A Homeless ‘queen' Opens Our Eyes to Kindness and Despair on the Streets

As deeply touched as I was by a Dallas neighborhood's concerns about the welfare of a homeless woman, I can't ignore an unsettling question: Why is a mentally ill woman with a criminal history still roaming the streets?The sad reality is that if LaCheryl Wilson, a.k.a. "Crazy Mary" and the "Queen of Oak Lawn," were a stray dog, someone would've "rescued" her by now.But saving human beings — especially from themselves — is a trickier and far more complex proposition: We can't permit cities to just go out and round up people living on the streets without cause, particularly since we don't have enough shelters or affordable housing to put them in.That would run afoul of basic human rights.That also helps explain how someone like Wilson, 64, who has been in and out of jail for nearly four decades — mostly for trespassing but also for criminal mischief, theft and prostitution, according to court records — became a fixture in Oak Lawn.And now, apparently, Wilson has wandered more than 35 miles west to Fort Worth.  Continue reading...

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