A Philadelphia community encompasses an abandoned cemetery

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Extending over nearly 400 acres, in Southwestern Philadelphia, Mount Moriah Cemetery is the largest burial site in the state of Pennsylvania
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Founded in 1855, it was the final resting place of the local Victorian élite
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After decades of urban sprawl, the once-suburban cemetery found itself in the midst of Philadelphia city
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Mount Moriah was abandoned in 2011 after the death of its last surviving owner
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The Friends of Mount Moriah, a private organisation, works to preserve the cemetery – many of the volunteers have family members who are buried here
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In the community surrounding the cemetery, 38% of residents rely on food stamps and only 11% have a college degree
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An average resident earns $26,012 a year – that’s less than half of the statewide average income
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Betsy Ross, the designer of the American flag, was once buried at Mount Moriah – her remains were temporarily moved here to be alongside her third husband
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An exodus of White residents reached a tipping point in the 1990s – today the neighbourhood is 79% African American
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Most buildings in the community were built before 1950
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The graves of soldiers who fought for the North in the Civil War are still regularly maintained by the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs
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31% of local residents live below the poverty line, compared with Pennsylvania’s statewide average of 13%
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The area has attracted new immigrants in recent decades, many of them originally from Africa – the foreign-born population here is more than triple the state average
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94% of area residents know someone who has been directly impacted by opioids, according to a survey by the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual and Disability Services

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