Tuesday, February 19, 2008
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.
Posted by Smart City Consulting at 7:21 PM