Thursday, November 01, 2007

City Life

Homeless Man Finds Shelter In A St. George Boiler Room
By Gunes Atalay

Some people in the St. George area of Staten Island were shocked to find a homeless man living in the boiler room of their house. As a crowd gathered in front of the house on Westervelt Avenue where five families live to talk about the discovery, a man in the crowd murmured, “Only in New York man. Only in New York.”

One resident seemed more freaked out more than anyone. Shawn Adelman, 45, the building’s landlord, said, “When my tenant Roberta Craft called me, I couldn't believe what she said. How the hell does that happen? How did he even get in there? I will put a stronger lock on the door immediately”

Apparently, the homeless man has been living in the boiler room for a while, without anyone noticing. The place is full of trash he left. Adelman said he had to go. “I kicked him out. What was I supposed to do? Let him stay?”

Craft, 40, who discovered the homeless man, said, “I've been hearing noises at nights but I thought it was the young kids living in the building. We also use that space as storage. I went down there to grab something, and I saw a man. He seemed very harmless and he didn't say anything, he just looked at me,” she said. “But imagine my fright. I ran upstairs as fast as I could and called my landlord and knocked on the other tenants’ doors.”

Craft said Adelman and the other tenants all converged on the boiler room. “He must have known he was getting kicked out. He was standing up and he didn't say a word. He just left when we told him to.”

Residents said St. George is a very safe place to live, but they would be a lot more careful now, and make sure they have strong locks on their doors.

“I am kind of sad. Even though the weather is not bad right now, it will get bad soon,” said Kisha Dario, 31, another resident. “I hope he finds a place. I mean, I wish we could let him stay but we have little kids in the building and we don't know that man. He seemed harmless, but you never know. I told everyone to call the cops but nobody listened to me. If we did, he could maybe find a place to sleep.”

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