Chain in the a--! Kensington center’s staff exasperated with homeless man who locks his stuff to its gate

One man’s treasure: Brooklyn vagrant Garry has tethered his things to the roll-down gate of Kensington social-services provider Selfhelp Community Services for three months, according to staffers.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Talk about storage wars!

A homeless man has chained his belongings to the roll-down gate of a Kensington social-services provider’s storefront without permission for months, forcing its workers to sidestep the allegedly smelly stuff as they search for a solution that isn’t dumping the guy’s earthly possessions in a landfill.

“It stinks, it’s ugly, and it’s been here since forever,” said DJ Jackson, an administrative assistant at Church Avenue’s Selfhelp Community Services. “We’ve been doing everything we can.”

In April, “Garry” — who a Selfhelp spokeswoman said once sought help from the organization that provides home-health aides and other services to elders, as well as special programs for Holocaust survivors — began chaining his belongings to a roll-down gate guarding the street-facing windows of its office between E. Fourth and E. Fifth Streets, according to the rep.

“Garry has been known to us for about two and a half years, but it really escalated to this point in the last three months,” said Sandy Myers.

Garry’s belongings include rolling suitcases, some smaller bags, and a couple folding chairs, and although the bric-a-brac doesn’t block the facility’s front door, it doesn’t exactly help the center’s curb appeal, Jackson said.

“He’s got all kind of garbage,” she said.

Selfhelp leaders sought the city’s help in getting Garry to stow his stash elsewhere, and officials told them to reach out to homeless-services provider Breaking Ground, which provides affordable housing and other programs to low-income and formerly displaced individuals, Myers said.

But Garry continued to chain his belongings to the Kensington center, and a photo of the property that a local shared via Facebook on Tuesday showed a sign taped to its roll-down gate warning the man that if he did not pack it all up by Thursday, staffers would dispose of it.

The sign, however, was gone when this newspaper paid a visit to the storefront on Wednesday, while Garry’s stuff was still locked to the gate when we visited again on Thursday evening.

And Selfhelp brass never intended to follow through on their ultimatum, according to Myers, who said her colleagues plan to take the city’s advice and let Breaking Ground officials take over from here on out.

“[The letter] was a way of letting him know this was a growing concern for us,” the spokeswoman said. “The route we’re taking is working with Breaking Ground, so it’ll be the ones to handle his personal belongings.”

A Breaking Ground spokesman didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

And a message left for Garry on the voicemail of a phone number scrawled on a cardboard box amid his things was not returned.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 5:41 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Michael says:
Just break his lock - it’s not like he can just go out and buy another. No one is going to steal his stinky garbage.
June 22, 2018, 7:29 am
I can not believe how stupid your staffers are? What is the problem? Just trow it out. It is illegally on YOUR GATE.
Nothing to think about. Just do it. You did him no favors by letting this stay. IAMRIGHTAGAIN
June 22, 2018, 9:11 am
Homey from Crooklyn says:
Hey dumbass SJWs, listen to Mike and IAMRIGHTAGAIN
June 22, 2018, 9:33 am
Celia from Kensington says:
It's kind of disheartening that people immediately say, 'throw it away, who cares about this guy - he's breaking the rules'. (I heard the other day he was in the hospital, but I can't confirm.) We don't provide a lot of options for people who are unable to work or or mentally disabled. In that smelly pile may be a few things that are really important to this guy. I know it can't be kept forever but I'm thankful the staff and shelter have a little more decency than the commenters.
June 22, 2018, 10:27 am
Kelly Jelly from Brooklyn Gardens says:
Celia - where do you think he got his nice stuff from?? He stole it from regular people! Homeless love to take from the homefull.
June 22, 2018, 11:33 am
Rufus Leaking from BH says:
Paralyzed by the lack of common sense.

It gets less and less common
June 23, 2018, 8 am
Hannah from Park Slope says:
If these people really cared, they wouldn't be threatening a poor homeless. They should pay for a proper storage facility for his things, and maybe give him cab money so that he can access them when needed. Alternatively, they can buy him all brand new things to replace his stuff.
June 25, 2018, 5:24 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: