I am writing in response to the Sept. 9-15 article entitled “St. Albans squatter taken in by shelter.”
To start off, I believe everyone should have a safe place to live, but I need to say something in defense of the homeless woman in St. Albans Park. I have lived in this neighborhood for many years. My observation of her is that she is neat. All of her belongings are arranged neatly. She seems to feel safe in that particular area. She has moved around in the same general area. She stayed by the church for a while. Then she moved to the bus shelter on the corner. Then she moved to the edge of the park.
During the winter months, I observed her sitting quietly in a corner in the local laundromat. I would say hi to her sometimes. She would look at me and look away. She has definitely been around longer than three years. The article said she agreed to go willingly. I do not know about that. She feels safe where she was outside. If that is where she chooses to be, then another option is to bring services to her.
We need to take a lesson from the people of Far Rockaway. There is a homeless man there near Mott Avenue. He is taken care of by the people in the neighborhood. He appears to be no threat. I saw a man taking a tray of food to him. That was beautiful.
The article said residents were bothered by her living conditions and psychological state. The article said she cursed and screamed at anyone who tried to talk to her. Well, there is a no-brainer. Just say hello and keep moving. She wants to be left alone. Unless she is locked up, she will return again. And if that is the option for her, then this is a sad state of affairs. We are supposed to take care of the lesser of God’s people.