Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Add Squatters to Park & 7th Woes

Police and public safety officials have confirmed that a vacant office building at Park & Seventh has squatters living inside. My neighbor and I suspected as much when we learned that people were seen going down a stairwell to an unsecured door.

But this is a two-part problem. The other issue is for Code Enforcement to get the owner, a Hillsborough resident, to secure the building. Given this owner's conduct at a North Avenue building he owns, compliance will not come easy.

Why are we so worried about squatters? Granted, homeless people need a place to stay out of the weather, but their neediness raises questions about how they meet their daily needs for food, sanitation, clothing, money and more.

I am especially concerned because the building is next to my church. Might these needy ones see nearby buildings as places to exploit for computers and other items to exchange for money?

I hope Code Enforcement will check this situation and get the owner to make the building secure. And I hope that those who may have been staying in that basement will seek alternatives to such precarious living arrangements.

As with the Muhlenberg situation of not having any provisions for the profoundly poor needing medical care, this case points up the homeless situation that we do not want to recognize in the "Queen City."

In walking my block daily, I see my neighbors who lack even my meager resources as a retiree. I wonder, how do they get along?

Can we take care of our own?

Give it your best thoughts and ideas, because in coming days, it may just get worse.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Bernice,
If you are looking for code enforcement to do its job, Director Oscar Turk will see to it that his department responds and issues summons, but if the citizens of this city expect Oscar Turk to do more, don't hold your breath! He now has a "card in the big game." And it is Assemblyman Green and Director Maier that the can-do power lies to deal with these matters. Again don't hold your breath!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Deborah Dowe said...

I'm trying to find your post on Public intoxication to add to a package of information that I have been submitting to Dr. Eric Braverman of PATH Medical. I have seen his innovative work with addiction that is currently only available to celebreties. I have been making a case for him to do a Clinical Trial of his method in Plainfield. You write about people with problems with such great humanity and compassion. That's what I want to convey.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I think that the city helps the homeless who want to be helped, even if they have to move somewhere else within this county or within the state. The squatters in the old women's center building on park and seventh probably do not want to be helped at all because they are either drinking or using drugs and they do not want to conform to any rules.

10:22 PM  

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