Readers respond to "Unusual Suspects"
I don't see the point here. Homeless crack addicts and alcoholics with mental issues are the city's biggest crime problem? Sounds as if we have a social services problem, not a criminal problem. Was that your point?
Comment by eric
Great article, Erin! These guys are a big pain in the ass for the city and its residents. No one knows how to fix them; their problems are intractable and so is their behavior. No one knows how to get rid of them. Where would they go even if you could convince them to leave? Really, they need babysitters, but instead the police are left trying to minimize the amount of nastiness, inconvenience, and harm they do to other people who are simply trying to go about their daily lives.
Comment by Jane
Yes, I've seen a number of these clowns. Good to know the police know who they are. Maybe I will make sure I have the Mace and/or Taser ready for the Skyway Jerk-off.
Comment by Bobbi
Thanks for the article. As a downtown worker who parks in the Target "A" Ramp, I've seen plenty of these folks. Any chance the list of the whole 200 is available somewhere?
Comment by dt worker
I am a little perplexed by this article. On one hand, I could not agree more that troublesome repeat "losers" like these deserve some airtime. On the other, I'm a resident/homeowner in the Phillips neighborhood and wish that the story would have continued along the lines of the way it was introduced. It really had me going (blood boiling, the whole thing) with the tale of the woman (Metge) coming home to that horrific scene at her house. Then...what? How does this story work itself into that listing of undesirable citizens?
Comment by Mary
What about the fact that there are programs that work with people "like this"? The problems are being addressed, but there needs to be more support from the community, including the local media.
This kind of article just makes people more angry and scared of the people walking down the street next to them. It breeds negativity toward our neighbors and insensitivity toward the very real issues these people are facing: racism, discrimination, childhood abuse, mis- or undiagnosed mental illness, substance abuse, unlivable wages, ridiculously high rents, the high cost of healthcare, etc.
Comment by MarsBars
This article reads as it should. A few make it bad for the rest. Eight years working on Currie Avenue, moving drunks, addicts, and dealers along, breaking up fights, and attending to the wounded are part of the lesson. Jana Metge nows acts with the Downtown Courtwatch, which for the first time in my 15 years working for the homeless is addressing these thugs with action. We should be hard on the worst offenders—with prison time. However, Courtwatch allows us to address mental illness or chemical dependency and get lower-level offenders the help they need other than prison. Good job, Erin, and I can tell you that if this citizen sees Earl Darling again (who is far more than a nuisance—I've witnessed him commit two assaults against two women on the same day and a recent arrest for an alleged rape) I may just give him some street justice. Peace!
Comment by Dominick
And City Pages sinks further into irrelevance with this story. You are making fun of sad, mentally ill homeless people with substance abuse problems—and in such a smug way. I assume this is an extension of your high school hobby of making fun of special needs kids.
Comment by chris
This article is socially and morally irresponsible. It serves no purpose other than to perpetuate stereotypes. It offers no solutions to the problem nor does it detail the programs already working to help get people off the streets. This is pure exploitation.
Comment by Treana
Hey Treana, nice comment. Have you ever had anyone grab you in the crotch or molest you in a public place? Well, I think if you were a victim of a crime like this you would want others to know so it doesn't happen to them, since the judicial system doesn't do anything and keeps letting them out! Shame on you, Treana. Why don't you go visit them and maybe take Mr. Singletary on a date—maybe you can keep him from grabbing our crotches...let him grab yours!
Comment by Mille
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