Greenpoint Parks' Fifth Death In 15 Months Highlights Area's Homeless Problem

10/05/2011 01:19 pm ET | Updated Dec 05, 2011

A homeless man hanged himself in a Greenpoint, Brooklyn park on September 23 at around 8:30 PM, police sources told The Brooklyn Paper.

Witnesses discovered the body of Piotr Termana, 40, in McGolrick Park right as the park was about to close to the public. He was found half sitting on the bench from which he probably jumped, The Greenpoint Gazette reports, with a rope tied around his neck on one end and to a fence on the other.

According to Paper, this is the fifth person to have died in a Greenpoint Park in the last 15 months, including another homeless man who hanged himself in Barge Park near Commercial Street in March.

Most of the other deaths, including one case of hypothermia last December, involved homeless people.

Greenpoint residents are at a loss with how to deal with a significant homeless population in the area's parks, most of whom are Polish-speaking and chronic alcoholics.

Unfortunately, the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) does not offer a solution for people who need permanent housing, alcohol counseling and a Polish speaking staff. In fact, their alcoholism often disqualifies them from housing, raising fears that the neighborhood could see more fatalities as winter approaches.

"We can’t go another winter where we have guys dying of hypothermia in the park,” City Councilman Steve Levin, who also called the spate of deaths "disturbing and disconcerting", told The Paper.

Levin, however, as well as many other politicians and members of the community, recently protested the construction of homeless shelter on McGuinness Boulevard in Greenpoint.

Opponents of proposed 200-bed shelter were quick to note, however, that most of the space at the facility would be reserved for the homeless from Manhattan and not from Greenpoint.