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A fellow I met in St. Dorothy Sherman’s soup kitchen line, in late 2000, at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Key West, replied to yesterday’s a brief look at homelessness in Key West, by an ex-lawyer who was homeless there post at this website:
Hey,as I mentioned before the man in left side of the photograph with Michael Angelo is john Kozler of 1st avenue of manhattans east side and his dog jack who was homeless and was tied to a fence on the east side of Manhattan and while john Kozler would walk the same route each day he would see jack tied to a fence and homeless so john untied him and gave him a meal and a place to stay and they have been good buddy’s for quite some time now and I would watch jack while john would attend his V A appointments mr Kozler is a marine who came to key west to buy property but was has hassled by KWPD to my knowledge twice at the bocci courts and didn’t like it so he bought property else where in Florida ,he would sit in his vehicle and read books all day and go for a walk in the evening while researching properties for sale in key west. He also told me he didn,t like the way the town handled its characters. (Homeless ) so he moved on and he never called the characters homeless.
Beside having the brownstone in manhattan he also has a gentle mans farm in Pennsylvania and a house independent of the farm on the Susquehanna river in Pennsylvania and is currently in Los Angeles purchasing a 1.7 million house for his daughter and her husband and will leave L A after the closing to seek and purchase a cabin in the Catskills mountains of New York where I will meet him in the Catskills in a month or two to have dinner and sponge off him for a week or two .
John Kozler was a construction engineer,high rise building specialist. Twin towers involvement, married,3 children, 2 boys and a girl.
I could have shortened this story up quite a bit by saying key west has lost one heck of a nice resident to stupidity and violence. violence has never worked and will never work love is the answer.
All K W politicians,police chief,city manager,city attorney should be prosecuted and put in jail including judges and the police for over reacting under the guise of ,,,,it’s a dangerous job,,,,yea,their union reps tell them and the union magazine tells them and the chiefs magazine monthly tells them to keep telling the public how dangerous it is to slap a woman in the face with a parrot on her shoulder so she doesn’t return to the park to sit or ask Louis ferro about Hernandez punching him in the face in front of the white street weather station for no reason while I was standing there talking to Louis ferro ,this cop was out of control to do that in front of a witness I couldn’t get Louis to come with me to file a complaint,the cop had a friend with him who immediately left the scene when Hernandez did this
Sent from my IPad
Mi amigo ought to know about violence, he saw plenty in Vietnam; he has suffered post traumatic shock and flashback nightmares ever since. He was living in his van when I first met him, spent the cooler months in Key West and the warmer months up the eastern US seaboard. He said he was a retired fighter, with a modest pension, and he also had been in business with his ex-wife, when she was still his wife.
When I saw him the other night, he said he is sleeping on a couch in a trailer in Key West, and there is lots of drug use and sex and arguing. I said sort of like meeting up with Charley in tunnels over there in Vietnam? He chuckled. For years he has told me stories about goings on in Key West, which he knew from first-hand observation, which would never appear in the Citizen. I published many of his stories and reports to round out the Citizen, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourist Development Council and the Key West Public Relations Department’s “Ya’ll come down to Key West and have a great time!” efforts.
Maybe the joyful voices of ya’ll come down and have fun should include this red alert from Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry:
A serious subject—: the lead editorial in the NY Times –Sunday edition on: “Growing ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE” even simple infections can be lethal as antibiotics cannot treat the mutant resistant species—-they become ineffective. One example Gonorrhea easily treatable in the past —now 10 countries have confirmed infections that even with last resort antibiotics are untreatable—Gonorrhea only one example. As the Cruise Liners keep dumping raw sewage into our shallow fragile waters Coliform organisms like E-Coli become an ever more worrisome threat—as MRSA becomes more and more heading toward lethality—untreatable–unresponsive. Greed and Cruise Ships making our sea waters ever more dangerous. A risky business for a tourist destination. ~ Jerry
MRSA is pandemic in Key West and the Florida Keys. It is not just a homeless disease, as sometimes is alleged. Physicians down here told me they treated MRSA in mainstream patients all the time, and it was not smart to go into the ocean with a nick, cut or open sore on your skin. Local divers have known that for decades.
Ya’ll come on down and have fun!!!
I wonder what psychiatric diagnosis applies to elected officials and other miscreants in public positions, who do not sound the general alarm about MRSA in Key West and the Florida Keys?
