Reader Rene Lerma responds to Neighbors seek to shut down a new homeless center on St. Paul's East Side:
I have lived here for over 12 years and I have never seen my neighborhood like this! Yes, we have always had a very small homeless population in the hollow, but never in our neighborhood.
Actually, some of us "disingenuous" residents know and talk regularly with the local homeless in the hollow and they have stated that Listening House has brought in homeless (they refer to them as the "downtowners") that scare and terrify them.
Listening House moved because Dorothy Day did not include them in their expansion (maybe someone should investigate that). Would you be okay with your six-year-old little girl gardening in the front yard, and a man stumbling down the street drinking a beer stops in front of her in the neighbors yard, unzips, urinates, and then continues his path toward Listening House drinking his beer? Or being on your front porch with visitors and a man comes around Listening House and urinates in front of your home?
I have personally experienced four urinations and one defecation just from my front yard since the doors opened. This is not including what my neighbors has also experienced.
What about your children playing around hypodermic needles? Yes, we have those now too!
How about "low barrier"? Never heard of that, have you? It means that Listening House does not screen thier clients, which means child predators, sex offenders, pedophiles, rapists are allowed not only in Listening House (and their surrounding property), but in our nieghborhood!
Listening House is a "wet house." It allows people intoxicated and high on drugs in thier building and on their property. Listening House closes its doors at 4 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thurday and 11:30 a.m on Wednesday and Fridays. Where do you think their clients go when they close their doors? The night shelter is two miles away.
I agree with you on one thing: Yes, they are human beings and a shelter should be in a place that is safe. So what is Listening House going to do when it is winter and it is below zero and the doors close at 4?