Morgantown council hears concerns about downtown criminal activity

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Morgantown City Council meeting became a homeless forum Tuesday led by downtown business owners and service providers.

Gary Tannenbaum is the owner of the Blue Moose has operated the business for more than 20 years and loves to be in downtown but he says things are getting out of hand.

Tannenbaum said,”We see people sleeping in the doorways on benches right on the sidewalk, drug deals are going on before my eyes everyday on Walnut Street.”

Other residents complained about antisocial behavior being displayed at all hours of the day. Some said young women are sometimes the harshest targets.

Tannenbaum said,”Last week I witnessed someone being bludgeoned with a baseball bat right before my very eyes in front of Friendship House, that was icing on the cake for me.”

Caitlin Sussman is the Program Director at the Friendship House and explained these services are vital, sometimes the only reasons people have to continue in recovery.

The Friendship House offers food, shelter and programs, some peer programs, to promote recovery.

Sussman said,”I’m here to tell you guys this is a we issue not just a Health Right issue, not just a client issue this is for all fo us, this is not just a “those people” issue.”

Council members have agreed the issue needs to be examined further. Council members have placed the issue on the agenda for the next meeting.