A Nation in Denial, by Alice S. Baum and Donald W. Burnes
In January 1993, Doll Johnson, an eighty-year-old resident of the South Bronx, was bludgeoned to death by Christopher Battiste, a thirty-three-year-old homeless man staying at a nearby shelter. Predictably, it turned out that Battiste was a mentally-ill drug abuser who had been in and out of psychiatric emergency rooms and prisons but had never received any long-term care for his afflictions.
This event, and similarly tragic ones that have occurred in New York City and elsewhere over the last decade, are extreme manifestations of what those who live near shelters and other residences for the homeless have known and have been saying for years: that many are mentally ill, or substance abusers, or both, and that shelters serve as focal points for crime, violence, drug use, and other offensive and ultimately dangerous behavior.
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