Five arrested in Jones Library garden

Staff Writer
Published: 5/23/2016 10:45:40 AM

AMHERST — Continued problems with homeless people loitering in areas of downtown Amherst led to five arrests at the Kinsey Memorial Garden behind the Jones Library Friday night, according to police.

Amherst Police Detective Marcus Humber said officers responded to the 43 Amity St. location at 8:36 p.m. and arrested these men on charges of violating the town’s open container bylaw: Mark E. Jarrett, 21; Angel L. Rivera; Matthew R. Roy, 31; Paul Raymond Scace, 54; and Troy E. Ward II, 24.

Each man could be responsible for up to a $300 penalty for violating the bylaw.

A group involving social service agencies, police, town officials and the Amherst Business Improvement District is continuing to meet to address issues related to homeless people hanging out on the streets and in places like the library and West Cemetery.

Hwei-Ling Greeney, who oversees the Amherst Community Connections social service agency, said she believes there are more homeless people in town than at any previous point.

This has caused issues at the First Congregational Church at 165 Main St., site of the Not Bread Alone soup kitchen.

The church at Town Meeting last week got $200,000 in Community Preservation Act money to install fire sprinklers to better protect the historic building, with one of the arguments in favor being the number of homeless people using the church.

“They are overwhelmed by homeless people every day,” said CPA Committee member Diana Stein.

Ralph Faulkingham, a trustee of the church, told Town Meeting that members are seeing many more homeless people at the building, with many using its rest rooms, and staying out of the elements, between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.




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