What Did Search for Homeless in Brooklyn Heights Discover?

Volunteers for the HOPE Survey combed the streets of Brownstone Brooklyn Monday night looking to count and to assist the homeless. While conducting their audit, the searchers encountered one of the infamous and totally not homeless “Freegans” who make the garbage pile at Perelandra a nightly stop on their quest to save the earth and/or a dolla. No word on whether any of the HOPE crew correctly identified them – in the words of BHB uber-commenter my2cents – as “raccoons with iPods.”

Wall Street Journal: The four volunteers jumped over snow mounds, skidded on ice and stopped each and every pedestrian, whether or not he or she looked like someone who sleeps on the streets. With green surveys in hand, they asked a simple question: “Tonight do you have somewhere that you consider your home or a place to live?”

Most people cocked their heads in confusion.

At 1 a.m. the group passed the TD Bank sign on Montague Street, which reported the temperature at 22 degrees. The volunteers walked east along Cadmen Plaza while snow began to fall, a great contrast to last year when volunteers enjoyed 40-degree weather. This year, the Department of Homeless Services declared a Code Blue due to extreme weather conditions. That meant volunteers would ask any homeless individuals they encountered if they’d like a place to sleep for the night.

Continuing their tour of Brooklyn Heights, Group 12 passed Peralandra, an upscale health-food store on Remsen Street. A woman in a long down coat was picking through a cardboard box with discarded produce from the market. She declined to answer the survey questions.

“A few years ago I would have thought she was homeless. But I see this more and more,” said [Alex] Ward, who works at Heights Château, a nearby wine store. “She’s probably a forager and I think she was embarrassed. Times are tough, you’ve got to do what you’ve got do.”

Group 12 walked through the cold for almost five hours. They did not find any homeless New Yorkers.

Share this Story:

, ,

  • David on Middagh

    A small correction: it’s “Perelandra”.


  • nabeguy

    How moronic is this? Even the homeless know enough to get off the street when it’s 22 degrees outside. Did they bother to go into the subway stations or other public venues where the homeless would seek shelter?

  • Andrew Porter

    Actually, I know one person who lives in BH who frequently picks over the leftovers at Perelandra. They’re definitely not homeless.

    Perelandra, btw, is named for a novel by C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series and much more.

    Oh, and it’s Cadperson, not Cadmen, Plaza.

  • GHB

    Since Cadmen is plural, shouldn’t it be Cadpeople?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Someone once pointed out that replacing gender specific nouns with “person” doesn’t do the trick, since “son” denotes maleness. Hence, the word “person” should be changed to “peroffspring”. This is the same whether singular or plural.

  • tb

    I’d rather dumpster dive at Trader Joes. But that’s just me.

  • bornhere

    GHB: But it’s Cadman, not Cadmen.

  • GHB

    bornhere, I know… I was just paraphrasing an earlier post.

  • David on Middagh

    So the WSJ went to the trouble of employing the circumflex in “Heights Château”, but made two other proper-name spelling errors. Maybe us hyper locals do hyperlocal better!

  • bornhere

    GHB: I thought so — I was just feeling left out…

  • Billy Reno

    Did they ask the folks hogging the comfy chairs at Starbucks?! HELLO?!

  • digby

    Nabeguy – actually, the survey is meticulously organized and teams of surveyors are assigned city grids, including teams that specifically work subway stations, parks, and other high traffic locations. As a representative sample survey, the Heights is included not because they expect to find alot of people in need of housing (after all, the neighborhood is full of people that tend to have successful careers in causing economic injustice to others), but because the nabe needs to be included in the survey to balance the sampling.

  • Arch Stanton

    @ digby,

    “after all, the neighborhood is full of people that tend to have successful careers in causing economic injustice to others” Please explain the logic (or lack of) behind that statement.

  • monty

    They should have checked the stairwells at clark st and borough hall.

  • william

    The stench near the subway stairwells probably drove the homeless inspectors away.

  • http://montaguestreetjournal.com Ace

    Where people carried signs around
    Saying, “Ban the bums”