (left) speaks with homeless advocate Sephanie Sena at a homeless. encampment in Norristown.
Image via Jessica Griffin, The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Draya LaMacchia (left) speaks with homeless advocate Sephanie Sena at a homeless encampment in Norristown.

Norristown Council President Thomas Lepera said he plans to bus homeless living in the borough to the Villanova University campus, writes Alfred Lubrano for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

His plan includes offering donated $500 gift cards to everyone who boards the bus at the end of June.

Norristown, which has no homeless shelter, is currently coping with about 20 homeless encampments.

Lepera chose Villanova because anti-homeless advocate Stephanie Sena is an anti-poverty fellow at the university’s Charles Widger School of Law.

Sena has been working with about 160 people in Norristown who are homeless.

She also runs a homeless shelter in Upper Darby.

According to Norristown minister Mike Kingsley, Lepera told him he wants to be the “Norristown Gov. [Greg] Abbott” of Texas.

Abbott gained national attention after busing immigrants from the Southern border to Philadelphia and other cities.

A Villanova University spokesperson declined comment on the busing plan, but in a statement emphasized that Stephanie Sena’s work is not being done on behalf of the university.

“… Villanova University has had multiple conversations with Norristown officials to clarify Ms. Sena’s role as being independent of Villanova,” the statement read.

Local advocates are planning demonstrations next week against encampment clear-outs and Lepera’s busing proposal.

Read more about Thomas Lepera’s busing plan in The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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