Vagrancy problems disturb neighbors living near nonprofit that serves homeless population

Trespassing, public urination, constant fighting just some of the issues

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Trespassing, public urination and intoxication, constant fighting, and littering — the list goes on. They’re issues some Dignowity Hill residents said are stemming from the Catholic Worker House, a nonprofit organization on the corner of Nolan Street and North Hackberry Drive.

The nonprofit feeds and provides a safe haven for dozens of homeless people five days a week. But neighbors say it's led to other problems.

Carsten Griffin, who lives on the block, said he's been dealing with vagrancy issues ever since he moved into his house, showing KSAT about 800 pages of service calls, which he said are mostly complaints about homeless people.

Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association president Brian Dillard sent KSAT a video that appears to show a homeless woman walking up to a neighbor’s front porch and urinating.

He said, however, shutting down the Catholic Worker House is not the answer. Instead, Dillard feels it should implement changes proven to help fix these types of issues.

"We've been informed that there is a tracking system that some of the other ministries are using. I’d like them to utilize that so that way when we do have troublemakers in the neighborhood, that all aren't being accused of it," Dillard said.

Griffin is doubtful the situation will improve.

"Preferably, we'd like to see the organization out of this neighborhood, and we understand that's their long-term plan, but in the meantime, we have to live with it," Griffin said.

The Catholic Worker House declined to comment.

Click here for a link to the website that explains the tracking system.

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