Friday, December 3, 2010

Senior Citizen Crack Attack!

At the behest of a long time tenant, who vouched the applicant was a changed man, and against my better judgement, I rented to an old man who had done some prison time for selling crack, was now supposedly dying of AIDS, and was taken under the wing of Catholic Charities.  They apparently had some Section 8 vouchers mandated for AIDS patients.  
A short time into his tenancy we began having problems.  I kept seeing all kinds of trashy people entering and exiting my building, many of them inebriated at 10 in the morning.  Expecting that sooner or later we’d end up with a slip and fall lawsuit, I did some investigating and found out that he was operating an illegal bar from his apartment.  He would regularly buy liquor and have people over “for drinks”.  His front room was essentially converted into a bar.  Illegal bars actually have a long tradition in Hudson, but that's another story.

I say that like the bar discovery happened right away.  The truth was, the situation was so far outside my realm of experience that it took me quite a few months to figure out what was going on, and even then, only with other people opening my eyes.  Left to my own undeveloped instincts at the time, I just went around wondering what the heck was happening for much longer than a savvy person would have.  Even today it’s hard for me to picture a senior citizen doing those things, but then again, it’s hard to picture a leopard changing its spots. 

Since he was receiving Section 8 through Catholic Charities, and this was a clear violation of Section 8 rules, I called and told them what was going on.  They should’ve revoked his voucher, but they gave me some mealy-mouthed excuse as to why they wouldn’t do that (reminiscent of my conversation with Habitat) so I had to deal with it myself.  I gave him 30 days’ notice, and, incredibly, Catholic Charities helped him find another place.  
I don't know if the change from selling crack to selling booze was a step up in his "rehabilitation".  All I do know is, I should’ve moved him next door to the tenant who so convincingly vouched for him.  We'd see how she liked him as a neighbor.

And I don’t donate to Catholic Charities, either.  

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