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Bill's Point of View:Not just a local problem but a national one

BY BILL CLEARY

At least once a week I receive a Tip or comment  about the homeless people sleeping on the porch in broad daylight at a property on North Broadway in Gloucester City.  The house is empty, and is up for Sheriff Sale. Posted on the front wall of the building is a sign that reads ‘No Trespassing’.

072 Just today I received this photo from one of our readers.

My first article on this subject was written in July after hearing from someone about it. The remarks I receive have basically been the same……

But the most prominent was this one; JEERS to the city of Gloucester for allowing a bunch of drunken bums to live on a front porch on North Broadway in plain view.  This makes the City look so good!!!”

Last month I spoke with Police Lt. George Berglund about it. He said the depart

Street Sleeper 2 by David Shankbone 

ment is working on a solution along with the Housing Office. The Mayor is aware of the situation also.

 

He explained the house is up for sheriff sale. “The owner of the house has given these people permission to be on the property. As such until the Sheriff Sale is held they have every right to be on the grounds. As for the owner, the Housing Office has cited him for a number of violations. He has been issued citations and is scheduled for a court appearance”.

"I will be glad to talk to anyone who needs further explanation”.

You can reach Berglund at 456-0408.

The past couple of days I have had the ocassion to visit Philadelphia. As I await for the red light to change at the South 8th and Chinatown off ramp you can see a number of homeless people wrapped in sleeping bags. On the other side of the street are several other individuals passing a brown paper bag containing a bottle back and forth. It is 12 noon.

I agree our community needs to do something about these circumstances. We expect to see homeless people and drunks roaming the streets in big cities not in our community. And I know from talking with our City officials and police they are just has frustrated as you and I.

One last thought, according to estimates of the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty , on any given night in America, anywhere from 700,000 to 2 million people are homeless. The same study shows 66 percent of the homeless have problems with alcohol, drug abuse, or mental illness.

I don’t feel any comfort in knowing we are not alone. But it is evident that this is not just a local problem but a national one.

~By Bill Cleary

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