[Hpn] Homeless man found dead beneath bridge
William C. Tinker
Fri, 21 Jan 2005 18:56:39 -0500
Posted on Fri, Jan. 21, 2005
Homeless man found dead beneath bridge
Homeless advocates say the death of a man beneath a bridge points out the
need for an outreach team to patrol the city looking for homeless people to
take to shelters.
Kenneth Weedman, 44 and homeless, was found dead Wednesday by neighbors who
live in a mobile home park in southwestern Jefferson County. The cause of
death was hypothermia, county Deputy Coroner Jesse Paulley said.
Marlene Gordon, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless, said
the group would try to find money to reinstate a program that seeks outs the
homeless and takes them to shelter.
The Healing Place, a downtown homeless shelter and drug and alcohol recovery
program, operated that service until about three years ago, when the agency
said it didn't have the $75,000 a year needed to keep it running.
Neighborhood leaders and others would call the shelter when they saw
homeless people in the cold, and teams would be dispatched to offer
assistance and try to coax them indoors. The teams would take those who
appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a detox center.
Wayside Christian Mission has a Samaritan patrol that offers gloves and
socks to homeless people and checks on the well-being of those who refuse to
enter a shelter.
But the Healing Place outreach team was familiar with bridges and
encampments where homeless people stayed, Gordon said. It worked well
because a former homeless person would be dispatched with the team, she
Rodney Brannon, director of programs at the Healing Place, said it was
unfortunate that his agency couldn't reach out to Weedman, but the program
grew too expensive and had to be cut.
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