Homeless man cleans 16th Street

Published 3:56 pm Saturday, December 8, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


A man who sleeps in a van at night because he is currently homeless uses a broken rake and a house broom to clean the parking lot and the area along 16th Street between a cleaner and donut shop across from Kroger’s.

Samuel Mahfouz, originally from Orange, has spent the last 42 years in California and would like to return home one day.

“I came out here to visit my mom and things went bad,” Mahfouz said.

Mahfouz said he noticed the area was ‘trashy’ and he had nothing to do.

“I started walking along the street and picking it up,” Mahfouz said. “It is my way to give back to the community.”

He uses a rake and a house broom until his rake broke. He concentrates on the area between the cleaners and the donut shop on 16th Street across from Kroger’s.

“I told the businesses there that I would get to the back alley too,” Mahfouz said. “Just picking up the big stuff makes a difference.”

When Mahfouz discovered a man who stopped to ask what he was doing was the mayor of Orange, he was surprised.

“What a privilege to meet him,” Mahfouz said. “I did not know that was him. I am going to keep walking down 16th Street to clean it.”

This Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon, The Litter Squad, part of the Keep Orange Clean initiative, will join forces the West Orange-Stark Alumni Foundation to pick up litter. The established area is from J.B.s BBQ down towards the old Big B Donut shop.