Putting Complaints in Perspective

The following letter was sent to me by a reader and was originally sent to Councilmember Graham. The reader tells me that the Councilman has promised to send the appropriate authorities. It is really quite a sad situation all around. Hopefully, this guy will get the help he clearly needs. Has anyone else faced a similar situation? If so please tell the reader how you dealt with it.

“I am writing because we have exhausted all of our available resources and desperately need help with a mentally ill neighbor, residing. I understand under DC Law that unless he is a direct threat to himself or others, there is little the police or Department of Mental Health can do. However, the quality of life for this whole block, most particularly for the neighbors located on both sides of him, has deteriorated.

He frequently yells at passersby and his neighbors, using racial and sexual insults that must be heard to be believed. In the past, he has tried to spit on elderly women walking down the street and has begun throwing all the contents of his house onto his front steps. (I submitted a complaint for sanitation violations on 3/23/08 on the DC Government’s website). A consequence of his unsanitary living condition is we have mice and roaches in our house and must pay Orkin for regular maintenance. Letter continues after the jump.

At night, he plays his radio, TV, or vacuum cleaner so loud it can often be heard two doors down and by people outside. On these nights, there is nowhere quiet in our own house to sleep. He has thrown raw eggs at a neighbor’s house as well as his own house. He has taken to breaking glass objects on his front porch, which have showered broken glass onto our porch, meaning I can not let my dog out there any longer. His speech is incoherent, it usually involves a daughter he found out was not his and the government.

I have called Department of Mental Health on several occasions as well as the police; the responses have been inconsistent but everyone who has come out agrees he needs mental help. Last spring, Department of Mental Health brought him in for three days of psychiatric evaluation and he was doing better for several months. If they would re-evaluate him or simply ensure that he takes his medication (which, presumably, they prescribed), I am confident things would improve.

All of this would be stressful in itself but with a baby due in July, we are terribly concerned for the future (not to mention my being unable to get any sleep) and implore you to assist us in any manner you are able. I truly appreciate your time and attention to this matter.”

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