Shooting at 7th Street, NE Only Gets Sadder

Most folks heard about the shooting yesterday at 7th Street, NE near H Street. The City Paper’s Jason Cherkis reports on more very depressing details.

“While there was some back and forth over whether the home was a group home, it is a rooming house that does include people who are mentally ill.

It is freezing inside 830 7th Street. Osborne says sometimes the heat comes on. Sometimes it’s just cold. Upstairs there is a blood stain in the hall.

There is no one there to supervise the men. There is no one there to make sure the heat works, to clean up all the blood on the floor. Mobile Crisis makes a call to the proprietor–Mark Spence of an organization called “Hope Finders.” Mobile Crisis has to leave a message.The men say they haven’t seen him in a while.”

You can read the full story here. What an incredibly sad situation.

11 Comment

  • I’m getting really tired of Cherkis endlessly second guessing and bashing law enforcement. Sorry, but if you come at the police with I knife you’re going to lose and lose big. That’s the way the game is played. DC has a mental health ‘system’ that’s worse than many developing countries, and this is occasionally the end result. Don’t blame MPD.

  • Why is it relevant that they have not seen the landlord? Ideally, you should never see your landlord. The heat not working is a loaded statement. It could not be working because the tenants f’d it up. The city tries to house these people in normal neighborhoods to fend for themselves. It is obvious these men are unable to live by themselves. So why keep trying the same old failed approach?

  • Jason Cherkis started as a Penn State wunderkind who I used to talk to at shows 20 years ago. Since then he’s run downhill remarkably and now doesn’t even have a regular journalism job- he writes for the city paper along with interns half his age. As the above poster wrote, he has become completely unreliable on the subject of law enforcement- almost literally blaming the police in this article for shooting an armed attacker and, if I believe his article, known murderer.

    Nate might be a bit disingenuous, I suspect that these halfway houses are supposed to have more management oversight than “normal” rentals.

    The only murder that took place within walking distance of my house was in front of a halfway house where the murder victim’s cousin enacted a revenge killing. I have absolutely no idea what kind of system would get criminals and the mentally ill functioning in society, but it’s clear that living on one’s own isn’t it.

  • There’s generally a story or two a year about these horrid places. Be sure the city collects oodles of federal money to care for these poor souls.

  • Pennywise, that is my point. Year after year, the city tries to place these people in homes and allow them live independently. And it overwhelmingly does not work. I have a landlord friend. He rents apts to these people. He provides no services. That is not his line of business. They burn out the ovens. They mess up the heating units. And it always comes out as a failing of the landlord. The city adminsiters this money. They totally bungle that. So you can just imagine the lack of oversight on these people.

  • Umm, yeah, this is DC, remember? The large amounts of money collected in the name of these people is misappropriated via corruption and other means. In that sense, we are all in same boat.

  • This was not a city-run facility

  • This was not a city-run facility

    Like that would have made a difference.

  • Being a landlord carries responsibilities. Nobody forced this guy to become a landlord, so the least he can do is live up to his end of the bargain and make sure the damn place is habitable. I love how landlords in DC do nothing but cry, cry, cry, cry all the way to the bank. Landlords in DC have it easy. Guaranteed taxpayer money for their section eight properties, most of which aren’t fit for livestock to live in, and a population of people either too handicapped or too poor to complain. If it’s just so awful to collect money for doing approximately nothing, then why are you still in the game Nate? You’ve got absolutely nothing to complain about, unlike your poor tenants.

  • Uhhh… Smith&Jones…

    while it’s true that landlordism doesn’t take labor, it does take money and the risk of one’s property.

    Most of us on the dark side of 30 have friends who gambled and lost as a landlord. I knew a dude whose AU Rental was virtually destroyed when the drunken college tenants brought the barbecue grill inside and the smoke permeated every crevice of the place, requiring $1500 above the security deposits to clean out and the tenants who he couldn’t kick out because they weren’t at fault decided to go on a rent strike because their house smelled like smoke and afterwards only pay their share of the rent for the entire house. He basically paid the mortgage with no money coming in for months and took the BBQ tenants to small claims court. I remember his kids couldn’t go to camp that year because he was paying the double mortgage on his house and the rental.

    The last two people clogged up the toilet, called a plumber and tried to charge him for it- as if he couldn’t call rotorooter and request the detailed bill of what was found in the toilet (baby doll head). I remember he lamented that they were threatening to sue him because it was his house and his toilet that “broke.”

    Someone got sued in small claims for that $1500, but I don’t remember how it turned out. I think one of the guys completely skipped town.

    Technically he wasn’t making money off his labor (and I also think the rent was little more than about $500 per month profit before damages, which is like, what, 8 hours of work?), but who gives a rat’s ass, really, when someone totally changes personality between signing the lease and dragging in the bbq grill.

  • “These People” are human beings with mental illnesses who seemed to have been failed by many different sectors- landlord, police, mental health etc. Instead of trying to assign blame, the focus should be on trying to understand what happened so the community can work to make sure a horrible situation like this doesn’t happen again

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