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Recognizing addicts on the street hurts | Letter to the Editor
Yesterday, I was walking up in town and a 30-something guy, very thin, wearing an old army jacket and threadbare pants, crossed in front of me. I noticed him because he was very out of it, stumbling, talking loudly to himself, cursing, muttering about Jesus, the state of the world. He looked familiar so I took a better look. Of course, being Vashon, I recognized him. I’d seen him a couple of times last year, but he didn’t look this bad. When our kids were small (they are now teens), he taught them at an after-school program: Back then, he was inspiring, engaging, a wonderful mentor. Now, he’s an addict.
One of the last times I saw him was in our neighborhood, hanging around our local meth house, a place the police and neighbors have known about for at least two years but can’t seem to do much about permanently. The owner of the house has been thrown in jail a couple of times, but it’s not long before he’s out again and back in that house. Neighbors have posted Neighborhood Watch signs to no avail. Occasionally I’ll see a police car parked at the end of our road, providing at least some sort of presence.
We have a real, serious drug problem on the Island. I don’t know what to do about it, other than write this for our local paper. I imagine greater community activism or outrage could help. I want to get rid of this drug house near our home, but I also want help for the people living there and others like them on the Island. Look around: These folks are all over town. I bet you’ll recognize at least one of them, and that hurts.
— Cynthia Pollock