Curt Wagner, currently hanging out on St. Thomas, American Virgin Islands, formerly part time vicious van dweller criminal in Key West, before that, successful businessman, replied to yesterday’s post at this website:
Excellent post today Sloan. It must be some sort of divine power that after reading “goodmorningkeywest” I ran across this on MSN.
Hi, Kurt – thanks, was thinking earlier that I had not covered feeding homeless people in today’s outing; perhaps something on that tomorrow, now that I’ve received your Daytona praise report.
I heard Key West stopped Pastor Omar and Glad Tidings from feeding homeless people at Higgs Beach, but I’m not sure that’s entirely true. Omar fed at the kiosks every Sunday morning, and the kiosks were fenced and closed by the county to all but adults with children. Maybe Glad Tidings just stopped feeding homeless at Higgs Beach for internal reasons. The former Pastor Ernie’s wife was dead-set against him having a homeless ministry, but I heard they were feeding at Glad Tidings. Then, Ernie moved on and there is a different minister there now, whom I challenged to get back to feeding homeless people, since his Lord and Master was homeless and I didn’t see any homeless people in the one church service I attended there last fall. Felt like I’d gone to a theater production, mostly put on by the new pastor. The odd thing is, during a lunch with him and Tim Gratz the week prior, he’d told me enough for me to know he definitely was being steered, at least at times, by angels. Not in the way I was/am steered, though. Wouldn’t wish that on anyone, although it sure might change things on this world a heap and then some, if it was happening to everyone.
I wonder how Dorothy Sherman feels about the way cities are raising up against people feeding homeless people? I bet in her day this here city would not have dared to tell her she could not feed homeless people in her soup kitchen. It was, however, located on church property, which I imagine makes a lot stronger religious rights argument than doing it in a public park, although one day a week Dorothy fed homeless at Higgs Beach Park for a while.
At her wake, Valentine’s Day, 2004, in a standing room crowd in Mary Star of the Sea’s nave, Dorothy was eulogized as a living saint by Peter Batty, a lay minister, real estate broker. He asked, who among us would take her place? I bawled like a baby during that wake. Dorothy and her husband George were good friends of mine. Her “theory” was: “It’s our job to feed homeless people; it’s God’s job to change them.” How many times did I tell the KW City Commission that only God could change homeless people?
That was back when homeless people and street people were interchangeable terms. That was before the big financial crunch, which created lots of new homeless people in Key West, the Florida Keys and beyond.
I must have eaten several hundred meals in Dorothy’s soup kitchen, first at Mary Star of the Sea, then out on Flagler Avenue, after it was moved to that location on the heels of a very disturbed woman user of the soup kitchen doing something at the little outside altar at Mary Star of the Sea, which was viewed as desecration. The older male priest went haywire. I told Dorothy the woman had suffered some sort of awful trauma at the hands of some Catholic church, and that was what needed to be looked into.
There was a group in Mary Star of the Sea who wanted the church to have nothing to do with homeless people, but a young priest there, who was assigned to homeless people, said not on his watch; it was what Jesus wanted the church to do.
I heard that soup kitchen has agreed to move to the new homeless shelter location, if such comes about. Lots of pressure, I hear, coming from the Protestant church across the street from the soup kitchen, and maybe Batty and the Miami Diocese want the free up that land on Flagler, so it can be sold. I imagine Batty will get a real estate commission, in that event.
That situation in Daytona might take a while to play out. I wonder if the cops up there have told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help them God?
Might not be an entirely sincere question.
I wonder if some right-wing nut will try to get the US and Florida Constitutions changed, so homeless people, who do not meet right-wing nut standards, will be stripped of basic civil rights? Maybe even be declared felons for being homeless and not meeting right-wing nut standards? Maybe even lined up against a wall and shot, or burned in an oven?
Might not be an entirely sincere question.
I was away from Key West during the summer of 2001. I arrived back here a few days after 9/11. No longer were street people allowed to sleep in doorways and on sidewalks and other places they had been accustomed to sleeping at night. I knew then an ill wind was blowing and it was not going to get better any time soon.
I cannot ignore, though, that some homeless people are offensive and seem to enjoy making a career of it. Them’s the ones police should be coming down on, not homeless people standing in a line glad to be getting a square meal from people who really care about them.
