WORKING FOR THE CITY OF MIAMI
William Jennings Bryan Park, thanks to our sacrificing the better part of 2 years of our free time, remains an oasis of greenery, safe place space, proper scale, 3 tennis courts, a reduced community center the size of a typical house in the area and a barrier-free playground.
The 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and other Mediterranean, Spanish Mission, Art Deco and other houses are a proud part of Miami’s past.
The old neighbors that hung on during bad times and the influx of new urban dwellers that are fixing up neglected houses are creating a neighborhood that could be almost as nice as nearby Coral Gables – at about half the housing price.
The economic and ethnic diversity is fabulous and enriching.
But a mentally ill person camping out on his family land with no power, water or toilet, is endangering the neighborhood.
Yesterday’s blog post went into deep detail about how the man allowed his family home to fall apart to the point where it was demolished to remove a health hazard.
But the government action stopped there, as countless City of Miami officials have claimed they are powerless to help this man or the neighbors around him.
When I posted this story yesterday, several people contacted me saying the man sounds like a candidate for the Baker Act – an involuntary commitment to a mental health facility for evaluation and treatment.
We reached out to countless city and county officials suggesting the same thing.
The Baker Act is no laughing matter, but it can be a tool to save a person from himself.
We certainly don’t view it as a as punishment, but as an act for the homeless (but living on his families vacant land) guy's own good.
Clearly he has severe mental illness.
My mom has had the same issue for 50 years, so it's not like we are hard hearted about the situation.
But the government folks charged with upholding our quality of life have left a lot to be desired.
A former government worker acquaintance -- who shall remain unnamed (and generally came off like a kind and decent sort) -- went there twice to try to talk reason into the man.
The staff person -- who darn well knew that insane guy was living in the house he inherited with zero FPL, zero water, zero sewer and a heard of bats, rats, roaches, birds, and other vermin....who poops and pees outdoors....who shouts at passerby -- said after a long chat with the man, he found him to have no mental issues at all.
I would say any one of two dozen of the man's life actions -- from letting a habitable house collapse around him with no utilities, to camping out for 3+ years through Hurricane Irma, eat you alive mosquitoes and bathroom conditions worse than a Viet Nam field latrine ditch -- pretty much nominated himself for removal from the lot and rehabilitation at a public-funded mental health center.