Editor’s note: It’s rather hard to believe that a dead body could be a few hundred feet away from Borough Hall, the Brick House and in view of High Street and nobody noticed? Is the homeless problem so bad that we just ignore someone lying on the ground in a public place? If the woman died where she was photographed, how could she have been there that long and nobody thought something was wrong?
POTTSTOWN, PA — The woman whose lifeless body was found lying near the fountain in Smith Family Plaza Thursday evening has been identified by the county coroner who said she was likely there for 8 to 12 hours before someone alerted authorities.
Dr. Walter I. Hofman said the woman has been identified as 49-year-old Cynthia Atkinson, believed to be homeless. Hofman said no next of kin has been identified.
Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20120622/NEWS01/120629763/body-unnoticed-in-pottstown-park-for-8-to-12-hours
Hi Roy-my FB post:
A journalist who’s spent his career covering the inhumane treatment of Ethiopians by their govt. couldn’t arouse compassion for their plight. He delved into what is known about the psychology of mass suffering and the ability of humans to comprehend and react to it. He found that our subconscious has sort of a built-in self preservation mode that buffers us from large scale human suffering. He focused on the suffering of one family, representational of all the suffering in Ethiopia, and an outpouring of love and compassion came forth. Pottstown has reached critical mass. If the homeless and needy cannot be avoided, subconsciously, we block out their suffering in order to remain healthy and focused. That may be why Cynthia’s death went unnoticed for so long. This is a small community and people are “warehoused” here by the govt. and sent here by wealthy communities – WE HAVE REACED CRITICAL MASS.
As in Carl’s case, (a homeless man in P.town), his story is not unique, Section 8 gave him a voucher, sent him to P.town, pointed him in the direction of treatment facilities KNOWING that P.town is rife with people who will serve his addiction. They become homeless and we are ill equipped, as a struggling community, to meet their needs and frankly we aren’t even meeting our own needs. If we can’t gain some time and resources to fortify the fibers of this community, how can we possibly do right by the less fortunate? Cynthia’s death brings into focus that we need help, we need to MontCo to STOP dumping people here. We NEED other, wealthier communities to step up. The poor and homeless need real opportunities and we, as a community, need time to heal and re-fortify. The agencies here that are tasked with providing treatment need to step away from their offices and out reach to the homeless who won’t make appointments to get help.
I am sorry that this topic and devolved into pointing fingers at one another – including the police and the activists. Divided we fall, united we stand. P.town can do better than this and we need to make an effort to understand one another and the situations we face – together. And this is one of those situations where you wish an elected official from the Borough would make a statement to the residents to console them and assure them that they will work with us to meet this challenge.
Silence is Deafening.
Creative Health is the BIGGEST joke in Pottstown. Ask almost anyone who works for them and they are all about the money not about people, they aren’t even good to the people who work for them – it’s just a job.