Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

Easy Green: 10 quick ways to make money in college

College Issue 2014: Sell clothes. Plato’s Closet is a great place to take your gently worn apparel in exchange for cold, hard cash. They accept clothes, shoes and... By Brittany Minor 8/18/2014
SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

SAPD Issues Thousands of Tickets for Homelessness

News: Data and records obtained by the Current show that between January 1, 2013, and early October of this year the San Antonio... By Alexa Garcia-Ditta and Elaine Wolff 10/22/2014
6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

6 Sinfully Good Grilled Cheese Sandwiches in SA

Food & Drink: Cheesy Jane’s. Multiple locations, If the name is any indicator, this San Antonio staple doesn’t mess around when it comes to... By Tommie Ethington 10/22/2014
Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Alamo Ice House Brings Hill Country to Downtown

Food & Drink: There was a special kind of draw at Alamo Ice House on a recent Tuesday evening. A handful of weeks after opening its... By Jessica Elizarraras 10/22/2014

Best Local Artist

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

The QueQue

The QueQue: Blood on the tracks, District 3 shuffle, Prisons and profits

Photo: , License: N/A

Blood on the tracks

On Christmas Day, an ex-Haven for Hope resident recently banned from the shelter stepped onto the tracks that edge the homeless services campus and into a moving train. While the first successful suicide here in recent years, it was the third such suicide-by-train attempt since Haven for Hope opened in spring 2010, said Haven CEO George Block. “It’s been a concern for us, it’s certainly a concern for Union Pacific, but it sort of is what it is,” he told QueQue. “That’s why the land was here for us, it was an abandoned rail yard.”

Block described surveillance camera footage showing José Perez, 35, walking toward the tracks at West Martin Street before walking in front of the train just before it buzzed past the Haven campus. Perez, Block said, had been in and out of jail, the state hospital, or crisis treatment centers for the past 15 years battling mental illness or substance abuse, and was sometimes incarcerated for violent offenses. Perez briefly entered Haven’s transformation program but left within days, Block said. He stayed at Prospects Courtyard, an outdoor shelter at the campus run by the Center for Health Care Services but was banned three months ago after assaulting residents and a security guard, Block said. On Christmas, he tried to enter Prospects again but was ordered away.

At least two other homeless individuals have tried to take their own lives by stepping out in front of trains since Haven opened, Block said, neither of which were successful. One would-be suicide last year was eventually talked off the tracks by a Haven staff member. The other was grabbed and hauled off the tracks by a Haven staffer before the train passed.

On top of suicide attempts, Block said the tracks present another problem. When first opening, Haven worked with Union Pacific to upgrade all nearby intersections to quiet zones, installing crossing arms and loud alarms at each intersection. But Block says trains pass through and stall for long periods of time near the campus, blocking the main Haven entrance and the entrance to the Courtyard about a block south. Some residents climb underneath stalled trains rather than wait or try to beat trains as they pass, Block said.

And there’s a long stretch of rail running between the main campus entrance and the entrance to Prospects — individuals constantly wander those tracks on the edge of the campus. Block says Haven wants to build sidewalks running between the two entrances, keeping people away from the rail line. “Union Pacific says they don’t want people in that area, but people aren’t going to walk around and go four blocks just to walk one block.” Haven’s still waiting on permission from Union Pacific, he said.


District 3 shuffle

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus