Call Me English

A little corner of the world where I talk about what I want.

Posts Tagged ‘upper east side

Homelessness

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Earlier today, a young woman was walking down the street around the corner from my apartment building.  She was carrying out an errand for the salon she works at.  A highly agitated homeless person described as slovenly and mentally ill tried to snatch her bag, and when she resisted, he stabbed her in the abdomen.  It was covered extensively on the local news and in blogs.

The victim’s injuries are not life-threatening, but the assailant was able to flee the scene.

This attack is very frightening because it has the aroma of a time from 1965 to 1995 when the city was not safe. At all. Random acts of violence committed by the unsheltered and neglected mentally ill in an area of the city unaccustomed to disturbance of any kind should raise concerns for all of us because they highlight three things we straight-up suck at as a society:

  • Properly treating mental illness
  • Eliminating homelessness in a compassionate but effective way
  • Race/class relations (the assailant in this case was black, as determined by surveillance cameras)

I asked a staff member in my building about this very thing… about whether we might be going back in time to the bad old days.  “The truth is,” he told me, “crimes like this never stop. They just don’t happen often enough around here to numb you. In some parts of the Bronx, this is known as a Friday night.”

So how do we do it? How do we get the homeless off the street?  How do we properly treat the mentally ill?  Do they wish to be helped, and do we wish to do the real work of helping?

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Written by Dave

July 17, 2012 at 22:53