Top Photo: Stephen Bartlett tells HN about the difficulties of being homeless and having no public restrooms open in the evening…
HN NOTES: As a photojournalist, I document things, good and bad… and in between. One of my main concerns has always been the plight of the homeless living on the streets of Hyannis. I grew up here and homelessness in Hyannis has always been an issue and part of our landscape to some degree… but this year times seem especially difficult and depressing for those without a place to go. I feel it’s my duty to document some of these things for the general public to see – and it is my sincere wish that brighter and more powerful members of our community will come up with solutions to make things better here in Hyannis, for everyone, including the merchants and those who are currently fortunate enough to make a livable wage and have roof over their head.
This morning I visited the Hyannis Village Green right as some of the homeless were waking up and climbing out of their sleeping bags on the bandstand. Those who saw me came over and we had a great, congenial conversation about the challenges they are currently facing living on the streets of Hyannis. One gentleman told HN about the ongoing problem of “homeless on homeless” violence, and that he had recently been robbed. Another man told HN about finding himself homeless and faced with possibly having to give up his dog that he loved… and how he chose the streets for now because there are no shelter alternatives for a homeless man and his dog. (Dog lovers will understand the anguish of possibly having to choose between your best friend and a shelter that cannot allow dogs… it’s a heart-wrenching dilemma to find oneself in. HN has found that homeless dog owners often try to hold on to their dogs for as long as they possibly can… again, it’s a heart-wrenching situation…)
During our conversation, a Barnstable Police patrol car drove out onto the green to check on those camping there. A patrolman wanted to see if everyone was okay and spent some time having a conversation with the group. The atmosphere was warm and friendly.
Long story short: we didn’t solve all the issues surrounding Hytown’s homeless, but we did manage to share ideas and thoughts on the subject. Stephan made a very good point, that each homeless person has a different story. Some of the men there this morning were open to the idea of speaking with HN on camera from time to time… and that made me happy because the least I can do is to provide individuals with an opportunity to express their views – views that often go unheard due to the obscure nature of living on the street.
The following are some quick HN snapshots of this morning’s conversation on the green…
ADDITIONAL HN PHOTOS: This past Tuesday, police were called to a local shopping plaza to move along some individuals who had reportedly already been trespassed from the property. It was a hot day and the three individuals had found some shade near the entrance to the plaza… and the officer had the difficult job of telling them they had to leave…
P.S. – Today’s Hytown Vignette is brought to you by Dr. Lonnie Smith… [CLICK IT/CRANK IT! HEADPHONES OBLIGATORY!]
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