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On Monday, March 14, Merakey President and Chief Operating Officer Ted Dallas participated in the SXSW panel, held in Austin, TX, “Addressing Homelessness and Addiction on Transit.”

The panel explored the innovative partnership developed between Merakey and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) during the pandemic. The partnership’s aim was to help the increasing number of people experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues who sought refuge on the transit system in Philadelphia. Substance abuse and mental health professionals have been paired with transit police officers to extend treatment and community-based resources to those in need across the system, including at the Somerset station in Kensington, dubbed Philadelphia’s Skid Row. Attendees of the panel discussion learned how Merakey and SEPTA are working together on new ways of addressing homelessness changing the relationship police officers have with the community.

South by Southwest® (SXSW) dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas, SXSW® is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture.