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A San Francisco Homeless Elderly Man Attacked By Thugs - A Hate Crime

Society & Culture  (tags: mental health, mental illness, homelessness, LarryNeal, MaryNeal, AssistancetotheIncarceratedMentallyIll, DogJustice )

- 3579 days ago -
Two thugs attacked a kind, elderly San Francisco man who lived near an alley in the 1300 Block of Polk Street. It was a hate crime with the phrases they used in anger, like, "Hey n**ger, why don't you clean yourself up and act like a man... bi*ch... "

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Mary Neal (183)
Sunday August 31, 2008, 11:18 pm
PEOPLE WHO CARE agree that homelessness, prison, and death must not continue to be our answer to mental illness.

Many people try to self-medicate for mental health problems with drugs and alcohol. Many deinstitutionalized people wind up homeless. More and more mental health facilities are closing, and mental health care is not readily available in many communities.


Please join us and help fight the criminalization of mental illness. Join us at ASSISTANCE TO THE INCARCERATED MENTALLY ILL ("AIMI"). We have a group on Care2, and all we need is for you to join just to show your support for the least of these, His brethren.

Thank you for caring.

Mary Neal

William Mosely (306)
Monday September 1, 2008, 12:16 am
Ten years ago, I read of a homeless Vietnam veteran who was set on fire by three misguided youths carrying cans of lighter fuel and nothing else to do. I was ashamed of my allowing that to happen to a fellow vet. I know exactly why he ended-up homeless -- Reagan closed-down our veterans' base hospital, Fort Miley, saying they should simply go to General Hospital. Seemingly un-educated to the simple fact they still do not define Post Combat Stress Disorder; today they call that "Unabled To Adjust." Same thing for Agent Orange! Know how many have died by those very patriotic diseases?

I openly share my humble abode with any homeless person. I have two here me now. Cool news, both are returning to families back east. I'll gladly share my meds if needed. If society thinks they are unworthy of our help, screw-you and your sorry God too.

And Bush can still kiss this 82nd Airborne ass!!!

Mary Neal (183)
Monday September 1, 2008, 12:36 am
Thank you, William Mosley! Thank you so much for caring!


Please join AIMI. We need folks who care to say agree that we must do better than this for our disabled citizens, whether or not they are veterans. Aren't our troops putting their lives on the line tonight for the notion that we live in a country where ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL? ENTITLED TO EQUAL TREATMENT UNDER THE LAW?

It is CHEAPER to treat mental illness than to imprison 1.25 million mental patients, including some who served this country in combat.

Join AIMI at this link:

Help us say --



Mary Neal
Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill


Blacktiger P (247)
Monday September 1, 2008, 12:38 am
William you are an angel, thank you for all you do. We, here in Vancouver have a large population of homeless, both medical, drug addicted, mental disabilities, all here on the street and in parks because the government closed down the facilities that should be caring for them. At present our government is more interested in spending billions of dollars for transportation and bedroom facilities for the 2010 Winter Olympics. I am ashamed, but cannot do anything other than protest. Being on the warm west coast we also draw young people, and teenagers running from bad situations at home and only about 3 or 4 Covenant Houses, the rest have find shelter from the rain and snow where ever they can.
To be a welfare recipient they must have an address for a specific length of time, and wait 3 months to get on Medicare. Although if they are in an emergency situation they are never turned away from hospital care.

RC deWinter (418)
Monday September 1, 2008, 4:31 am
I do not understand why homeless people, the most defenseless, the most vulnerable, are attacked and often killed. It's time to stop viewing PEOPLE as throwaways to be abused...thanks, Mary for all you do on behalf of the homeless, so many of whom are mentally ill and do not know how to ask for help. And William, bright blessings to you too. May Kwan Yin keep you safe.

Sharon Froehlich (99)
Monday September 1, 2008, 8:46 am
Mary, thanks for making us aware of this story, and William, keep safe. It is true that many veterans with PTSD will be returning, and I fear thay will get no care. They are already put on antidepressants in order to cope with war. Like they shouldn't be depressed?
We must assist the most helpless. These neglected ones are also the ones soon to end up in jail and even more mistreated!

Sandy v (91)
Monday September 1, 2008, 10:18 am
I have worked with the homeless and veterans. Many are labeled mentally ill and flushed from systems without meds and left to survive on the street. This is done by states, governments and the hospitals themselves. Don't let anyone tell you that start hospitals arent in it for the money because they are and just don't give a damn about these guys and girls. They self medicate for so many reasons and once had a good life but lost it all after the vietnam war, korean war etc., because good medical help was not available. They refused to recognize PTSD or Agent Orange due to the cost of treatment. I got the reports on cost and that is why it wasn't recognized for so long. It took vietnam veterans to get into positions to help change these laws. However, there are no laws to protect the mentally ill (some have good reason and physical reasons to be mentally ill) and when the profit drops at hospitals, these are the throwaway people. The law does not protect them because of overall igonorant views of the homeless and ill. No one listens to them if they make a report so many just don't bother. If you are a veteran, mentally ill and gay, you don't have a chance for help. Fear and ignorance are the biggest enemies. We should never lock up the ill but it is done all the time and Mary knows it. Because there is no physical identy to mental illnes, it is ignored on purpose. If you work a jail, you eventually learn to identify the ill but there is no one to help them. Jails are all about money also. Bush has made sure no one is being helped that has PTSD or disease from poisons because it would look bad for him. Like we don't know how bad he is??? Mary, love you for your fight for these people. The homeless and ill I dealt with were wonderful people and reached out to help me and my kids. Now that is something, don't ya think. They are down as far as they can go and they offered to help me and it was my job to help them. I really do care about these guys. I also helped homeless that weren't veterans, just because they came to me for help. My job was veterans but how do you turn your back on someone needing help. I wish we had stronger laws to protect the homeless from the public and from kids with nothing better to do. Where are the parents of these kids, as every large town has a group of thugs that haze and beat the homeless.

Mary Neal (183)
Monday September 1, 2008, 10:28 am
Thank all of you for responding! We must respond to this problem!

I know that many of my fellow Care2 member really care about the homeless people.

I know that you care deeply and want responsible government that will help our veterans transition back to civilian life.

You care also for the single mother who was laid off and is facing homelessness after foreclosure on her home. She is feeling such stress that she is forced into a nervous breakdown. It only takes something like that for any of your loved ones to also become mentally ill. If she goes screaming on the street corner, they will ARREST HER FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE!

Help us to let our lawmakers know that we care by your comments and other support.

Most acutely mentally ill people do not vote, but WE DO VOTE!

Show you care. Make this a campaign issue in your local area. Call your candidates and ask them, "How will your being elected help the mentally ill, the homeless, the returning veterans?" Please make these concerns known!

Mary Neal

Marion Y (322)
Monday September 1, 2008, 10:45 am
Sad. So very sad.

Linda H (199)
Monday September 1, 2008, 1:30 pm
Thanks Mary for this maybe more will understand

Amy S (62)
Monday September 1, 2008, 4:21 pm
Dear Mary, thank you for drawning attention to a topic so dear to my heart. A few years ago I was in a relationship which became violently abusive. I was forced to flee from my home with my two dogs. For various reasons I was unable to go to any family member for help. The main reason being that I have a small family-many of them are unstable themselves due to mental illness and use alcohol and drugs to self medicate. The second reason being that I have two dogs and they are not welcome at my Mom's home because her boyfriend is afraid of dogs. This left me and my two dogs to live in my old beat up car in the middle of a Vermont winter. I spent many meals beside the homeless in my town at the local soup kitchens and day stations looking for assistance. On a good day I could rent a warm hotel room for us and sneak my dogs in. Just writting this comment is bringing tears to my eyes. I felt so alone and sad. I felt abandoned by my family and society in general. This went on for four months while I scrapped together every small bit of change I had and saved for an apartment that we could call home. It was a difficult task and we spent many nights huddled together in the back seat of the car with a load of blankets and our body heat keeping us warm. The only thing that I never lost was my faith. God stayed with us the whole time and kept us together, He knew that I needed those doggies with me...they pushed me forward to not give up. Today there is not a day that goes by that I don't stop and thank God for our small, cozy, warm apartment. We live happy gratefull lives everyday. The main reason why I am sharing this story with the readers of this article is because during that time which I will never forget, I met so many homeless men and women who were so sweet and kind to me. I don't understand why anyone would want to 'kick someone who is obviously so down'. I pray that God changes the heart of people who think to do these horrible things. We need to join together as a society and help these people NOT hurt them more! There is no reason why ANYONE should be homeless there is enough space for everyone to be warm and safe. It absolutely hurts my heart when I see someone with no where to go, no place to call home.
Another important issue to discuss is the fact that there are not enough shelters and also that there are no 'wet-shelters' by this I mean that anyone who has been drinking is denied access into the shelters. There are only what is called 'dry-shelters' here in my state, Vermont. Ans as you pointed out, many homeless use substances either because of mental illness or just to temporarily forget their problems. During the time that I was homeless a very sweet homeless man was denied access to the shelter because he was drunk. Consequently, he fell asleep outside in a snow bank and froze to death. This sent temporary shock waves throughout the state-but-nothing changed. How many people have to live this way before things have to change? I pray that this article helps people to see that homeless people are people just like you and me and you never know what circumstances can happen to lead you down that path so lets treat each other respectfully.

Mary Neal (183)
Monday September 1, 2008, 4:37 pm
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Amy. I believe the problem people have dealing with issues of homelessness, mental illness, drug and alcohol abuse, and denial of equal justice is that they feel those problems are very remote. They don't know any homeless people. They cut ties with any mentally ill people in their families. They don't over-indulge in drugs and alcohol and cannot sympathize with anyone who does.

But that is the wrong attitude. The right attitude is to say, "Except for the grace of God, there go I." Any of us is vulnerable to sickness or hard luck. Any one of us could have a loved one who is in similar circumstances as you were in. And we would want someone to care.




Michael Sandstrom (306)
Monday September 1, 2008, 6:55 pm
TY Mary, and you all for the great comments

Marie Ayuso (31)
Tuesday September 2, 2008, 6:40 am
TY Mary, keep spreading the word...

Sara Stevens (65)
Tuesday September 2, 2008, 9:29 am
Mary- thanks for being such a great advocate and encouraging everyone else to do the same.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday September 2, 2008, 10:23 pm
Thank you Mary for all you do. Angrily Noted.

Marty H (119)
Wednesday September 3, 2008, 5:56 am
Thank you Mary and noted! Pretty pathetic hate crime as are all hate crimes!

Pete Conrads (91)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 5:07 pm
Angrily Noted Mary, thanks for letting us know. We can be such savages....

Mary Neal (183)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 8:18 pm
Pete, thanks for noting the story and your comment. Please don't say "we." Most people would never do such a vile thing to another human being. I hope the victim is OK now. I will try to check on his status and report back to you at CARE2 next week.


Gorilly Girl (339)
Thursday September 4, 2008, 8:24 pm
Mary I so do wish these thugs are 8feet under soon for this for they will do it again. Stupid freaks...

Big Gorilly Hgus

Mary Neal (183)
Friday September 5, 2008, 12:44 am
Thanks, Stephanie. I believe homeless people have suffered many attacks by folks in the communities, besides being subject to imprisonment for vagrancy and panhandling. Bullies are all around us, and the homeless make easy targets, especially if they are mentally dysfunctional, like some of them are.

Anyone can fall on hard times, but usually, folks who have no mental disability manage to rebound and find employment and re-establish a home, like Amy did.


Betsy A (36)
Sunday September 7, 2008, 7:31 pm
Thank you Mary. Yes, we must try to help those who can not help themselves due to homelessnes, mental illnes, and addictions. I gained personal experience when I decided to help someone who had all three of these problems at the same time. The reactions I would see when I would accompany this person to doctor appts. and other places made me see some humans treating their defenseless "brothers and sisters" in a way that was shameful. We must all try to be a voice for the voiceless.

Maggie Amaya (201)
Sunday October 5, 2008, 12:05 pm
How aweful that things like this happen! When will government officials finally step up and make changes to benefit everyone and not just those who "grease the wheels"?!
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