“They fear that they won’t be safe walking out of their apartment or going to the grocery store, so they keep their mouths shut.”
The three say that they respect the Lighthouse and what the facility does for parolees and they hope the men are able to turn their lives around, but they say intentions don’t have anything to do with it.
“They do have a mission, and it seems to be effective,” says Booth. “I’ve never seen a cop there taking them away, but there’s got to be a balance. I should think that would be part of their message besides staying sober: don’t be a loud, sober jerk.”
Interrupts Anna, “What is their therapy based on? If that’s their respect for the neighborhood, what are they teaching these guys? Is that how they are going to go back into society?”
Anna has complained to Potiker’s management and placed calls to the police department. She has also called the Lighthouse staff and Centre City Development Corporation, but nothing has been done and the noise continues.
“Pleas for help have gone unanswered,” says Anna. “The elderly, frail, and fearful are expected to sign complaints with the police.”
“I’ve stuck my head out of the window,” says Booth, “and yelled at them to keep it down, but they yell right back at me using that foul language. ‘Ah, shut up, old man,’ they say.”
While the Potiker residents feel they are being ignored, this correspondent didn’t fare much better when seeking information about noise complaints. “At this time I am going to refer you to the City to answer any questions that you may have on our facility,” wrote the director of the Lighthouse, Laura Garcia, in a May 21 email. “I am not going to enter into any sort of verbal banter with parties unknown. We follow a good neighbor policy, as we are an established business for the last ten years.”
This correspondent also attempted to contact Paul Downey, the president and chief executive officer for Senior Community Centers, the organization that owns Potiker Family Senior Residence, but Downey did not respond.
“We feel that [Potiker staff] should stick up for us, but they don’t,” says Anna.
“Who really cares? We are just ‘old people.’”