Tuesday, December 05, 2006

71 Year Homeless Lady in Portland Or Dies on Park Bench

Click this link to
Which has a good discussion
going about this issue below
In today's Tribune in Portland Oregon,
I read the front-page article below the fold that is titled:
"Mourners will gather at a site of a friendly, familiar face."
The link is here-->
I will repost the article following my short introduction, which you are reading now.

Z3 Readers, I was shocked/upset to read that Anita Floyd who was seventy one.... that is 71 years old and homeless! And she died on a bus bench on a cold fricken street corner on November 29 2006. And that is -- well .... that is just fricken rotten. .....
What a nice little article in the Tribune today..... In reading it I almost get the idea she liked to live on the bench outside in 30 degree winter weather, heck she was on the streets the paper said for the past four years. They make it sound like this is all just dapper.

In reading this article it spoke of all the people that enjoyed her presence there from day to day...... "Sitting on that bench year after year...day after day "Seventy One Fricken Years Old and living on a bench.......
Zebra 3 Readers, would you want to be there when you are 71? How about your mom sitting there "sharing smiles and a half of a sandwich"? Yes the nice people that smiled and waved or talked with her or shared a coin or part of their lunch all deserve a "GOOD JOB GUYS".
But am I wrong to think she deserved MORE?

But ......BUT ......BUT .....why did she have to spend her last 4 years on a sidewalk? Why does an elderly woman in this "great country" have to die on a bust stop bench that she called Her Home? I am angered and distraught that society can tell this story ..... that the local free paper can write about it with a warm glowing feeling. Hey it could of not even been reported. Like most homeless topics it could of been scrapped and not a word said, so yes some credit is due for the aspect of at least reporting this sad story. Its the whole overall fuzzy way this sad story is told that irks me, and in the very same breath I say this:

"It is dispictable and disgustingng that this happened as it did" It is a deplorable fact that at 71 years old you don't even have a pot to piss in and its "your own tough luck"...... and that as a memorial is set for tomorrow at 2 at the very bench she called home...the very bench her heart stooped performing for her, people will gather to give some kind of last respects and she deserves that, it sad the caring is "too late". I may be there my self.

What wont be there are solutions and answers as to why we all watched this happen. There will be no "lets make sure this doesn't happen again" speech, because it will happen again ... and again .....right in this same friendly neighborhood of churches, synagogues, and mosques, and kitchen supplies, and parking garage attendants. The fact that elderly ladies die on the street gets a warm salute to her friendlinessss...is nice and heartwarming in this holiday season.

I salute with my middle finger to all that don't care or are not willing to help or make changes to rectify this type of homeless attrocity. I salute with my middle finger to a government and city that cant even care for the people who have nothing ...people who are cold and dieing ....people who are 71 years old and are given a bench on a downtown corner to live and die on. I salute you shamless warm healthy officials that allowed her die in the street of our beautiful city of roses!

Tomorrow will be not much different - it will just be another face another few coins in a tin cup and some 1/2 sandwiches shared, and a cold, cold body that needs compassionon and love and warmth and security and privacy and some humanity ....and something we all take for granted, its called .... a HOME!........

"Sorry Grandma I cant help you with a "HOME" .... but, do you want these 1/2 eaten french fries or can I wave at you on your bus bench and give you a smile instead?"

~Joe Anybody

For More Comments on this topic check out PORTLAND INDY MEDIA by clicking here

***********************TRIBUNE ARTICLE HERE*****************************

There are places in a city that become holy ground.
The people behind churches and synagogues and mosques would have us believe their buildings provide sanctuary. But in the life of a city, sanctuary is just as often marked by water-stained notes and bouquets.
Anita Floyd, 71, lived on the wooden bench at Southwest Alder Street and Sixth Avenue the last four years, lived there as much as she lived anyplace, passing out bits of her life to people who hardly knew her, in exchange accepting bits of theirs, and spare change if they wanted to give it.
Floyd was homeless most of the four years she spent in Portland before her death last week.
On Friday one small purple flower remained on the bench outside Kitchen Kaboodle. The day before there were bouquets and coins and notes with tape that just couldn't hold on through one more rain-filled night.
A single white lily had stood tall and straight, wedged into the bench's slats. People stood in front of the bench Thursday, and some of them cried. Others stood there just long enough to remember an elderly woman who seven days a week smiled and said hello to everybody.
Tom Ayres at the Star Park around the corner remembered that just two months ago the red-haired Floyd had confided, "My birthday's next Saturday." He brought her a card and necklace to mark the day.
Employees at Kitchen Kaboodle recall watching as strangers would strike up conversations with Floyd, who always sat at one end of her bench, as if the rest of the seating was an invitation.
"People would sit down and talk to her at lunch and give her half their sandwiches," says Eileen McDaniel, store manager at Kitchen Kaboodle.
McDaniel also remembers the young man who took the memorial lily off the bench Thursday and walked away with it, and the city Clean and Safe patrol officer who chased the man two blocks and made him put the flower back.
Floyd was a panhandler, though barely, holding her silver cup in a way that said she was willing to accept money but unwilling to make it an issue.
"One time I loaned her some money," says Virginia Howard, manager at the Oregon Health & Science University behavioral health clinic down the street. "And she paid it back. Another time I loaned her money, and she wasn't able to pay me back and she told me. And she never asked for money after that."
Two weeks ago Floyd suffered a massive heart attack right at home, on her bench. The paramedics revived her, but Floyd never made it out of the hospital.
A memorial service will be held for Floyd at her bench at 2 p.m. Wednesday.


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