Sloan, If I remember correctly, the sheriffs dept showed up one Sunday morning to tell Omar he could not feed people at Higgs beach. This was before the fence. I’m not sure how it turned out as I never ate Sunday breakfast there.
I also never ate at the soup kitchen but I know it to be a blessing to more than the homeless. There are quite a few who eat there regularly who are not homeless, they just can’t afford to buy food for whatever reason. (should I buy food or pay for a roof over my kids heads?) It sounds like the Protestant church across the street needs an influx of homeless on Sunday mornings. It would be fun to watch.
What I find to be strange is that there are so many “holier than thou” church goers that are against the good will and humanity shown by others. My guess is if a group of homeless showed up at any church in Key West for Sunday Services, they would be shunned by at least half the congregation instead of being welcomed with open arms. “One Human Family” my ass!
While you are correct about some homeless are offensive, and enjoy being that way, I don’t think it’s any higher percent than in the population as a whole. Look how many upstanding citizens enjoy being offensive to the homeless.
You can bet the city commission is watching and waiting to see how these other towns make out in their war against the homeless.
Hi again, Kurt –
Agreed, there are mainstream people who enjoy being offensive, and I thought that but didn’t write it in mine to you. Sometimes I have told a homeless person that he, usually he, but not always, was making it hard on other homeless people by the way he, but not always he, behaved. Same applies to everyone else.
I imagine you are right, Key West is watching what other communities are doing, but Key West lies downstream of the Pottinger decision up Miami way. Not long ago, after considerable effort by Miami to get that settlement agreement changed by the federal court, only small changes were made, which did not leave Miami particularly joyful.
It comes to me yet again to wonder what would happen in Key West, if we all woke up one morning and there were no homeless people? Mysteriously, they had simply vanished. I’d probably be the first to wonder out loud if they all were taken up in the Rapture? And are they now sitting around Jesus happy as clams? As they look down at their tormentors wondering how something like that could have happened? They attend church regularly. They are saved by Jesus. Maybe they would change religions or become agnostics or atheists.
It also keeps coming to me that some homeless people I have known might be better off not being on this planet any longer. Have same thought about some non-homeless people I know. Not my call, though.
The parallel question that comes to me yet again is, if Key West suddenly was void of homeless people, what would enter that void to take their place? For many people in Key West, homeless people are the bogeyman, in the archetypal sense. What happens to people who believe in the bogeyman, when the bogeyman suddenly is gone bye bye? Right, they invent another bogey man. They have to have a bogey man for their world to be in order, balanced.
What would be their new bogey man, if all the homeless people vanished? Suspected homeless people? Might not be all that bad if they made cruise ships the new bogey man :-). And developers :-). And politicians :-). Dang, that could turn out real good :-).
It ain’t just people who invent bogey men, but communities, cities, states, nations, and even species, I suppose. The Devil, however, is not a bogey man; the Devil is a for real thing, and It loves bogey men, because as long as people are being ruled by a bogey man, they forget clean about looking in the mirror at what the bogey man mirrors back to them: the beam in their own eye, as Jesus said it in the Gospels.
Having a bogey man projection from their own selves is far easier to live with than going through that wee exercise of retracting the projection, marinating in the truth that the projection and the projector are one and the same, can take quite a while and can make the projector seriously miserable and depressed. Enter chemical relief, beating your spouse, children, racing your car around town, etc.
I was convinced KWPD officers, so upset by 9/11 about which they were powerless to do anything, consciously or unconsciously substituted local homeless people for Osama bin Laden and his gang; used homeless people to discharge their terror, rage, powerlessness. There are KWPD today officers who do that for far less global reasons. They have to lord it over someone to feel better, and homeless people are real handy to lord it over. Not to mention, in homeless people, they see themselves, whether or not they realize it.
I also have seen homeless people behave in all the ways of projection described above. It’s what people tend to do, instead of looking in the mirror.
I received an email from a a local psychologist today, a former college professor of psychology of longstanding, giving his thoughts on what causes some, or a lot of, homeless people to be like they are. I have some preliminary thoughts for a response, but will sleep on it before replying.
Tomorrow’s post might be a bit “analytical”.
