Home City park Mosholu Parkway Man Continues To Refuse Help, Moves To New Location

Mosholu Parkway Man Continues To Refuse Help, Moves To New Location

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By DAVID GREENE

A man who is currently homeless erects a makeshift tent on Mosholu Parkway in Bainbridge Avenue on Thursday, October 21, 2021.
Photo by David Greene

An unidentified man who, as reported, is currently homeless and lived in a tent along the tree-lined center of Mosholu Parkway in Bedford Park in October, appears determined to stay in the neighborhood although to this day he refused various offers of help.

As noted, the man suddenly appeared in mid-October, at one point building a makeshift tent of plywood and yellow tarp at Mosholu Parkway and Bainbridge Avenue, and was occasionally seen struggling against the wind and the rain.

When residents called 311 in October about the plight of the man, officials in the city’s Social Services (DSS), Homeless Services (DHS), and Parks and Recreation Departments in the city from New York sent teams to engage with him and offer him help. He was first moved out of the Mosholu site, but later returned.

As reported by Norwood News, on October 19, Dan Kastanis, press secretary of the parks department, said: “We carried out two clean-ups at Mosholu Parkway today as part of the Mayor’s Interagency Homeless Task Force to Tackle Tents and waste at sites and we continue to coordinate with DHS on providing awareness to these [homeless] people.”

Kastanis added, “Being homeless in and around a New York City park is not a crime. As part of the City’s efforts to provide shelter, support and services to the homeless, if you see a homeless person in a city park or setting up a camp, please report it to 311.

Two members of two different local community organizations, who preferred not to identify themselves or indicate their respective organizations, told the Norwood News, individually, that they had also attempted to contact the man directly, asking if he needed help, but he had refused.

On October 20, a spokesperson for NYC DSS-DHS said, “Helping our homeless neighbors get back on their feet is hard work at the best of times. The spokesperson added that throughout the pandemic, their outreach teams had been scrambling under unprecedented circumstances to involve unprotected New Yorkers, providing them with information on the range of resources. available to them and encourage them to accept these services.

DSS-DHS officials said they are coordinating their outreach efforts in the Mosholu Parkway area through the nonprofit BronxWorks, whose representatives, they said, are prospecting for Mosholu’s location at least 28. times per week. They said Bronxworks engages with six known people on their team, offers them services and helps them get inside.

In October, Norwood News also attempted to speak with the man who at one point was in front of the Veterans Memorial on Mosholu Parkway. However, our attempts were first met with blasphemy. He later added, “I’m fine. I do not need help.

A man who is currently homeless is pictured on Saturday, October 30, 2021, lying on a traffic island surrounded by passing traffic at Mosholu Parkway and Decatur Avenue in Bedford Park, where he lived for almost two weeks.
Photo by David Greene

The Mosholu Parkway area is marked by both heavy vehicle traffic and constant foot traffic due to its proximity to nearby schools. At various intervals, the man was seen in a more secluded area behind the Veterans Memorial on Bainbridge Avenue, as well as Hull Avenue.

From October 30 to November 13 at least, he was seen by Norwood News lying on a traffic island on the promenade in the center of 6 traffic lanes, including two turning lanes, miraculously escaping injury. On November 13, the man’s personal belongings were seen strewn about after a severe storm.

On November 20, he was discovered alive under the Mosholu Parkway Viaduct on Webster Avenue, across the street and just south of the 52nd District station. He wore a hooded jacket and slept on a chair, with two supermarket carts on either side of him that held two suitcases and other items.

Describing the man’s situation when he lived on the promenade, one of the members of the local community organization told the Norwood News, “There is a process that must be followed. The authorities have to wait some time before they can withdraw their belongings. “

A man who is currently homeless and who lived in various locations in and around Mosholu Parkway in Bedford Park refused help from various sources. His personal effects are pictured on Saturday, October 30, 2021 on Mosholu Parkway and Decatur Avenue.
Photo by David Greene

The community member continued, “DHS, police and PEP [Parks Enforcement Patrol] can then take his things out of the park. This was done at the monument, and again, the next day when it set up on the Parkway at Bainbridge Avenue. The man has since moved to the area under the Mosholu Parkway overpass on Webster Avenue. The community member concluded, “I guess no one is complaining about their current location.”

Indeed, the viaduct area was the subject of several resident complaints earlier this year, but for a different reason. The site, just south of the 52nd station house, is where the NYPD stores vehicles that have either been confiscated or involved in a crime or accident.

Residents complained that garbage and bird droppings were accumulating around and on top of vehicles, and that some vehicles had not been moved for months. As reported, the NYPD said Norwood News that towing companies were slow to retrieve these vehicles.

A man who is currently homeless who lived in various locations in and around Mosholu Parkway in Bedford Park is seen alive under the Mosholu Parkway overpass on Webster Avenue on Saturday, November 20, 2021.
Photo by David Greene

Norwood News has since followed up with DHS and Parks to provide city officials with the last known location of the man so they can continue to engage with him and offer him assistance, all the more as the weather gets colder and colder. Ian Martin, Deputy DSS Press Officer, replied: “Thank you. We will pass this information on to our colleagues who oversee unprotected outreach efforts. “

When temperatures drop below freezing, it triggers a code blue warning throughout the city. People who may be at risk for hypothermia, especially those living on the streets, can be helped. Residents can call 311 and provide the location of the affected person. Local teams will ensure follow-up and bring them to a refuge. Housing is also available for walk-ins.

* Síle Moloney contributed to this story.