Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Help Wanted

A key to living and working downtown is a sense of proportion.

We’ve been clear that we have a no tolerance attitude toward panhandlers. We are flexible about the homeless.

That’s why we had no problems with the man earlier this year who slept on the sidewalk in front of our place. He cleaned up after himself, he never threatened or panhandled, and he even got up early so he wouldn’t be in the way of people going to work or visitors walking to the river. In other words, he was a good neighbor.

The new neighbor that moved in a couple of weeks ago is something altogether different.

Looking out on Union Avenue, our view is now akin to overlooking a mobile trash heap. The woman now sleeping on the Union Avenue side of the Memphis Fire Department headquarters regularly surrounds herself with newspapers, magazines and tourism brochures.

On occasion, hidden beneath a tattered blanket covered with paper, she suddenly jumps up to the dismay of tourists walking by. Often she begins a rant that takes her unexpectedly into traffic swerving around her.

While the debris is unsightly and irritating, at this point, we’re more concerned about her safety and need for medical attention. Unfortunately, we’ve largely been greeted with shrugs from city officials who have been contacted in hopes that she can be provided with a shelter and mental health attention.

So far, we’ve had no success in getting her help. If you have any suggestions, we’d appreciate them.


Anonymous said...

ask her to attend the next city council meeting as a spokesperson for the deranged.

then give her the councils home addresses...

Anonymous said...

I have noticed our neighbor also! She isn't afraid to yell the N word in the street either. There was a different woman this morning, this was a black woman who seemed to have toothbrush in her mouth. Oh, and what about the two guys that sleep in the stairway @ front street deli? Those guys actually are pretty tidy. It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

A. said...

Try teh Mental Health Aliiance -I think they are in the phone book. I'llseeif I can findanumber forthem as well.

A. said...

wow - sorry about the typos. My space bar gets stuck! I meant to type: I'll see if I can find a number for them as well.

Smart City Consulting said...

a. - Thanks for the advice. We'll make the call.

All Things Memphis said...

Try this link and scroll down to the Memphis Health Center. There are a few organizations listed there that can possibly help.

Health Care for the Homeless Information Resource Center (Tennessee)

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

If she had four legs and could bark she'd be in a heated shelter by now -- with food.