One Last Homeless in Times Square Won't Budge

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71056630From the New York Times:

As long as there have been homeless people sleeping in Times Square, there have been social workers and city officials trying to persuade them to leave.

In the past, the homeless were offered a free ride to one of the city’s warehouselike shelters. These days, workers for nonprofit groups help people move into apartments, keeping track as the number of the chronically homeless in Times Square goes down.

According to their records, by 2005, there were only 55. Last summer, it was down to 7.

Now there is one.

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His name is Heavy, and he has lived on the streets of Times Square for decades. Day after day, he has politely declined offers of housing, explaining that he is a protector of the neighborhood and cannot possibly leave, the workers who visit him every day said.

Yet they are determined to get through to Heavy, the last homeless holdout in Times Square.

“I just have this dream that all of a sudden something will snap, and he’ll say, ‘I’d love to have housing,’ ” said Amie Pospisil, an associate director at Common Ground Community, a nonprofit organization that conducts street outreach. “I don’t rule out that it could happen.”

Little is known about Heavy, even his full name. Heavy is a nickname, part of his last name, a fact he surrendered after more than a year of daily visits from workers. He declined to be interviewed.

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