Home Is Where The Mailbox Is

To most people Ronald Crawford is just another bum, taking up a perfectly good seat in the subway station he calls home.

"Spare any change sir," Crawford chimes on one New York subway.

But Crawford says he will never be completely forgotten, thanks to a very small window at the very back of New York's main post office. It's called general delivery, and as CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reports, it's a way for people who don't have a home to at least have an address.

"I get garbage mail," Crawford says. The only difference is that Crawford doesn't mind in the least the junk mail he receives.

"I have something with my name on it and I'm recognized, you know, so I kind of appreciate it," he says.


If you'd like to drop Mr. Crawford a note, you can reach him at:

General Delivery
390 Ninth Ave
New York, NY 10001



In New York City alone, 7,500 homeless people use general delivery.

Says one homeless woman: "This is the only place where we get contacted by anybody and everybody."

Postal employee Marylyn Rogers says of the service, "If you had an apartment and got down on your luck, that doesn't mean you're never going to have another one."

Rogers started working the New York window six years ago.

"After a while you get to know a person," Rogers says.

On one recent day, her concerns extend a lot further than just postage due. "Are you going to the hospital or not?" she asks one regular at her window.

There is a reason people call her "Mama."

"Did you go over to the soup kitchen?" Rogers asks one homeless person.

Crawford is one of her favorites. In fact, he says that thanks to her harping and help from The Partnership for the Homeless, he's actually getting very close to finding a permanent place to live.

"They are not just people who pass out mail," Crawford says.

Still, he says, even if he does find a new home, don't expect his mailing address to change anytime soon.
  • Sean Alfano

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