Homeless man refuses to leave lot; neighbors concerned

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) – Some local residents are concerned about the health of a homeless man who refuses to leave his neighborhood after losing his home.

It all began Sunday morning with a call to authorities, from a Shreveport woman worried about the man's health. But, as is often the case in such circumstances, accepting the help can be one of the first and hardest hurdles to overcome.

It was a tornado that put the life of Hal Garden, Jr., into a tailspin. A tornado destroyed his home in the 2900 block of Anna Street, on Easter Sunday two years ago. It was then that Hal began living in the woods near his home in Shreveport's Lakeside neighborhood for nearly a year.

Like countless others who find themselves homeless, finding a new path can be an enormous challenge. But, last year, his family gave him this trailer truck to live in temporarily, on the family-owned lot.

With no electricity and no food, Hal has had to fend for himself. "He's not been able to go to the bathroom for weeks, his leg is swollen, it's been hard for him to walk," says neighbor Bianca Davis. "He just hasn't been coming outside being himself."

Next door neighbor Bianca Davis felt so strongly, she even called 9-1-1 Sunday morning to get him help. But, Garden told medics he didn't want to go to the hospital, and didn't want to leave. Fred Sanders, Assistant to the Shreveport Fire Chief says unless there is a health or safety threat, they don't typically report such living conditions to code enforcement.

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