City Paper is not for tourists
Dear D.C. Gov:
I know you are now suddenly worried about at-risk children. And now must come up with a plan. [We will have more on this plan in a later post].
My most pressing worry concerns an adult, a woman who logs some serious time at the corner of 16th and Irving Streets NW. I’ve seen her around for the past five, six years. She is troubled. She may have schizophrenia. She gets her food out of trash cans.
Last night, I saw her around 8 p.m. and again at somewhere close to 3 a.m. Same spot. Same sense of ceaseless desperation. She walks with brace-like things so she must have some access to healthcare, has presented herself to a nurse, a tech, a weary emergency room desk clerk. But she clearly needs something more.
She is not what District residents might refer to as a “local character.” She needs help. At my 8 p.m. sighting, she bounded across 16th Street without any hint that she understood this to be a busy intersection. People avoided her. Tried not to make eye contact. Cars kinda paused.
She had the same ceaseless energy at 3 a.m. The same yelling and bellowing and heavy breathing and bounding across the now not-busy street.
But I worried. Do something.