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Ridgewood Residents Raise Complaints About Homeless on Putnam Avenue

Residents have grown frustrated with the homeless population on Putnam Avenue. (Google Maps)

May 23, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan

A group of homeless men and women on Putnam Avenue are making a mess of the street, a number of Ridgewood residents claimed at Tuesday night’s 104 Precinct Community Council meeting.

The issue, the residents say, has been going on for years.

“We’ve had a problem with numerous homeless men and women drinking, using our block as a toilet, garbage being thrown around, fighting,” said Ridgewood resident Scott Wilson. “They get so drunk they pass out. Ambulance gets there at least once a day—I actually call it their limousine ride. It’s embarrassing.”

Captain Victoria Perry heard from concerned residents. (Laura Hanrahan)

Officers have responded to the scene a number of times, Wilson said, but the homeless individuals return soon after.

One resident, Tony Revello, said he has written numerous letters to both Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo about the problem, but never received a response. He says he had the police called on him after trying to take the matter into his own hands when he saw a man defecating in front of his home.

“I came out with a bat as a dude was taking a crap right next to my minivan,” he said. “I was about to put my daughter inside, he’s got his pants down to his knees. My daughter is 4 years old, she doesn’t need to see that.”

104 Precinct Commanding Officer Victoria Perry said she is aware of the problem and has been in contact with Council Member Bob Holden’s office as well as local homeless services. But without being able to catch the homeless individuals committing the alleged offences in the act, she says their options are very limited.

“I can’t force them [to go get help], so my hands are tied just as much,” Perry said. “But we can work with the other agencies to try to convince them to get the help that they need.”

The men and women are believed to be local residents of the neighborhood, Perry said.

Father Mike Lopez, pastor of All Saints and advocate for the homeless, said at the Tuesday night meeting that he has been aware of the situation on Putnam Avenue for quite some time. He pointed out that the shelter system forces people back out onto the street during the day, leaving them with nowhere to go. He then added that the group generally dissipates by 10 p.m. after the individuals have returned to the shelter.

Lopez also noted that not all of the individuals involved in the Putnam Avenue incidents are homeless.

“A lot of those guys who look like they’re homeless drinking in public are not homeless,” Lopez said. “They’re just hanging out with them together.”

Holden says his office has received one complaint about the problem and that they are working with Lopez to try to get the homeless individuals in touch with service providers.

“I have also spoken to the 104th Precinct and I encourage anyone who witnesses public urination or any other violation to call 311, 911 and my office,” Holden said.

Perry also recommended that residents call their Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) directly if they observe any violations.

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19 Comments

A m Goodridge

Bushwick & Ridgewood residents demanding real community land trust to control the neglect buildings/empty storefronts & vacant lots into low-income homes for families,real good paid jobs with local hiring & parks/Green space

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Sarah

That ship has sailed when Amazons 25,000 jobs were chased out by OAC and the demoncrats

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bill johnson

COMPLAINING IS NOT THE ANSWER THEY NEED HELP CAN YOU HELP THEM AND THEY WILL BE GONE !!!

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Ozzie

Then why aren’t YOU out helping? Instead of sitting on your righteous duff in front of a computer screen?

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John Q Citizen

rents are sky high no one can afford to pay greedy landlords where can the go and yes no one wants them around but instead of complaining they need help try helping instead of complaining maybe some food for them they have nothing that’s why they are there what do you want them to do and as landlords get more greedy there will be more they need help !!!

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Mary F.

A lot of these homeless did have homes and all of them aren’t crazy or addicts. You’ll see a lot more of this as old tenements are demolished and “affordable housing” that costs several grand a month replaces them. If only we could have them park in front of the Mayor’s house.

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Wolfsbane

Don’t want homeless defecating on the street? Start building 24hr public toilets. Start institutionalizing the mentally ill again. Duh!

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A Fat girl with low self esteem

Oh well our socialist stains said its humane tell let the homeless sleep on milk crates and live on the streets rather than force them into shelters. Its going to get worse much worse

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Fox News says socialism bad!

Wait, socialism? Do you understand the difference between socialism and welfare capitalism?

Socialism is the social ownership of the means of production, did you know you’re commenting on a story about the homeless?

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A Fat girl with low self esteem

Yes our stains says its humane to let them sleep on milk crates . Forcing them into shelters is inhumane and cruel. How ironic the homeless problem increased since a socialist took control of city hall. Take off them rose colored lenses comrade. Reality check

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jb

Something is going on. We’re seeing bad stuff to a lesser extent in Forest Hills, and wonder where these people are coming from.

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Sarah

They’re coming from the newly built $3,000 per month rent Kew Gardens homeless hotel on Queens Blvd by the Courthouse that Dimblasio created without community input. Taxpayers will be leaving in droves for other Cities soon enough.

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Al

These homeless individuals like all others need affordable homes, jobs, and treatments. This is nothing but a vicious cycle of neglect of the poor!

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Pat Macnamara

They need to stop drinking themselves into oblivion-there are plenty of treatments available-all on your dime too. Think about the people who actually contribute to society instead of these dregs who are nothing but a drain…

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Sarah

Greedy politicians build welfare hotels in middle class family neighborhoods that drive out taxpaying citizens.

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