See this 1/21/2011 post at the Eckington list by Bloomingdale resident Tom Usselman:
The problems at Florida & North Cap NW
For the 9 years I`ve lived in this neighborhood, Everyone in the city government has known about that intersection and what a nightmare it is. And I mean EVERYONE.
I think it is safe to say that every civic, police and business meeting has held special meetings to discussed this topic for as far back as anyone can remember.
Here are the issues:
1. S.O.M.E. ~ So Others Might Eat (www.some.org) feeds 488 people from around the city twice a day. These people are bused in from all over the city. Bused in!
a. So after breakfast they hang out from New York Ave to Florida Ave and drink etc. until it is lunch time. Then hang out till it is time to head for the shelters or just sleep in the parks.
b. Talk to the owners of City Gear and Subway if you want an earful about that.
c. This loitering creates an atmosphere of lawlessness that allows other behavior to exist, drinking in public etc.
2. The bus stop on Florida Avenue is too close to the liquor store.
a. When the police attempt to move the troublemakers on, they claim to be waiting for the bus.
3. Methadone Clinics
a. At one point we had 3 methadone clinics located on New York Ave, I think there is only 1 left? And it may be closing soon which will help.
4. Vacant Properties
a. Property owners need this area to feel safer so they can attract businesses.
b. Talk to Brian Brown and Phyllis Klein. They have told me stories of potential tenants that drive up to check out a location and won`t even get out of their cars. They know they can`t make a business work with 15 homeless guys hanging out in front.
So the solution sounds easy to me, but there is no political will to make it happen.
1. Convince S.O.M.E. that the current feeding program it too large for a residential neighborhood. Encourage them to open smaller sites around the city to serve people where they stay. Why don`t they feed them from Catholic Churches?
a. We have had numerous meetings with them in the past 9 years and Catholic Charities only cares about the homeless they are feeding. They don`t give a crap about the havoc they unleash in our neighborhood.
2. Move the metrobus stop away from the liquor store.
a. Again no political will to make this happen.
3. Get Health and Human service workers out from behind their desks at the peoples building (right next to Wendy`s and out into the streets to help those people that can be helped.
a. I find it ironic that the building that houses Health and Human Services is a gated Campus!!!! So they don`t feel safe with their workplace location and stick a big fence around it, yet we are expected to put up with it.
And BTW these are not just my opinions, but things I have heard in the countless police, business and planning meetings.
The bottom line is that we need to reduce the loitering so we can attract businesses that will increase foot traffic and reduce crime. Seems very simple.