Wednesday, June 06, 2012

issues with 29 U Street NW: daylaborer pick-up place

See the text of an Email from a neighbor on the 2100 block of North Capitol Street NW:

Might some neighbors have some info and insight regarding 29 U Street NW?

Lt Wright,
First of all, I want to thank you and your team for patrolling the alleyway at Crispus Attucks Park. I have seen the squad cars circle in the morning and at night. However, I am experiencing problems with men who have an idea when your cars will come around. I have seen them stand in people's opened garages to pretend they live there. Well now my house is the hangout spot and I need your help. These folks need to be challenged. "Do you live here, and why are you hanging out in this garage."

I dialed 911 last night because when I came home (2018 North Capitol St NW) at about 9:45 pm, I noticed someone had urinated in my front patio facing North Capitol St NW and left wine bottles in my backyard. The officer who responded said he won't be able to dust the bottle for fingerprints unless someone stole something, but I know I was invaded because I don't drink, therefore it is not my bottle. And haven't had a wine cooler since college (some 20+ years ago). Evidence is evidence, whether it was a murder committed, a theft, or an intrusion. The fingerprint to whomever entered my yard can probably lead you to other crimes committed. Intrusion in my yard has been going on for over a week. I believe they are coming around during the day when I am at work, and my yard is hard to see by your patrol officers in their car because it is 10 feet above the alley. Last week they even had the nerve to use one of my planter pots as a seat by my back door.

The urinating on my front patio had even gone to the level of defecation several times, and each time I called 911 when I discovered it (the last time the person even used toilet paper and left it behind). Officer Bryant Collins, who responded last night believes that vagrants and other unmentionables is under the belief that the house is vacant. Well it isn't and hasn't been since September 2009 when I bought it. The characters that I have seen (usually wearing white t-shirts and khaki pants and dreadlocks...which in Philadelphia are the uniforms for the drug trade) at the park hover near my end shooting the breeze and exchanging things from their pockets. I will call the police the next time I see them again. They can't find anything better to do than 'hang out' 7 days a week in the same spot?

Another note...what is the deal with 29 U St NW? I have been leaving for work lately after 8 am because I have some errands to do before I head to work, and notice at least 15-20 guys walking to this address' basement. Is this a halfway house? Some are talking to themselves and seem like they haven't bathed in weeks. There are two vans, a big white and big black, that park there around 7-7:30 am (I blocked the black van one time when I moved my car from my house on North Capitol St NW to keep from getting towed). They could be innocently living there, but the volume of people running in and out of there concerns me. There is no control mechanism on activity it seems. What are the guidelines for having a halfway house, anyway? Aren't they supposed to be registered and monitored? I checked on all registered houses in DC and 29 U St NW is not on the list.

Well, again, I am seeing a change in crime decreasing in the area thanks to the efforts of your team. When I was planning to buy the house in 2009, I was in my yard and WAS challenged by a patrolling police officer at Crispus Attucks Park. Wanting to know why I was there in the backyard. I answered his questions (that I was purchasing it) and showed some ID and he was ok with it. Believe it or not, I wasn't angered or offended but glad that someone was checking up on the neighborhood, which prompted me to buy. That type of challenging needs to continue, at least until we can get the neighborhood in a safer mode.

If this is a nuisence to the community, can they be banned from having their gatherings there? I know in some cities this is considered a commercial business and they are conducting business in a residential home. They can have their daylaborers meet at Home Depot like the others...It just attracts too much of a crowd and I don't want those who didn't get a job for the day to choose to hang out in the neighborhood and take a break in someone's yard...which could be the case for my situation. Not all of those daylaborers are picked up for certain jobs and can be left behind. 


Scott Roberts of Bloomingdale said...

I welcome comments and insight from nearby neighbors, since issue has been around for years and years and years.

ANV said...

I live on the unit block of U Street. The men coming and going from 29 are day laborers who evict people (literally moving people's stuff from their homes onto the street.) I have no problem with these people. The guys who live in 29 keep their "employees" under control and keep an eye on them. The one time I've had a problem in the last five years (when I saw someone urinating in the street) I went directly to the guys who live in 29 and they addressed it, following up several times with me to make sure I hadn't seen further incidents.

A lot of neighborhood problems could be solved if people would just talk to those with whom they have concerns. If the poster has concerns about 29, the poster should talk to them.

lenora said...

so, yesterday someone defecated behind our house on 1st st, at randolph. didn't see anyone, just the evidence they left behind, but it was a surprising first, since I've lived here three years and never had this problem. i assumed it was someone homeless and my solution is just to make the back a less inviting place to #2 (more presence from residents, cleaner, et c). but, yeah, what a bummer.

ABH said...

We have seen people both peeing and pooping in broad daylight. Not often, but still. We also know for fact that someone has used our neighbor's basement entrance as a bathroom even though we didnt see it happen and this was recently. It is upsetting for sure to know that people feel they dont have better options than this. The clean up is nasty and it is hard to know how to prevent it from happening again.

mona said...

Hate to be a party pooper but is 29 U st zone for this sort of business to be running out of it? I don't think this neighborhood is zoned for that sort of business as a whole.