A squatter who made her home in St. Albans Park, much to the anger and dismay of nearby residents, has been moved to a homeless shelter, the city said last week.
After three years of living on the street and littering the sidewalks with her trash, the unidentified woman was moved to a SafeHaven shelter, which is private housing used to meet the needs of the homeless and help them accept housing on their own, the city Department of Homeless Services said.
The agency sent out workers to speak with the woman in Creole, the only language she knew how to speak, and were able to convince her to leave the park.
“This was a successful collaboration between Homeless Services outreach teams, the NYPD and the Parks Department that led to a healthy living environment for a woman who had previously resorted to life on the streets. She will now receive much-needed services and supports,” the agency said in a statement.
Former City Councilman Archie Springer, who lives near the park and had been pushing the city for help for years, said he was glad DHS was able to find a solution.
“She’s been gone for two weeks and we don’t have any more problems,” he said.
The woman first appeared in front of a Seventh-day Adventist Church near the park in 2002, and when the church erected an iron gate, she took up space in the park. Residents were bothered by not only by her uncouth living conditions but also her psychological states, since she cursed and screamed at anyone who tried to talk to her.
Addisleigh Park is currently going through a review process by the city Landmarks Preservation Commission for possible designation as a historically significant neighborhood.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@c
©2010 Community News Group
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