Strand Books Used Sprinklers to Spray Water on Homeless

11.14.13 Andy Cush

The humanitarians at Strand Books have come up with an innovative solution for dealing with the homeless people who regularly camp out under its awning at night: turning on sprinklers and spraying them with water until they leave.

Nancy Bass Wyden, the iconic store’s co-owner, said she was “not sure” why the sprinklers were there, but an employee who wished to remain anonymous told DNAinfo “it was to keep people from sleeping out there.” Reporters began asking about the sprinklers after spotting signs warning people about it, and Strand took the signs down shortly thereafter.

Several local homeless people confirmed they had been sprinkled before. “It was bad because you get soaking wet.  If you’re lying there and you don’t know about it, everything is going to get soaking wet — all your personal belongings. You’re going to freeze, basically,” said Michael Pilgrim, who sleeps across the street.

“It’s already cold. You’re going to basically freeze to death.”

(Photo: Beyond My Ken/Wikipedia)