The retired college psychology professor wrote:
I’m sure you will find this interesting if not encouraging. It has been my long belief many homeless individuals suffer from ambulatory schizophrenia and the inability to persevere. I suggest the etiology is altered chemistry caused in turn by “chemistry”
e.g. Angel dust (no pun intended) or in the gene pool at birth.
Ref: LA times today/5/13
OC first large county in state to adopt Laura’s Law
Hi, Bob –
I googled “ambulatory schizophrenia” and found several articles and this brief definition:
a milder form of schizophrenia in which the patient is capable of self-maintainance in society and need not be hospitalized.
I could take yours as a tactical subtle diagnosis of me; I’ve had all-out blunt more serious diagnoses. I even met Nurse Ratched’s clone, and twice I met psychiatrists cloned from Nurse Ratched.
Nurse Ratched and scene from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
Other psychiatrists I met were considerably more civilized. Same for psychologists I met, a few bore Nurse Ratched genes, most came from a different gene pool.
My condition is caused by angel dust, no pun intended. Certainly, like everyone I know, my inherited genes are a factor. And, like everyone I know, I emerged from my childhood and early adulthood with a great deal of internalized post traumatic shock. I got it without going to Vietnam, right here in good old USA.
Contributing agents were my parents, ministers, grammar school teachers, not reaching puberty until I was sixteen, and my first child dying of sudden infant death syndrome. I contributed as well, with things I did which I ought not to have done, and with things I didn’t do which I ought to have done.
All psychiatrist pills ever did for me was make me a lot worse than before I took the pills. Perhaps that was due to angel dust interference, or incompatibility of angel dust with pills.
Bear with me, I’m trying to inject some humor into a grave subject.
I have had many up close and personal dealings with people who have been homeless for a while; they used to be called street people. Those up close and personal dealings came about because I was a street person.
I got to know street people where they camped and slept, and where they hung out, and in soup kitchens. I got to know them in ways they cannot be known in psychotherapy sessions and psychiatric hospitals. Some of them became friends, some did not. Some of them became enemies, from their perspective.
Since I was sprinkled with lots of angel dust, no pun intended, on my soul, mind, emotions, perspectives, behavior, I saw in street people the same things I had carried in myself. The symptoms might not have been identical, but the roots were similar enough. Every last one of them was in post traumatic shock; they had terrible soul wounds.
90 percent, or more, also were chemical addicts, usually booze, but also marijuana and the more serious street drugs, and even legal drug store narcotics. Most of the addicts presented diminished ability to think normally, due to the chemicals, and also due to brain damage caused by chemicals. Overlaying that in many of them seemed to be psychiatric (thought) disorder. Overlaying that in some of them seemed to be demonic possession.
Since 90 percent, or more, were addicts, I concluded that had to be dealt with first. Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Samuel’s House in the Key West are of the same view. They use preliminary urine screens and do not accept anyone with dirty urine into their residential recovery shelters. They continue with random urine screens, and any client caught with dirty urine is immediately expelled from their programs. Their clients are required to attend 12 Step meetings regularly.
The irony, for me anyway, was most mainstream people I knew were in about the same shape internally as the street people I knew, except the mainstream people had not given up; they were still fighting it.
That J. Krishamurti saying comes to mind again:
I really do see street people as mainstream’s reflection, without as much pretense.
I agree with Laura’s Law:
Anyone who is violent, out of control, homeless, or not, needs to be subdued, if possible, and taken into custody and dealt with in whatever way might tone down and stabilize that person, starting with drug detox if that person is an addict. Perhaps meds then will enable that person to be safely released back into society. Hopefully that person will be monitored and stay on the meds, if angel dust, no pun intended, is not applied instead.
I can see, though, that Laura’s Law can be misused by relatives, friends, police, doctors, etc., who came from Nurse Ratched’s gene pool. Several, or more, of Nurse Ratched’s spawn work for the Key West PD, and were in on the apprehension of suspected homeless man Charles Eimers last Thanksgiving day. Maybe you write to those officers and suggest the meds they need to take, after they pass urine screens, if they pass.
I also agree, some mental disorders are genetic. Perhaps five percent. Perhaps less than that. The rest are adaptive to soul trauma, especially to the internal feminine – Kelly Thomas’ misfortune. Only angel dust, no pun intended, can cure that.
I imagine Kelly received lots of angel dust after leaving his tortured life on this world.