Park Slope's Homeless Trio Gone from Old First
The police were called after one or more of the homeless residents--named Robert, Will and Frank--are said to have exposed themselves to children while they were urinating and were found to have a steel bar that could be used as a weapon. "The homeless men are no longer on our stoop," Rev. Meeter said.
He acknowledged that the church has been walking "a tightrope between the sanctuary needs of the homeless" and "the needs of our community for a safe, pleasant, respectful neighborhood." Rev. Meeter noted, as he had written, that the men had been asked to leave over the summer as drinking and drug use escalated and community complaints intensified but that "they beat us" and could not be dislodged.
The commander of the 78th Precinct met with Rev. Meeter on Tuesday, October 23. The men have been gone from the steps of the church since that day. Rev. Meeter said that one of the men is working at the Key Food across the street and staying with a relative on Third Street, one is staying on Sterling Place and one had "moved to a stoop further down Seventh Avenue."
A representative from the Congregation Beth Elohim was also on hand, and the groups agreed to set up a committee to consider how to deal with issues of homeless and trying to secure shelter and other assistance for those who want it. Rev. Meeter asked trustees of the Civic Council a version of a recurring question about the homeless and their behavior: "How can we make this an ethical community that deals well with the homeless poor who are sometimes nasty and destructive?...Do we just throw up our hands and say there is nothing we can do?"
[Photo courtesy Wally G/flickr]
Labels: Park Slope