Al’s Place

Al’s Place from This is Kensington on Vimeo.


A glimpse into life at Al’s house in Kensington.

In 2005 Al’s wife passed away and he decided to leave the house – to stay with family in rural Pennsylvania – he  lived in for over 50 years to clear his head. When he returned a few months later he found his house stripped and gutted. Al fell deeper into depression and drug addiction and now the house is seen as a safe place place for other addicts to come and go to get high or just get off of the street. Most of the people of the people who frequent the house were born and raised in Kensington and they are a tight knit group whose relationship extends beyond their collective drug addiction. It is a safe haven from some of the dangers of the neighborhood and the elements in winter, Al says there were 42 people in the house on one of the coldest nights this past January. He says it’s not right to let anyone stay out in the cold. It seems that he genuinely enjoys, and needs, the company.


Al sits on the stoop of the house he has lived in for over 50 years. In 2008 his wife passed away, he fell into deep depression and started smoking crack. He says, because it was so cheap and easy to get in the neighborhood.


Al pet’s his cat Red while JJ and marie debate whether all 50 states are can be seen in small print on the $5 dollar bill.


JJ was dopesick and trying to sleep it off on the couch at Al’s House underneath a print of a painting that depicts a place far away from Kensington.


JJ and marie in Al’s living room


Lex checks his ‘work,’ or syringe before drawing heroin into it.