Monday, September 03, 2007

A community remembers a homeless man

A group of San Jose residents held a candlelight march for a well-known homeless man found dead in an alley last week.

John Riggins, 59, was murdered, police said.

Many remember Riggins as a fixture in the community, but not much is known about him.

"He was constantly reading the newspaper, reading books. People would leave books or leave newspapers for him," said Donna Michaels, one of the organizers of the candlelight march. "An individual, whether they're homeless or a taxpayer* is part of a community."

A small memorial is visible in the alley where Riggins' body was found. Along with a few small flowers, someone left a computer printout that read "You may not have had much here, but you are now rich in heaven. RIP."

Read the San Jose Mercury News article here.

Unlike the vitrol that's commonly spewed about on the message boards connected with any story about the homeless here, the entries in the Mercury News' obituary guestbook are really sweet. Check 'em out.
* I'm sure she means well, but the assumption that homeless people are not taxpayers is a common misperception. Many homeless people work and even those who don't work still pay taxes every time they buy something.


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