I have lived on this block for 13 years. Up until 3 years ago I could care less about an LNA or any other group for that matter, like the 99.9 percent of the other 22,000 plus reside in Lents. The neighborhood was not perfect but it was livable.
Slowly things started changing. We started noticing a growing number of street people. I am not going to use the word homeless to confuse the issue. I have no beef with the homeless, however I am clear in my head that there is a difference.
Friends in other states were telling me about it happening there also. I started researching it and it was something that was growing. Then is started. We wound up having one of the largest homeless populations in the USA. The SWT and our neighborhoods were soon overflowing with criminals, drug addicts and mentally ill.
Our Mayor at the time decided to allow them to camp...and camp they did. The feces, urine and garbage by the tons came to our trails and throughout our neighborhoods. They picked up literally thousands of needles during the cleanup.
Before that all started I along with others, decided to go to an LNA meeting and ask what our neighborhood was going to do. I was shut out, I was told I did not know what I was talking about. I was silenced at the meeting and cut off from commenting on social media. Everything I said in my concerns came true and then some.
That is when the first of groups were formed. Getting involved in that I came to realize just how unaware and uncaring that group was.
The area I live in was fine until about 3 years ago. Then it went downhill fast. We united as a group and pushed back. We made some headway with the trail, but our neighborhoods have been steadily impacted by the leftovers and new street folks seem to pop up still everyday.
In a conversation with neighbors the discussion came up about Oliver Station being the heart of Lents. Jokingly I said, Yes, if that is the heart we must be the crotch. They agreed.
I care less about politics. I don't seek recognition or a pat on the head. I want my neighborhood back. When I moved here we had cookouts in our yards, kids played in the streets and folks were not afraid to leave their homes in the morning to go to work.
I was told today that one of our members spoke with Amanda Fritz. I do not know about what. In that conversation it was stated that Amanda liked the LNLA and their work, but did not like the Crotch posts. I am sure she did not. I myself. also want to talk to her, about an idea for Hummingbird Homes for the homeless. I still have the logo that was designed for it.
My message to Ms. Fritz is that I do not like the "Crotch" either but I live here. I, like a lot of folks on my block are where feces, urine, needles and filth are less then a few yards from where we live. Where junkies scream and fight in the middle of the night. Where people shoot up drugs and drag in trash. I would love to post a nice Mr. Robert's Neighborhood and come out each morning and sing, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...but I can't. Burglaries, assaults, threats against me and my neighbors when we attempt to get them to leave. There are few days I can remember our block not having to deal with some issue.
Gunshots in our alley's, baggies of dope all over the ground. We had over 20 tires slashed by a mentally ill homeless guy on my block alone. We had him on video. They could not arrest him for that..but they found a 3 year old warrant he had for failure to appear.... for slashing tires! My neighbors had no money to buy the $250 dollars worth of tires so they could get to work. We made sure they got them. By the way her home was broke in to twice once while her kids were home.
No, a fitting name for it is the Crotch. We have made numerous attempts to change that with little luck. I liken it to the camps that are moved from one place to another with no resolve. We have spent many man hours cleaning this up, only to find it in the same filthy condition just a few weeks or sometimes days later. I left out the 2 squatter houses and a dead body.
So if you would like me to change the name I am using perhaps you can help by changing the conditions we live in. You are welcome to come visit. We can give you a tour, or I send you the hundreds of pictures we have.
It bothers you that I call it the Crotch? Think about those of us that live in it!
How many nights are you woke up a week? I find about 60 needles a week and do not have to walk more then 50 ft in each direction, how about you? How close is the gallon jug of urine or the piles of human feces to your home? Do you open your back door for fresh air only to smell urine and rotting food? Do you have a problem with huge flies like some of us? How about rodents ? Do the pictures of what we endure offend you?
In all fairness, I was not there, so I do not know if this is factual. I want to believe that Ms. Fritz realizes my right to free speech and my right to speak about conditions in my neighborhood. That my neighbors and I should not have to live like this. That if she is reading the Crotch we would like to know why she has not taken action on the complaints and conditions, instead of the format in which they are written.
If she is appalled at the name of the posts, that is her right. If it takes a simple word like "crotch" to get your attention, so be it.Whatever the indignation one might feel over a word, pales in comparison to how we feel and what we have endured constantly for the last 3 years. There is an old saying. "Walk a mile in my shoes"..in my neighborhood it is "Walk a couple of feet, and check your shoes."
I have to applaud David and Char as they see right through stuff like this. When Thomas and I first joined their group I remember the stuff they went through for even thinking about starting a non profit. The lawsuit threats, the microphone meeting and the crazy emergency meeting. The reluctance of those to join that somehow now attempt to want to, as it fits their agendas. The old board was a sham, this one forming now seems to be just like our alley..we just cleaned it up,,, and someone is crapping in it already. The usual sellout, kowtowing and manipulation has begun before they have even formed. The new idea is just the old idea with different players. .
If a person has some deep seeded desire to sellout out and conform for a little praise or a pat on the head, do so. Please do not insult those of us that know exactly what the reasoning is for that. Funny thing is I told folks at the meeting this would happen. I named the players and the game ,,,long before it took place.
In closing, I submit a single picture that kind of explains our situation, The fence you are looking at is about a week old...just replaced... The feces was there the next morning.. I filled 5 bags with garbage yesterday and picked up 16 needles. About a dozen good folks just cleaned it on the 15th.
UPDATE : We moved the 7th junkie out of the alley just minutes ago, The picture posted is of the crippled guy who was dumped by a trash can and had his wheel chair stolen by these misunderstood and abused street folks. Some neighbors found his chair 2 blocks away...all his stuff was gone....