PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A growing tent city of homeless off of Howard Street on the North Side, apparently with city permission, is outraging local residents.
Paul Hendricks’ home on Compromise Street overlooks Howard, and he doesn’t like what he sees out his back window.
Hendricks: “I look outside my kitchen window and get to see someone going to the bathroom at breakfast time.”
KDKA’s Jon Delano: “You’ve actually seen somebody?”
Hendricks: “Yes, I have.”
But public urination and defecation are not the only issues.
“They’re stealing some of the tarps that we use to cover our summer things, some of our lawn furniture is missing, they come through here intoxicated in the evening, trying to find a way down over the hillside,” said Maryann Buggey, of the North Side. “There’s a home down the street where they’re actually living in the subbasement. They keep boarding it up and the homeless keep taking the board off, and they now have buckets where they’re urinating in.”
Buggey says she’s asked Mayor Bill Peduto to drop by her street where, until now, she has always felt safe.
“To do a walk-through so we can show him exactly what’s going on and what we’re living with,” she said. “The rats and the rodents that are over the hill from the mess they are leaving. It’s unreal.”
No word if the mayor will do that, but it’s clear what he won’t do.
“What we don’t do is go in with dump trucks and police officers and make them move unless there is any type of public safety danger,” said Mayor Peduto.
Hendricks says he’s complained to government officials.
Delano: “What are you getting from them?”
Hendricks: “I’m getting nothing. I’m getting more response from the police.”
Delano: “What are the police telling you?”
Hendricks: “Let them handle it.”
Delano: “And have they?”
Hendricks: “No, because they work for Peduto.”
How to handle homeless encampments in the city appears to be becoming a political issue.