Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Drinking in the Circle

From a neighbor on the 1300 Block of P Street. . .

We live on the 1300 Block of P Street, and the drunks in Logan Circle continue to be a large
problem. This block in particular, seems to be on of the main traffic ways for the drunks, resulting in noise, making residents feel unsafe/uncomfortable and an enormous amount of trash, particularly empty liquor bottles and beer cans. Everyday, we leave our place, we have to pick up a whole new set of trash dumped outside of our door step.

Someone also smashed the vent window of my car, parked on Kingman street about a month ago (reported to police). To sum up the whole incident (obviously a non-pro job), there's an excellent possibility it was done by one of the circle's inhabitants.

Certainly not as horrifying as some of the more recent posts, and a common complaints, but needs to be voiced...

Glad I found this excellent blog!

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I live on the 1300 block of 13th Street and it is a very similar story. They travel to Jerry’s, the BP Station and cut through the alley constantly. Aside from the noise, litter, drug sales/usage, they use the alleys as public restrooms. We have to yell at them through our windows when we catch them in the act.

We park one of our cars on the street and over the course of one year it was broken into three times. They appear to be looking for money or anything they can sell. I now drive around with signs in my windows (24/7) that read “BROKEN INTO 3 TIMES NOTHING LEFT TO STEAL” and “NO $ IN CAR”. I also leave all the compartments open and the visors down so they can look through the windows and see that it is not worth their time. Obviously this is not a solution to the problem but it has been an effective survival strategy.

I have been to meetings where the police made presentations and they have discussed the case of a homeless person that was breaking into cars on a nightly basis. When they caught him and took him to court the judge would not issue a stay away order because the man was homeless. So he got out of jail and probably went right back to breaking into cars.

The laws/courts in this city are a joke when it comes to dealing with the homeless and juvenile criminals. It must be extremely frustrating for the police to keep arresting these people and have them put right back out on the street.

Anonymous said...

The problems in Logan Circle park will persist as long as the Central Union Mission remains at 14th and R Streets, which is a magnet for the homeless who congregate during the day in the park.

Anonymous said...

This situation is far from hopeless. Things in NYC were just as bad (if not far worse) and politics aside, Rudy all but erased* the quality of life problems so incumbent to our area.

So it's not a matter of impossibility, it just requires strong leadership and guts.

*some say erased, some say swept under the rug, in any event, you don't usually need to leave your $0.5 million manhattan condo and fear for your life anymore...

Anonymous said...

Elect a Rep. Dems will never ever displace the homeless. By the way I have voted Dem in the past elections so no bias here.

Anonymous said...

Where should the homeless be put?

Anonymous said...

I could not agree more. Central Union Mission needs to go! I believe the reason the homeless issue is so difficult to tackle is that we lump them together as one. There are many types of homeless people, criminals, drug addicts, alcoholics, mentally disabled, physically disabled, etc. I would suggest we enter them into treatment programs for whatever their problem is keeping in mind that some of them should be institutionalized from the start. The criminals should go to jail (being homeless should not be a get out jail free card). Their current behavior patterns should not be tolerated in Logan Circle or anywhere else.

Anonymous said...

As long as we choose to address these issues *after* the fact, instead of implementing preventative measures, we'll have these problems.
"Sweeping under the rug" doesn't solve anything. It just displaces the problem to the next soon-to-be gentrified area. So, at some point in the future, Logan Circle may no longer have to deal with these issues. But the residents moving into 1/2 mil condos in Columbia Hghts will. Sure it may not be *our* problem anymore, but what are you really trying to achieve? Being able to sleep better at night because your precious condo is safe? Or *really* doing something by helping to address these issues on a societal/community level?

How about we deal with the crime, drugs, and homeless situation on a district level?
How about tougher penalties for breaking the law? How about supporting rehab and treatment for addicts (instead of just throwing them in jail)?
How about stricter enforcement of current laws (drug dealing and gun ownership in particular)?
How about support of after-school and community involvement programs for at-risk youth (so we can prevent the next generation of criminals)?

As a community, we have a strong communal voice to effect *real* change. It's a shame we're too busy cowering in our expensive condos for fear of being egged on Halloween, rather than working to make the system actually work.

Chris K said...

This is a Logan Circle blog. Of course we are focused on Logan Circle. If you want to talk about things on a District level, the Mayor has his own blog.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

How about you let them sleep in your condo. You can feed them and give the showers. If your so great and trusting take them into your house.

Chris K said...

I'm lucky if I get to sleep and shower in my place - thanks! :)

Anonymous said...

I also live on the 1300 block of P Street and it's shortsighted to just focus on the homeless. Share the blame with the liquor stores on 14th St who sell the liquor in the first place. It's a crime to sell to an intoxicated person - complain to them and let them know you're willing to take it to the ABC Board if they don't do a better job of policing themselves. Call the National Parks Service if you see someone drinking in the Circle - it's their park to police. If you're sick of picking up beer/liquor empties go to your ANC2F meeting and start demanding that the signed agreements between liquor stores and the ANC prohibit the sale of single-serve items or even pint-sized bottles. As for urination in the alleys, where are the homeless supposed to go? The shelters close during the day. Our stores won't let them use theirs (ironically not even the liquor stores). How come the churches - which there are plenty of - haven't opened their doors so at least the homeless can have some easy access to a restroom when the need arises? Demand that our neighborhood churches respond to our neighborhod problems. We can't expect the District or any other agency to solve our problems for us. We have to take the initiative to make Logan Circle better and it won't happen if we just sit at home bitching online.

Anonymous said...

That's brilliant. Open the logan circle churches so all the Disytict's homeless can come here for the freebies. Just brilliant.

Anonymous said...

as long as we think of it only in terms of "Logan Circle", then it'll continue to *be* a problem. It's not like Logan Circle is breeding criminals - they're coming from somewhere else and ending up here. Preventing them from hanging out in Logan Circle isn't going to fix anything in the long term - it's like putting a bandaid on a hemmorhage.
Fixing the problem where it starts may be a better option.

Also we have to realize... this area was a problem *before* we got here, we can't really act suprised that there are *still* problems here. It doesn't change overnight, even if the overinflated condo prices do.

But stricter enforcement (in this area and elsewhere) is a great start. If alcoholics in Logan Circle are a problem, take it up with the liquor stores. These businesses are regulated by some sort of association, right?

I feel like LCCA and the community has been putting a lot of pressure on the district to police this area better, and I think that's a great idea. If we can keep the pressure on, it'll help.
Doesn't DC have open container laws? Isn't it illegal to sit in the circle and drink? Calling the park service or the local police is much better than sitting around wringing our hands.

Can we as a community work with community organizations to solve these problems? Can we discuss options with the local missions, churches, clinics, shelters, etc?
Relying on the district government will only do so much... I think there is a lot *we* can do to help this along, instead of waiting for someone else to take care of the problem.
I can't say I have all the answers, but we're a smart group, I'm sure we can come up with some solid community-based ideas...

Anonymous said...

" How about you let them sleep in your condo."

Sounds like a great Idea. My building is called "Central Union Mission."

Anonymous said...

"That's brilliant. Open the logan circle churches so all the Disytict's homeless can come here for the freebies. Just brilliant."

Wow. I thought people like you hid in gated communities and wouldn't step foot in a more urban setting such as ours.

Chris K said...

Woah - bad sandbox behavior!
Since neither of you are willing to put your name out there (whereby you could continue the dialogue somewhere else, as mature adults do) I ask that you both call a ceasefire.