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CNB September 2008 Archives: CNB Point of View-Not just a local problem but a national one

published Saturday, September 20, 2008 6a00d8341bf7d953ef01b7c7802c90970b-120wi

BY William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet

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’.

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

Screen Shot 2017-06-17 at 18.54.54

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 department 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 occasion to visit Philadelphia. As I wait 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 me.

One last thought, according to estimates from 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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I live near the house at 212 N. Broadway and have watched the struggle that takes place between the city officials, the local community, and the owner of the property and his friends. Although this problem has caused all of us grief, I wish to inform the community that I have watched the housing officials and police working very hard within the legal limits of their authority. I believe it is wrong to blame them for the ongoing issues that prevent a closure to this situation. I consider the police and housing officials as part of the community, and they are suffering along with the rest of us. Thanks, for all of your help GCPD and Housing Inspectors--especially Kyle Wagner, Sgt. S. Burkhardt Sgt. B. Morrell, Corporal Rheinhart, Patrolman Iepson and the others who I have seen working hard to resolve this matter.

Elise Westcott said...

Where is the Senator Barack Obama for President sign that the local Democrats promised on this forum to have up "right after Labor Day"? If town officials are truly sincere about Gloucester City shedding its image as a redneck backwater nowheresville with bums sipping Nattie Light on their front steps in broad daylight, we need to acknowledge that America (and Gloucester City) has changed since the 1950's. If Gloucester wants to be something other than the last refuge for Section 8 renters and down-on-their-luck racists, we need to acknowledge that we are living in the 21st century. Please put the sign up for the numerous Gloucester City Democrats who are supporting Obama. Thank you.