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Putting names to tents

July 14, 2009 - 6:35 pm’s Adrian Florido wrote a very excellent piece this week on the proliferation of tents in East Village. And, yeah, since homelessness is my beat, I’m kind of kicking myself for not getting the story out first. But Adrian did a great job. And, indeed the tents are a new thing and quite an amazing site to folks like me who’ve spent a fair amount of time trolling the edges of East Village.

When I talked to Henria Wilson last April for our Homeless Person of the Week series she was, at that point, one of the only—if not the only—person sleeping in a tent in the Downtown area. Wilson was recovering from cancer and one night someone left the tent on the sidewalk where she was sleeping. Later on, a couple more tents appeared for her companions. Initially police harassed her, she said, but backed off when she showed them how she and her crew were keeping their area clean and crime-free. Henria’s found a place to live—in the Potiker Senior Center.

Thinking I’d be reporting on the tents, I shot this photo a couple of months ago while attending my first-ever street wedding. It’s the list David Ross was using to keep track of all the people who’d requested a tent. According to the VoSD piece, he’s run out of money to purchase new tents.


One Comment leave one →
  1. July 15, 2009 - 7:43 am 7:43 am

    this is such an interesting issue. thank you for the thoughtful post on the subject.

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