Sad truth after traffic cones fixed to ground outside empty shopfront

'Someone's really put a lot of effort into this,' a furious local social worker said.

A fuming Aussie social worker said she was "disgusted" to find a dozen orange cones drilled into the doorway of an empty shopfront, in an apparent effort to deter a rough sleeper from the space where he'd resided for six months.

Sydney woman Ash Clancy, from Marrickville in the city's Inner West, recalled seeing about a dozen of the cones drilled into the ground in front of a former butchery on Marrickville Road, where the homeless man had been sleeping for months.

Social worker fumes over apparent extreme measure to deter rough sleeper

Clancy said she was baffled that somebody had gone to such drastic measures to stop him from inhabiting the area, which she said had been empty "for years". "I'm going to say it's been empty for maybe the past four or five years," Clancy told Yahoo News Australia.

Orange cones fixed to the ground outside an empty Marrickville shop.
Marrickville woman said she was disgusted to learn somebody had fixed cones to the ground in an apparent effort to deter a rough sleeper. Source: Supplied.

"He'd been sleeping there because it's sheltered, not quite a doorway, kind of like a little bit of a hallway.

"He's was an old man and you could tell he was quite mentally unwell. I've tried to engage in conversation with him quite a few times. That didn't really get very far — it's actually all just really sad."

Store sat vacant for years, woman says

From "what I could see", Clancy said, "the ground is made from cement" meaning "someone has really thought about this" and "put a lot of effort into stopping this really sick, old man sleeping [there]."

"No one has seen him since," Clancy said, sharing the "anger" she felt. "The other local rough sleepers that I do talk to, they're all really concerned about him. Because he was so unwell. Everyone kind of just kept an eye on him.

"And now no one has seen him, which is really, really scary."

After speaking with her local community, Clancy said so far nobody had been able to work out who was behind the move.

"It's literally been deserted for years," she said. "I'm just like, if that [store] was yours? Why do you care about nothing except drilling bloody cones into the ground to stop a homeless man sleeping in the doorway?"

It's not known whether there are any upcoming redevelopment plans for the site.

Inner West council said they were not responsible for the cones. "Council is not aware of this situation, and this is not a strategy we would ever use," a spokesperson told Yahoo.

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