Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homeless Man Alleges Library Discrimination

Link to February 28 Troy Daily News article.

Excerpt: Wright, who no longer lives at the Buckeye House homeless shelter for men, outlined his allegations in a letter dated Jan. 18 and delivered to the library and the Troy Daily News. In the letter, Wright claimed those living in the shelters were discriminated against, harassed and targeted by library staff.

"They don't want us in there because we are homeless," he said in a subsequent interview. He claimed he was punished because he "intellectually challenged the stereotyping."

He was banned from the library for one year effective Jan. 17.

Director Rachelle Miller said Wright had violated written library policies and engaged in threatening behavior following recurring issues with use of library computers.

Wright said his comment to library staff that he would "light up the place" was intended to mean he would bring alleged violation of his rights to light in the courts. Miller said she and staff took the comment as a physical threat.

Troy police were called to the library the day Wright was banned, Capt. Joe Long said. An officer stood by while Wright was notified without incident, he said. No charges were filed.

Related articles:

San Francisco Public Library Hires Social Worker to Deal with Homeless

Grim Story of Survival in the Library. (1/12/2009)

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