Fairhaven ‘Homeless’ Beach Camper Responds to Neighbor Complaints
Last week we told you about a Fairhaven woman who is not happy with a group of people she described as homeless camping out next to her home. Fairhaven Police say the woman has repeatedly called the police on "people sleeping in cars" outside of her home near the Manhattan Avenue entrance to Pope Beach.
Callie Barbero says the woman is complaining about her and her friends.
The 20-year-old says the complaining party is assuming that she's homeless, but she is not.
"I've lived on Grove Street, two streets up from the beach, since I was 6 years old," she said. "I'm just hanging out with my friends."
Barbero says even though she's been spending time at Pope Beach daily for as long as she can remember, Fairhaven Police have spoken to her about half a dozen times in the past several weeks, including Saturday.
"I know they have to respond to every call, so I understand. I just wish whoever is calling them would leave me alone. I have just as much right to be at this beach as she does."
Sleeping In Her Car?
"We don't stay here overnight," Barbero said. "The latest we'd hang out here would be until about midnight or so."
Barbero said she works the night shift, and that she enjoys heading down to the beach to unwind in her car with her friends after she gets out of work at 11 p.m.
"It can get loud and my kids are sleeping, so we come down here," Barbero said.
She said her friends have two puppies, but they don't bring them every time they are at the beach.
Barbero doesn't think the police believe that she is not homeless.
"The cops told me they thought I was lying, that I don't live up the street because my car is always here," Barbero said, insisting the beach is a nice escape.
"It's kind of disheartening because this is my favorite place to be," she said. "The fact that I feel that I'm disturbing people just because they don't want to believe that I'm not homeless is sad. We do nothing. We sit in our car and watch TV. That's it."
Police confirmed to Fun 107 that only one person in the neighborhood is lodging the complaints.
"There's not much we can do about it because they're not really breaking the law," Fairhaven Police Capt. Michael Botelho said. "They're not really doing anything wrong. We've gone down and talked with them and gently asked them to move along and not be parked there overnight, however, there are no signs that prohibit that right now."
What Would She Say to the Person Complaining?
"Even if someone was homeless and staying here, that person doesn't have a better place to be," Barbero said. "I don't understand why it's anyone else's business. No one else in this neighborhood seems to have an issue with us. I have rights to be here just as much as the person calling."
The person complaining to police declined to speak with Fun 107.