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Arts & Letters Daily


Family makes plea

Family makes plea to get sick man out of Downtown Eastside hotel

Kevin Morgan, a drug addict who suffers from schizophrenia and has anti-social personality traits, was released from jail last week after serving eight months of a 11⁄2-year jail term. He is now living in a hotel in the Downtown Eastside.

“I wish to God somebody could stop him from doing this,” said Wayne Kowal, who has seen his nephew rack up more than 190 convictions, mostly for theft, in the past 20 years.

“For sure, when he gets out on the street, he’ll be back in again in a week or two.”

Kowal, who has helped Morgan in the past, is fed up with his nephew’s litany of requests, never-ending apologies and his lack of will to turn his life around.

“He’s apologized, sure, but that’s not good to me any more, and that’s not good to the at least 200 people he’s affected. It’s not going to stop.”

Since he got out, Morgan has been staying in the Downtown Eastside, where Kowal fears he is vulnerable to “vultures that are going to pounce on him.”

“While he is at large, no matter how closely he is supervised, he constantly victimizes citizens and businesses, particularly in the Downtown Eastside,” wrote Judge Connie Bagnall. Jail is a “poor alternative,” continued Bagnall, but acknowledged that long-term psychiatric facilities are few and far between.

“I know Kevin needs help, but I’m only one person,” said Kowal, who would like to see his nephew in some sort of long-term treatment.

Adapted from “Family makes plea to get sick man out of Downtown Eastside hotel”.

By Cheryl Chan, The Province, April 13, 2009

© Copyright (c) The Province