It's tough being homeless. Last week I reported on the dumping of a homeless paraplegic out onto the street with no wheelchair in Los Angeles by Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. Today another shocking story comes out of San Francisco. And this time it highlights the hazard that people on the edge of society often face simply because they are easy targets.
Homeless woman burned to death in revenge for reporting to the police that she had been beaten and robbed.
SAN FRANCISCO - Two women were accused of soaking a homeless, drug-addicted prostitute with gasoline and burning her to death after she reported that one of them had robbed her.
Leslie "Jill" May, 49, was abducted from the street and killed at Candlestick Park the day she told the police that Mia Sagote, 30, robbed and beat her over a debt May's boyfriend owed, authorities said.
May's boyfriend owed money. So she was robbed to pay the debt. That already makes the case that homeless people can be a target, even for situations they haven't created. But then when she told the police-- well, we see what kind of people target them in the first place.
The irony is contained in the last paragraph of the story:
After being selected for a city program that tries to find services and housing for the chronically homeless, she got a place to live in the fall.
"She was permanently housed," Amyes said. "She was happy. She was successful. They were little baby steps. The average American would say that's nothing ... but to live inside successfully for six months was huge."
So she was moving ahead with her life. Until it was brutally snuffed out. Like so many, many others that we don't hear about.