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Thread: Sleeping bag guy

  1. #1
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    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Default Sleeping bag guy

    So uh, is anyone kinda creeped out by the guy sleeping in the Rt 1/GW pkwy/Metro underpass on 4MRT? He's been there on and off, so I know he's not dead, but tonight he was laying across half the trail and it seemed kinda dangerous for him and cyclists rolling through. Also, I'm always afraid he's going to jump out and lunge at me like a horror movie or something. Honestly, I think he's probably harmless, but given that it's in a relatively secluded and low traffic area, and the fact that people (women especially) have been attacked on the trails, it is a bit concerning. Anyone know who has jurisdiction over this part of the trail? If anything, I'd just like to make sure he's okay...I'd feel really bad if I rode by him and it turned out he needed to go to the hospital or something and I just ignored him.

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    That part of the trail belongs to the Arlington PD. If you call them on their non-emergency number, 703.558.2222, and tell them the truth about what you see, they'll be able to respond in an appropriate manner. They're probably quite familiar with this person. I called them about a guy who was actually sprawled across the trail, in some type of chemically- or medically-induced distress, and they handled the situation with compassion.

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    A well known forum member has called ASPAN about this guy a couple times over the past few weeks. I think it's definitely worth escalating it to the police if he continues to be a danger.
    Last edited by Tim Kelley; 02-15-2013 at 07:05 AM.

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    He's been there several times when coming through pre-Shirlington Lunch Ride, I bet that's one of his spots to sleep, because he's usually gone when coming back thru around noon.

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    This gentleman has been in that area since at least last fall. I would frequently see him walking west as I was commuting home. He has been sleeping under one or the other of the bridges, almost always taking up the bank side travel lane, since at least since the New Year. I see him most weekday mornings (between 7:30 and 8:00 am), sometime fully zipped into his sleeping bag, sometimes sitting on the trail's edge, and sometimes standing up along the rail stream side. I'm not sure what time he gets there in the evenings because I don't often see him when I go through around 5:30.

    At times he seems kind of gruff, but I have started saying good morning to him when he is out of his bag and he has started saying good morning back. So far I haven't perceived any kind of threat.

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    He's completely harmless. I stopped one late night on my way home (it was a cold one) to see if he could use an extra layer. He said he was fine, but I gave him some sandwiches that were left over from a luncheon my office had. He asked what on earth I was doing out so late. He knew the forecast for the weather better than I did.

    Very few homeless are dangerous, and probably more to themselves than to you. I just think it's stupid with all the "stuff" we as a society have that we can't come up with a solution to homelessness or hunger. I see thousands of pounds of veggies and bread chucked out the back of Costco every night. They then LOCK the dumpsters so that no one can get at it. Idiocy.

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    I'm so glad you stopped and shared food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecyclingeconomist View Post
    I just think it's stupid with all the "stuff" we as a society have that we can't come up with a solution to homelessness or hunger.
    Most of the long-term homeless are out there by choice. The biggest problem is the huge gap in mental health services, but there comes a point at which, when someone decides they're happier outside than in a shelter, it's their decision. We could do a better job of ensuring access to quality assistance programs, but we also know from history that forcing people into things "for their own good" has its own problems.

    I see thousands of pounds of veggies and bread chucked out the back of Costco every night. They then LOCK the dumpsters so that no one can get at it. Idiocy.
    It's not uncommon for people to get killed when a dumpster gets dumped and then compacted. Keeping people out is a good call. There are existing programs through which stores and restaurants can donate food to food pantries and soup kitchens. Many do, more could, but if the food is actually bad then it should be dumped. If you're aware of good, usable, food being dumped, you could try to facilitate a conversation between the business and the capital area food bank.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thecyclingeconomist View Post
    He's completely harmless. I stopped one late night on my way home (it was a cold one) to see if he could use an extra layer. He said he was fine, but I gave him some sandwiches that were left over from a luncheon my office had. He asked what on earth I was doing out so late. He knew the forecast for the weather better than I did.

    Very few homeless are dangerous, and probably more to themselves than to you. I just think it's stupid with all the "stuff" we as a society have that we can't come up with a solution to homelessness or hunger. I see thousands of pounds of veggies and bread chucked out the back of Costco every night. They then LOCK the dumpsters so that no one can get at it. Idiocy.
    I'll lay dollars to donuts that Costco does this at least in part because they fear the liability of someone eating the food they've thrown out, or getting stuck or hurt in one of their dumpsters. And as far as giving to food banks and shelters, I could be wrong but I think regulations make that prohibitively difficult. Suffice to say I don't think you can just send a truck over filled with stuff you were going to throw out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazygl00 View Post
    I'll lay dollars to donuts that Costco does this at least in part because they fear the liability of someone eating the food they've thrown out, or getting stuck or hurt in one of their dumpsters. And as far as giving to food banks and shelters, I could be wrong but I think regulations make that prohibitively difficult. Suffice to say I don't think you can just send a truck over filled with stuff you were going to throw out.
    It's a myth that regulation prevents food donations, in fact the law provides Good Samaritan exemptions for donations made in good faith. The barriers typically are misinformation and lack of information about available options. Best bet is to talk to capital area food bank for details if you're in a position to make food donations.

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